The Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Kathleen Weil, and the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Christine St-Pierre, unveiled the exceptional measures that Québec will be putting in place to welcome more refugees, in particular Syrian refugees, and to support the efforts of Québec international cooperation organizations that are working on the ground. “The death of young Aylan Kurdi sends a message that we must respond to the plight of all the innocent children who are victims of an armed conflict that has so far forced over four million Syrian civilians to flee the country. We have been working for several months on this issue, notably in collaboration with my colleague the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Sam Hamad, and the exceptional measures that we propose today respond to the demands of Quebecers who want to do more to help the Syrian refugees who are scattered throughout several countries,” said Minister Kathleen Weil.
“The magnitude of this crisis concerns all Quebecers. We have all been deeply moved by what we have seen in recent days. We cannot stand idly by. This is why our government announced today that it will join the efforts of the international community to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by this grave situation,” said Minister Christine St-Pierre.
The Québec government has decided to substantially increase the number of admissions of Syrian refugees that had been planned for 2015. In addition to the 1200 previously planned admissions, a further 2450 will be added, for a total of 3650 this year. This new objective includes the admission of 1800 privately sponsored refugees and 650 government-assisted refugees, for whom Québec will request the collaboration of the federal government, particularly with respect to security clearances and administrative procedures.
The Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie will also respond, in the coming weeks, to requests for emergency funding by Québec international organizations by granting them a total of $100,000 to come increase the assistance of migrants in the affected regions. This support will be made possible by the Québec International Development Program.
Lastly, an interministerial crisis unit will be set up to monitor developments in the situation and to liaise with the government departments and organizations involved, especially the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche and the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. This will also permit the Québec government to align its actions with those of the Government of Canada.
“I am very proud of the generosity and solidarity expressed by Quebecers of all origins toward refugees, especially Syrian refugees. I urge them to continue this great humanitarian movement of collective sponsorship, especially since Québec’s collective sponsorship program offers the opportunity to join up with other people or other sponsors to facilitate the process,” concluded Minister Kathleen Weil.
Those interested in the collective sponsorship of refugees can consult the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion website.
Those who would like to contribute to fundraising can do so through the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie website.
Office of the Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness
Office of the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie
Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion