December 03, 2015 - 12:50 PM
KAMLOOPS - Between 100 and 150 government-funded Syrian refugees could arrive in the Kamloops area within the next four to six months — a number MLA Terry Lake says is ‘feasible’.
“Really when we think about 35 families over the next four to six months, that I don’t think will overwhelm the system,” Lake says. “I think we can manage between 100 and 150 (people) and that is what the province is asking us to consider."
The province is slated to take around 3,700 government-funded refugees in the coming months. Lake says most will settle in the Lower Mainland, but areas within the Interior and rural communities are being considered.
“Really smaller communities like this I think are really good at accepting people into the community. It’s often easier to integrate into a smaller community than a large metro area,” Lake says. "I think we’ve got the resources here; we’ve got the open arms of the community and we’re looking forward to seeing some government-assisted refugees come before Christmas."
The numbers are not yet set in stone though. Lake says the region has made connections with provincial services and community groups to discuss available support and prepare for arrivals. The Provincial Health Services Authority is getting translators together to help refugees get access to medical care, he says.
Local group, Refugees and Friends Together (RAFT), has already sponsored four Syrian families coming to the Kamloops area. Three of the families are slated to live in Kamloops while the fourth is expected to settle in Clearwater.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015