Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Immigration

NEWS RELEASE – Federal/Provincial/Territorial  Ministers Meet to Reaffirm Support and Ongoing Collaboration for Syrian Refugee  Resettlement

December  1, 2015 - Ottawa, ON – Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for immigration  met today to reaffirm their commitment to welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada  over the coming days and months.    

Co-chaired  by the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and  Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of  Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, the meeting focused on  preparations for the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees to communities across  Canada by the end of February 2016.

 Ministers reiterated  the integral role of provinces and territories in warmly welcoming the refugees  in their communities. They discussed issues related to where in Canada Syrian  refugees will go and the types of support that communities should have in place  to be prepared to accept them.

Attending  ministers also heard from federal Syrian Refugee Special Coordinator Deborah  Tunis and Chris Friesen, President of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector  Alliance on the lessons learned and outcomes resulting from the successful  two-day working session with key stakeholders and partners held in Toronto on  November 28 and 29. A wide range of topics were discussed, including housing,  language training, health needs and community orientation.

The  resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees by February 2016 will be a national  effort requiring significant coordination and support to help ensure their successful  integration into host communities across Canada where they will begin to build  their new lives. Collaborations among FPT ministers  will be ongoing as Canada prepares for their welcome now and into 2016.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to  immigration and temporary admission of aliens, Quebec fully assumes sole  responsibility for establishing immigration levels and for the selection,  francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility,  Quebec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its  own standards.


“Having  recently returned from Jordan where I saw first-hand the experiences of Syrian  refugees, this meeting presented an important opportunity for me to share that  experience and for us to come together to discuss how we will welcome some of  these refugees into our communities. Together, we are embarking on a national  project that we can all be proud of.”
– Hon. John McCallum, Minister of  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“We have  a responsibility to respond to this humanitarian crisis with generosity,  compassion and action. I look forward to working with all levels of government,  the settlement community, the private and public sectors and not-for-profit  organizations to successfully integrate Syrian refugees in our host  communities. We are confident that those we help today will enrich our country  in the future.”
Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and  International Trade, Ontario

Quick facts

  • Between November 4, and November 26, 2015, 200  Syrian refugees arrived in Canada.
  • As of November 24, IRCC is actively processing  4,511 files of Syrian refugees who have been sponsored by organizations and  groups of Canadians outside Quebec.
  • This FPT meeting took place following the  successful Forum on Welcoming Syrian Refugees to Canada hosted earlier in the  day by the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

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