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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe at Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders.
Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Health inspectors and RCMP locked doors early Wednesday

Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Chedda’ Heads Grilled Cheese Truck owner Dawson Strome and truck manager Allison Dolan look out from the service window on the truck. (File Photo)
Sylvan Lake’s Food Truck Thursdays expected to return with some changes

The Town is amending the Mobile Vending and Busking Bylaw which has a few changes for the event

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta confirms blood clot disorder death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been linked to VITT in a very small number of cases

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for kids 12 to 15 years old in Canada

The vaccine was previously authorized for anyone at least 16 years of age or older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to speakers appearing by video during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada will align policy on ‘vaccine passports’ with international allies: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canadians could begin travelling outside the country again by summer

Ranging from 11 to 20 in age and representing seven provinces and one territory, the plaintiffs are appealing a Supreme Court judge’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit last fall. (David Suzuki Foundation)
15 youths not backing down in their fight to sue Ottawa over climate change inaction

The group has filed an appeal after their lawsuit was struck down by a Federal Court judge last fall

A 2021 census questionnaire. (Black Press Media file photo)
2021 census responses due May 11

By law, every household must complete a census questionnaire

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi attends a senior’s home in Calgary on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Nenshi says he’s frustrated to hear that tickets given to people for breaching COVID-19 public health orders are being thrown out in the courts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘Incredibly frustrating:’ Calgary mayor wants courts to uphold COVID-19 measures

Large groups without masks have been gathering in Calgary public spaces in protest of health measures

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
NACI advice on ‘preferred vaccines’ for COVID-19 sparks confusion, anger

Panel said that people who can wait for an mRNA vaccine should do so

Michael Bonin, 20, from Alberta, was discovered deceased on Peers Creek Forest Service Road north of Hope on April 20, 2017. (Black Press Media)
1 of 3 accused in 2017 murder of Alberta man pleads guilty, sentenced to life in prison

Joshua Fleurant pleaded guilty in a Kelowna courtroom to the second-degree murder of Michael Bonin

Most Read