Labour, business, faith and community groups joint statement in support of Syrian refugees

The Syrian refugee crisis has left more than four million people desperately seeking safety. It is a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportions, one which Canada has a responsibility to act on as quickly as possible.

We are representatives of Canadian unions, businesses, community and faith groups, united to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada and committed to playing a role in supporting their resettlement.

Together our organizations are sharing information nationally to best meet the areas of greatest need. We have also made it a priority to coordinate our local chapters and members to work together to support refugees at the community level.

We believe our country can support 25,000 people in need to build new lives, free of conflict. It’s the right thing to do, and the least we can do as a country.

Canada is a compassionate, caring nation with a long tradition of embracing diversity and showing humanitarian leadership. We must continue this tradition and demonstrate these values and principles in our approach to this crisis.

We are also excited about the possibilities for integrating refugees into our local economies. Canada has a history of welcoming refugees who have contributed to our economy, started businesses and created new jobs.

We recognize the importance of addressing the real short-term and ongoing needs of refugees as they settle and begin their lives as new Canadians. By working together – business, unions, faith and community groups – we can meet the incredible need that exists.

We are:

Bruce Anderson, Chairman of Abacus Data, and political columnist

The Hon. Ron Atkey, Chair HumanityWins and former Minister of Immigration

The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Stephen Bedard, Chair of the Federally Regulated Employers – Transportation and Communications

Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, United Church of Canada

Bernie M. Farber, Executive Director Mosaic Institute (past CEO Canadian Jewish Congress)

The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives

Jayson Myers, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO of the United Way

Loly Rico, President, Canadian Council for Refugees

Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada

Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress

Robyn Benson, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada

James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees

Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor

Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario

Mark Hancock, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees

Joe Mancinelli, International Vice-President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America

Paul Meinema, National President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers

David Ritchie, General Vice-President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives is proud to support Canada’s refugee resettlement initiative. Major employers from across the country are working with local and national organizations and all levels of government to best determine how to maximize aid for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada. Commitments to date include in-kind donations, donor-matching plans, employment programs, empowering employee volunteers and financial support.