Questions and Answers

As of March 2016, PEC Syria is supporting the resettlement of three new Syrian Canadian families, all of whom are related. The first family arrived in the fall of 2015.

Employment is a key component for the adults and older youth as the newcomers resettle. Learning English is also important for the new Canadians to settle into the community and school. We are supporting the families to upgrade their English and job skills. Many are already working to support themselves and their families.

The focus of PEC Syria is to resettle new Syrian Canadians. We are not providing funds or other supports for those in Syria or in the surrounding countries where Syrian refugees are currently displaced.

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  • As the sponsoring organization, PEC Syria will support the resettlement of Syrian refugee families for their first year in Canada, including housing, food, access to community services (schools, transportation, health care, English language services), and adjusting culturally to a new country.
  • The federal government advises that the resettlement of a family of four requires at least $27,000. Our first family is a very large multi-generational family, so we targeted a minimum of $75,000 to meet our sponsorship obligation. However, it is expected that living expenses for such a large family may be higher. In addition we are now supporting, in part, two other families and are expecting at least three more.
  • Even when the sponsorship commitment ends the many volunteers of PEC Syria, who have become friends with the families, will continue to offer their friendship and assistance.
  • Through Lifeline Syria we have an opportunity to sponsor refugees already approved for resettlement who have undergone rigorous security screening by both the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government of Canada before being accepted. No existing security protocols are being compromised to get them here faster.
  • Canada conducts its own security and criminal checks, and also takes into consideration any anchor relatives or sponsors in Canada.
  • More than 75% of Syrian refugees are women and children. UNHCR criteria give priority to vulnerable groups such as women at risk, children, survivors of trauma or torture, refugees at heightened risk of sexual violence or exploitation and refugees who require resettlement to ensure family unity.

There are people across Canada and many here in the County who need help and support, and many individuals who give generously of their time and money to help them, through such organizations as the County Community Foundation and local food banks. They do not intend to stop. Very simply, we can do both.

Yes – we hope to continue to resettle other families with the help of many volunteers throughout Prince Edward County, Belleville and Trenton.

It did at first, but the Government agreed to extend the deadline and we have submitted applications to support other refugee families.

  • PEC Syria is sponsoring a number of Syrian refugee families. Three have arrived and there are at least three more coming this year. They have been already screened and approved by the Canadian government. They have spent several years in a refugee camp.
  • All funds donated will go toward the resettlement of Syrian refugees and none of the donated money goes to administration.
  • All funds donated go toward the resettlement of the Syrian refugee families. PEC Syria has an Administration Committee as well as co-chairs for financial oversight.
  • A monthly budget is determined for resettlement needs, including housing, food, medical needs, utilities, transportation, etc. The family will receive monthly funds from PEC Syria, as well as funds directly from the federal government.
  • The family will remit receipts (with support from PEC Syria) for reimbursement through Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge or directly to PEC Syria.
  • Studies have shown that sponsored refugees benefit from the networks of their sponsors, find work quickly and match or outperform other immigrant groups. We already have community members who have offered employment and mentorship.
  • The family will qualify immediately for OHIP and will also have access to health care benefits under the Interim Federal Health Program. Ultimately they will be resettled as permanent immigrants, who will pay into the system as taxpayers.
  • We also have generous support in the community e.g. donations of dental services for the family for a year, and lawyers to help with extraordinary expenses.

At a national level, it’s important for Canada to consider what it can do both to help the immediate needs of refugees, and end the conflict that is driving people from their homeland. Whether these responses are political or military, they will take time. While the international community considers how to respond to the conflict, millions of people have been displaced. They need help now.

You can email questions to: or call 613.779.0301