Manitoba social agencies gear up for Syrian refugee arrival

In News by MIIC

Social services providers who help refugees in Manitoba are bracing for a surge of newcomers, with at least two organizations not allowing vacation time for their staff until Canada’s response to the Syrian crisis is complete.

Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS Inc.) and Welcome Place have made the move in response to an anticipated influx of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.

The new Liberal government says it plans to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canada by the end of this year, honouring a promise it made during this fall’s election campaign.

“People who work in this sector are always always committed to clients, and so we have taken the necessary steps and told staff we all need to be on standby, including myself,” said Rita Chahal, Welcome Place’s executive director.

Chahal said she learned on Thursday from the federal Immigration Department that Welcome Place, a refugee resettlement centre based in Winnipeg, is being asked to receive three refugee families on Nov. 18.

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