With B.C. about to receive 3,000 refugees from Syria in the coming weeks, a new survey from the Angus Reid institute suggests just under half of British Columbians oppose the federal government’s resettlement plan.
The survey – taken just three days after the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead – suggests people are most concerned over a lack of time for proper security checks of incoming refugees.
Before the attacks, data from October suggested B.C. residents largely supported and welcomed refugees; 50 per cent did, in fact, while 37 per cent opposed it. November numbers point to a drop in support at 47 per cent and a hike in opposition at 49 per cent.
As for national data, just under 30 per cent of Canadians think we should not be taking in Syrian refugees at all.
The Angus Reid Institute says even before the Paris attacks, around 50 per cent of Canadians still opposed or had concerns about the resettlement plan, which will see 25,000 refugees from Syria crossing Canadian borders by January. It was the second most opposed portion of the Liberal platform behind extra funding for the arts.
Just over 1,500 Canadians were polled who are members of the Angus Reid Institute’s forum.
In an interview with Vancity Buzz conducted before the Paris attacks, Ninu Kang with B.C.-based immigrant and refugee resettlement organization Mosaic said they were ready to take on the 3,000 Syrian refugees.
“We’re ready to help them with their paperwork that might be required, we have staff, we have employment programs that are on the ground, we have parenting programs and we can link with schools,” Kang said.
“So these are things we’re gearing up for ourselves as an immigrant-serving organization.”
Upon arrival in the province, many of the refugees will be set up in temporary housing, including hotels, people who volunteer their homes, and even army barracks.
A flow chart from the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. gives an overview on how they plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the province: