Canadian unions are uniting with business, faith and community groups to welcome and support the resettlement of the thousands of Syrian refugees due to start arriving in Canada shortly.
“We welcomed the Canadian government’s commitment to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees, and understand that we now have a responsibility to do our part and support that commitment in every way possible,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.
In October, the CLC committed to establishing a special fund with the Canadian Council for Refugees to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada. So far, that fund has raised more than $200,000.
But Yussuff says he understands this isn’t just about raising money.
“This isn’t just about raising funds. The labour movement has labour councils and local unions in every one of the communities where refugees will be settling. We have a vast network and a very motivated membership and we are putting that network and those members to work,” he added.
In addition to continuing to raise funds, the CLC and its affiliated unions will:
- Provide resources to labour councils in priority communities and ask them to begin collaborating with local United Way chapters, chambers of commerce, businesses and newcomer serving organizations;
- Provide information packages to labour councils and to local unions outlining concrete steps they can take, such as supporting sponsorships;
- Continue to work with organizations on the ground to counter any backlash and to raise awareness about all the ways refugees have and continue to enrich our country.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 111 district labour councils.
Photo (left to right): Hassan Yussuff (Canadian Labour Congress), Chantal Tie (Canadian Council for Refugees), Perrin Beatty (Canadian Chamber of Commerce)