Settlement officials say they’re taking a pause as they work to process already-arrived Syrian refugees into permanent housing.
Chris Friesen with the Immigrant Services Society of BC says local groups have reached their capacity for temporary housing, and are working on getting the new arrivals into permanent housing.
“Over the next few days, another up to 12 or more families will be moving into permanent accommodation. That will then free up beds for incoming families into British Columbia.”
That’s forced organizers to put the brakes on new arrivals of government sponsored refugees for at least the next four days, with about 80 new Syrians inbound by the weekend.
“In fact we’re scheduled to receive, I think it’s 17 or 18 families on on Friday.”
MAP: Location of privately and government sponsored refugees to arrive in B.C. since November 4th
He says there’s also a possibility cities outside Metro Vancouver will soon start receiving Syrian refugees.
“It was only last week that immigration opened up the possibility through additional funding for the destining of government assisted refugees to non-traditional refugee service centres across Canada.”
Late last week, it emerged that just three Syrian refugee families had been moved into permanent housing since January 1st.
The ISS said it was hoping to bump that number by 30 by this week.
Friesen says BC has received around 760 new Syrian arrivals to our province.
Since November fourth, more than 11,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada as part of the Liberal government’s plan to resettle 25,000 by the end of February.