Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, issued the following statement to mark World Refugee Day on Monday, June 20, 2022:

“Most British Columbians cannot begin to understand the hardships and challenges refugees have overcome to seek safety in our province. Sometimes taking only the things they can carry, fleeing in the dead of night or leaving behind friends, family and life as they knew it, their courage is inspiring.

“World Refugee Day is an opportunity to reflect and honor the strength, resilience and perseverance of those who have faced great risk to find refuge here in British Columbia. It is also a time to recognize our shared responsibility to protect people’s right to safety and to make newcomers to our province feel welcome and supported.

“Last year, the federal government made a commitment to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees. More than 1,200 of these refugees now call British Columbia home and have brought with them valuable education, experience and skills that have made our province stronger.

“Over the past few months, our role as a safety net was again highlighted when Russia launched a horrific attack on Ukraine. Millions of people have fled the country, taking with them few belongings and uncertainty about what will happen next.

“To ensure those who welcome newcomers to British Columbia have the resources they need, our government has doubled financial support for settlement agencies as they work tirelessly to ensure that Ukrainians and all refugees can find safety, dignity and support in British Columbia. , housing, education, health care and mental health supports, the work we have done together has had an impact.

“It is heartening to see the individual efforts of British Columbians to create a warm, safe and welcoming place for those fleeing violence or persecution. The offers of employment, housing, support and donations mean the world to refugees and are a true testament to the people of our beautiful province.

“Generations of refugees helped build British Columbia. They have enriched the province and given so much to our communities. Please join me today in recognizing their contributions and celebrating the crucial role that immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers continue to play in weaving the fabric of our collective identity.

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