VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) Vancouver’s mayor wants to make the city a sanctuary for Syrian refugees, starting with an information forum tomorrow night. The city says the Government of Canada isn’t meeting its international obligations to help with this crisis.
Gregor Robertson says the federal government should be looking at taking in 20,000 refugees each year by 2020 and he’s made a motion to send the request to the government in writing.
“The people of Vancouver have a proud history of welcoming refugees, and a deep commitment to ensuring that families affected by this ongoing crisis can find new hope, security, and opportunity in Canada. Vancouver must continue to expand upon the steps we are taking to be a welcoming city, but it’s clear that the Government of Canada has not been meeting our international obligations in this continuing humanitarian crisis.”
And the city has heard from citizens wanting to help who may not know how to start. Eyob Naizghi with MOSAIC, an immigrant support society, will be there. He says it’s disappointing this responsibility has fallen to municipal governments and community groups. “Usually the federal government has taken a leadership role in this kind of situation. And we have good examples we could learn from. The Vietnamese boat people is one. The Kosovo refugees is another one. I think those are good strategies, compassionate strategies that Canada has taken in the past that we need to look at.”
The forum happens at the Town Hall meeting room at Vancouver City Hall at 7pm Tuesday, September 8th.