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City of Surrey hosts Community Forum on Refugees

Community Forum on Refugees

January 21, 2016

More than 200 people attended the City of Surrey’s Community Forum on Refugees last night. The event, held at Fleetwood Park Secondary School, provided residents with the latest information on Syrian refugee settlement and how they can best help in the efforts to settle the newcomers in Surrey.

“The City of Surrey is acutely aware of the importance of welcoming and including new immigrant and refugees as they start a new life in Canada,” says Mayor Linda Hepner. “I know the generosity and goodwill the new refugees will encounter in Surrey will go a long way in helping them achieve success.”

The Forum featured a cross section of speakers from the local, provincial and federal levels such as:

  • Mayor Linda Hepner
  • Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development & Minister Responsible for TransLink
  • Hon. Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
  • Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Chair of the City of Surrey’s Social Policy Advisory Committee and Co-Chair of the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership
  • Christopher Kerr, Acting Director General of the Western Region – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Chris Friesen, Director of Settlement Services at Immigrant Services Society of BC.
  • Stephen Dooley, Executive Director of SFU Surrey
  • Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of Surrey RCMP
  • Mateen Aminie, refugee to Canada and current employee of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society

The Forum also brought together a number of agencies and organizations which are involved at the local level of refugee assistance and support. Representatives were on hand not only to provide information but also to answer any questions attendees may have.

“We are fortunate in Surrey to have a number of highly skilled and experienced organizations that have been settling refugees and immigrants for decades,” Councillor Judy Villeneuve. “These agencies know what is needed and when it is needed.”

The groups and agencies in attendance included:

  • Surrey School District
  • Baobab Inclusive Empowerment Society
  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Services Society
  • Pacific Community Resources Society
  • Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society
  • Mennonite Central Committee
  • Muslim Food Bank
  • Options Community Services Society
  • Umoja Operation Compassion Society


Media inquiries:

Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey