With B.C. expected to welcome as many as 3,000 Syrian refugees under the Trudeau government’s plan, the director of one of the province’s longest running agencies that provides services to refugees says new arrivals face many new barriers.
Trying to start a new life as a refugee in Canada’s most expensive city is often fraught with difficulties, including language and cultural barriers, not to mention Vancouver’s chronic lack of affordable rentals.
“They don’t have any credit history,” adds Mario Ayala from the Inland Refugee Society of BC. “What we do in this organization is we provide information to the landlord that if anything goes wrong, they can approach us and we will try to solve the problem.”
When refugee claimants arrive, Ayala says the society is often their first point of contact.
Story by Ken Paulin