Assam Hadhad, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada last year, displays a tray of chocolates at his shop, Peace by Chocolate, in Antigonish, N.S. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. CEO Tareq Hadhad has plans to hiring more refugees over the next three years. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Syrians gradually integrating into Canadian society, latest report finds

Pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees became a hallmark promise from the Liberals in 2015

Syrians refugees admitted to Canada under the government’s landmark resettlement program are slowly catching up to other refugee groups when it comes to finding jobs and connecting with their communities.

The final Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees Canada study of outcomes for the nearly 40,000 Syrians who arrived between 2015 and 2016 suggests that just over half are now working, with a further 23 per cent actively on the hunt for a job.

But the study shows their salaries continue to lag behind other refugee groups, and while the report found most Syrians feel they’re handling the day-to-day requirements of life in Canada well, many are still turning to food banks for support.

A pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees became a hallmark promise from the Liberals during the 2015 election, which came at the height of the Syrian civil war that saw millions of people displaced around the world and the United Nations actively calling on countries like Canada to take in more people who desperately needed new homes.

The multimillion-dollar effort that ensued, while embraced by Canadians, also came with fears that such a large group of refugees — many suffering from the trauma of the war — would arrive without the supports in place for them to integrate into Canadian life.

The report, published in June, says 89 per cent of Syrian adults have accessed government-funded language assessments and 77 per cent of them have accessed language training. Although most reported being able to complete day-to-day tasks in English without help, language challenges have fostered feelings of isolation among some, the report said.

ALSO READ: Most Syrian refugees settling well in B.C., report says

ALSO READ: B.C. religious leaders call on Canada to act against U.S. immigration ban

Some 57 per cent of 1,255 Syrian respondents to a 2018 survey reported being employed, while another 23 per cent were looking for work, it found.

Most — 86 per cent — reported having a doctor or health care provider, though a lack of language skills, understanding of services, the stigma around mental health and privacy concerns were preventing some from accessing health care.

The majority of parents also reported that their school-age children were indeed enrolled in school, although language barriers continue to make it hard for Syrian parents to be active in their children’s education.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Andrew Berry has plead not guilty to the December 2017 deaths of his two daughters

Relative of man found dead in Saanich says he was missing for years

RCMP and a private detective had been searching for him since 2012

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter from North Island mountainside

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to safely rescue trio near Woss

Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

James Reginald Butters, 24, killed in 2015 after RCMP responded to call of male uttering threats

Duncan woman thought she’d die trapped in hot backyard shed

Jessica McCauley kept her cool and escaped after her toddler locked her in

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Counterfeit $100s circulating in Greater Victoria

Saanich police say several fake bills have been reported

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Victoria man charged with abducting autistic four-year-old daughter to Indonesia

Brent Erskine appeared in court in Victoria on Tuesday

Warrant issued for man involved in machete incident near Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Vancouver Island poet writes over Shakespeare

Sonnet L’Abbé explores colonial thought by superimposing her own poems over the sonnets of the Bard

Most Read