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20150709 PanAm Citizenship CeremonyNovember 29, 2015, Ottawa (CIC) – As the Government of Canada has stepped up efforts to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, communities from coast to coast to coast are also preparing to welcome Syrian refugees with open arms.

“It is so encouraging to see communities, large and small, coming together in support of this complex initiative and welcome these Syrian refugees” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “The generosity and compassion of Canadians will help them successfully transition to life in Canada,” he added.

A significant portion of refugees arriving in Canada by the end of December will be privately sponsored and already have destination communities large and small that are eagerly anticipating their arrival. As of November 24th, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is actively processing 4,511 files of Syrian refugees who have been sponsored by organizations and groups of Canadians outside of Quebec. While decisions are not yet finalized in many of these cases, a list of communities, outside of Quebec, where private sponsors have put forth an application for a Syrian refugee is available on the CIC website. In Quebec, sponsorship cases are approved by the provincial government.

“It is so encouraging to see communities, large and small, coming together in support of this complex initiative and welcome these Syrian refugees” – John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

The majority of these privately sponsored refugees will arrive before the end of December, as their applications are already in process. They will contribute to the goal of bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees by December 31. Growing numbers of government assisted refugees will begin arriving later in December and into next year as the government seeks to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees overall by the end of February.

Government-assisted refugees will go to communities across Canada where funded service providing organizations with support services are available to help them integrate. We anticipate more communities will get involved in supporting the settlement and integration of these refugees.

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with provincial, territorial, municipal, and other partners to ensure the successful integration of Syrian refugees into their new host communities, where they will begin to build their new lives in Canada.