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Languages Canada to support Syrian refugee integration initiative

OTTAWA, November 27, 2015- The association announced today that several of its member programs will donate seats for English and French language programs in support of The Languages Canada Syrian Refugee Integration Initiative to help Syrian refugees integrate into Canadian society, culture and the workforce.

The government announced Tuesday that 15,000 Syrian refugees will be government-sponsored, and 10,000 would be sponsored privately. While 10,000 will arrive before the end of December, the majority of the remaining Syrians will be in Canada by the end of February. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is working with many partners to welcome these refugees into their new communities by offering support through orientation to life in Canada, access to healthcare, permanent housing, counselling, language services, schooling and other federal, provincial, territorial and municipal support services.

To align with Canada’s refugee plan, the Languages Canada Syrian Refugee Integration Initiative will donate seats in English and French language education programs across Canada for a set duration of time to be confirmed with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. While more than 8,000 weeks are currently confirmed by members, the association expects that to grow substantially.

“Part of what unites the language education sector is our passion to make the world a better place. This initiative helps to connect us with the unique stories of refugees — from their arrival to their integration into Canadian society — and we are very proud to be a part of that process as they embark on a brighter future in Canada,” says Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director of Languages Canada.

Contributions by language programs are vital to the long-term success of the Syrian refugees in Canada. Accredited language programs welcome 137,000 students a year and are often a gateway to Canada’s universities and colleges, immigration and the workforce; they allow refugees to learn languages, explore our culture and integrate into our communities.

There are more than four million Syrian refugees. The Government of Canada will invest up to $678 million over six years toward expediting the resettlement and ensuring integration support for these Syrian refugees.

Languages Canada is a not-for-profit association representing more than 225 private and public language education members that offer accredited English and French programs.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sarah Snowdon
Communications Manager