September 24, 2015

Peel board urges Prime Minister Harper to welcome more refugees from war-torn countries and accelerate process

The Peel District School Board sent a letter ​to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging him to do what's in the best interests of children and their families from war-torn countries—to increase the number of refugees accepted by Canada, and to review and revise the process so it is faster.

"Through our three We Welcome the World Centres, we have had the privilege of welcoming refugees from Syria and other war-torn areas to our community, and to our schools," says Janet McDougald, chair of the board. "We have seen the impact the conflict has had on families—children who have lost both parents, who arrive without any formal schooling due to the conflict in their country, and some who have experienced such trauma that they are unable to speak. It is impossible to experience this process and not feel the impact, and understand the need for Canada, as a country, to do even more. To welcome more refugees—to make the process faster—to bring them to schools and communities that are safe havens for children and families."

The Peel board operates three We Welcome the World Centres in Brampton, Malton, and Mississauga to welcome families new to Peel and get their children registered for school. The centres are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). CIC provides funding for programs that help newcomers overcome barriers and obtain useful information in a timely manner to make informed settlement related decisions. These programs also encourage them to build networks within their communities and to participate fully in Canadian society. For more information, visit www.peelschools.org/newtopeel

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Media Contact: Janet McDougald, Chair of the Board, [email protected], 905-278-1402

Reference: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications & Community Relations, [email protected],  905-890-1010 ext. 2812

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