NDP demands Liberal government provide Syrian refugee resettlement plan

Today Jagmeet Singh, the Ontario NDP’s Deputy Leader, demanded that the Liberal government provide its plan to resettle Syrian refugees in Ontario.

“New Democrats are proud to stand with Ontarians to welcome Syrian refugees to our community. Understanding the importance of bringing in immigrants, respecting refugees in our society, and standing up for the global community is a part of our strong tradition here in Ontario,” Singh said.

“But a promise alone is not enough. We also need a plan. This government needs to come forward with a plan to ensure that these people receive the services they so desperately need.”

“What is this government’s plan when it comes to housing and other settlement services for these refugees? They need something concrete in addition to just promises.”

The Ontario NDP’s Immigration critic, London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong said the government’s plan must include support services for refugees. “This government needs a plan for affordable housing to ensure that the refugees are adequately housed. It needs a plan for services—including mental health services—to ensure that they are adequately taken care of, and this government should ensure that the appropriate language support services are in place,” Armstrong said.

Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, while Premier Wynne has promised to bring in 10 per cent of this number by the end of the year. 

In a press conference at Queen’s Park today, anti-racism groups called for the government to take action against islamophobia following  attacks against Muslims in Ontario, and they warned of possible scapegoating of Syrian refugees following terrorist attacks in Paris.

“We need a provincial strategy that responds to these incidents with strong support for refugees and ensures that we have a security plan in place,” Singh said.  “Will the Acting Premier provide a clear plan on how our province will address all of these important areas so that we can have an actual plan underway for bringing in these refugees and not just an empty promise?”