The federal government has announced plans to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. In response, the Government of New Brunswick has indicated that the province is ready to welcome up to 1,500 refugees.
New Brunswick has a history of helping refugees. The Government of New Brunswick believes it is the right thing to do and wants to give the refugees a safe place to call home.
Canadian Refugee Protection Programs
There are two main programs:
- the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people seeking protection outside Canada; and
- the In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims within Canada.
There are essentially two ways for refugees to be resettled in Canada:
1. As government-assisted refugees, through the federal Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).
2. As privately-sponsored refugees, supported fully or partly by a community group. Within the private sponsorship program, there are various streams or programs through which a group may provide sponsorship.
Identifying and approving refugees for resettlement in Canada is solely the responsibility of the federal government. Once refugees are identified and invited to resettle in Canada, there are many ways that you can become involved at a provincial, community and personal level.
To find out how you can help in your community, contact an Immigrant-Serving Agency (ISA) in your region.
In particular, the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area, and the Saint John Y Newcomer Connections have federally-funded Resettlement Assistance Programs in place and are experienced and qualified to assist with refugee resettlement.
You might also become involved by contacting current sponsorship agreement holders in this province. These are organizations that have standing agreements with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to sponsor refugees and their families.
Other community groups may also sponsor refugees under certain circumstances. You can access more information about getting involved as a community organization with refugee sponsorship here.
If you are not a member of an organized community group or sponsorship agreement holder, you may still be interested in organizing what is known as a “Group of Five” – five or more Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who come together to offer to sponsor a refugee or refugee family.
More information about the private sponsorship of refugees on the federal government’s website is found below:
If you are not able to get involved with sponsorship of a refugee or refugee family, there are still many ways to help. Offering to volunteer some time with the New Brunswick Multicultural Council would be a welcome gesture, or you could offer to donate good quality clothing or furnishings to Value Village to assist arriving refugee families.
You may also wish to make a financial donation to one of the organizations sponsoring refugees or to a national or international body that is providing food, shelter and the necessities of life for the refugees currently in transit.