Labour, Business, Faith and Community Group Statement in Support of Syrian Refugees

December 9, 2015

The Syrian refugee crisis has left more than four million people desperately seeking safety. It is a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportions, one which Canada has a responsibility to act on as quickly as possible.

We are representatives of Canadian unions, businesses, community and faith groups, united to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada and committed to playing a role in supporting their resettlement.

Together our organizations are sharing information nationally to best meet the areas of greatest need. We have also made it a priority to coordinate our local chapters and members to work together to support refugees at the community level.

We believe our country can support 25,000 people in need to build new lives, free of conflict. It’s the right thing to do, and the least we can do as a country. 

Canada is a compassionate, caring nation with a long tradition of embracing diversity and showing humanitarian leadership. We must continue this tradition and demonstrate these values and principles in our approach to this crisis. 

We are also excited about the possibilities for integrating refugees into our local economies. Canada has a history of welcoming refugees who have contributed to our economy, started businesses and created new jobs.

We recognize the importance of addressing the real short-term and ongoing needs of refugees as they settle and begin their lives as new Canadians. By working together – business, unions, faith and community groups – we can meet the incredible need that exists.

We are:

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Alnadvi, Chairman, Canadian Council of Imams
Bruce Anderson, Chairman of Abacus Data, and political columnist
The Honourable Ron Atkey, Chair of Humanity Wins and former Minister of Employment and Immigration
The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Stephen Bedard, Chair of the Federally Regulated Employers – Transportation and Communications
Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, United Church of Canada
Bernie M. Farber, Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute (past CEO Canadian Jewish Congress)
Joe Gunn, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Justice
The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives
Jayson Myers, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO of the United Way Centraide Canada
Loly Rico, President, Canadian Council for Refugees
Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada
Maureen Silcoff, Chair of the Jewish Refugee Action Network
Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress
Robyn Benson, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada
James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees
Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor
Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Mark Hancock, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees
Joe Mancinelli, International Vice-President of the Laborers' International Union of North America
Paul Meinema, National President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers
David Ritchie, General Vice-President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

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