C-K part of asylum project

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(Image courtesy Defend International)Chatham-Kent is working with the federal government as Canada fulfils its international obligations to those who are seeking asylum.

As a welcoming community, municipal officials expressed interest in helping, and has the capacity to provide the necessary supports for this initial pilot.

Chatham-Kent will begin with just a few families. Municipal officials say this will give the chance to see how families settle and allow the municipality and the federal government to learn what works best when settling families into smaller municipalities.

The five families arriving in Chatham-Kent indicated at the border their intention to live in Ontario, and have chosen our community as the place to settle with their children.

The individuals and families arriving in Chatham are asylum seekers who will be assessed by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to determine their eligibility to remain in Canada. The federal government has booked rooms for the families in a Chatham-Kent hotel for the next eight weeks to avoid any unintended impact to local emergency housing capacity while the families work to find longer-term housing solutions in the community.

Adult Language and Learning will provide settlement services to the families, including assisting each family to access the community supports available to them in Chatham-Kent.

Adult Language and Learning is Chatham-Kent’s settlement service provider. They are a vital piece of the settlement process for any family seeking to immigrate and resettle in Chatham-Kent.

April Rietdyk, Chatham-Kent General Manager, Community Human Services, said the municipality has been working with the Federal Government to ensure a smooth transfer for the individuals.

“I met with each family on their arrival to Chatham and spent time with them over the weekend,” she said in a media release. “They cannot express enough how thankful they are for the kindness and compassion shown to them over their first few days in Chatham-Kent.”

General media inquiries about the transit pilot or the asylum system can be directed to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s media relations.

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