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On December 10, 2017, Bishop Skelton's and Archdeacon Fenton's offices received the following letter from Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship for the Federal Government of Canada, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.

December 10, 2017, marks the second anniversary of the arrival of the first government-organized flights of Syrian refugees. Between November 2015 and October 2017, Canada welcomed nearly 50,000 Syrian refugees.  

The successes we have seen in this unprecedented national effort are a result of the extraordinary partnerships and coordination the Government of Canada has with our various partners, including you.  

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person and organization who has helped make this achievement possible. From the private sponsors and service provider organizations who offered invaluable support, to our corporate partners who provided Syrian newcomers with employment support and opportunities, and to the communities and individual Canadians who have opened their homes and their hearts to their new neighbours.  

Our collective efforts highlight the importance of integration in building a strong society. And this work is not over yet – integration is a long-term process. We need to continue to support the full participation of these newcomers in the economic, social, cultural, and civic life of Canada.  

Together, we will ensure that newcomers have access to the services they need and that service provider organizations have the support to do what they do best. We will also improve collaboration between partners and stakeholders.

Once again, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I’d like to offer my deepest thanks to all our partners for their support of the Syrian refugee initiative. Know that, every day, you have and will continue to make a difference in tens of thousands of lives.                                        


The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

A PDF of the letter is available for downloading below.