Minister’s statement on World Refugee Day

June 20, 2022 at 8:43 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, has issued the following statement to mark World Refugee Day on Monday, June 20, 2022:

“Most British Columbians can’t begin to comprehend the hardships and challenges that refugees have overcome to seek safety in our province. Sometimes, taking only the belongings they can carry, fleeing in the dead of night or leaving behind friends, family and life as they knew it – their courage is inspiring.

“World Refugee Day is a time to reflect and honour the strength, resilience and perseverance of those who have faced great risk to find refuge here in British Columbia. It’s also a time to acknowledge our shared responsibility to protect people’s right to safety and to make newcomers to our province feel welcome and supported.

“Last year, the federal government pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees. More than 1,200 of those refugees now call B.C. home and have brought with them valuable education, experience and skills that have made our province stronger.

“In the past few months, our role as a safety net was again highlighted when Russia launched a horrific  attack on Ukraine. Millions have fled the country, carrying with them a few belongings and an uncertainty of what’s next.

“To make sure people who are welcoming newcomers to B.C. had the resources they need, our government doubled financial support to settlement organizations as they work tirelessly to ensure Ukrainians and all refugees can find safety, dignity and support in B.C. By connecting people to language skills, housing, education, health care and mental health supports, the work we have done together has made an impact.

“It’s heartwarming to see the individual efforts of British Columbians to create a warm, safe and welcoming place for those fleeing violence or persecution. The offers of employment, housing, support and donations mean the world to refugees and are a true testament to the people of our great province.

“Generations of refugees have helped build B.C. They have enriched the province and have given so much to our communities. Please join me today in recognizing their contributions and celebrating the crucial role immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers continue to play in weaving the fabric of our collective identity.”

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