City of Surrey

The City of Surrey is the lead agency for the Surrey LIP and in late March 2014 the City signed a Contribution Agreement with Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC)  to establish the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership. The City plays a convener and facilitator role and will be responsible for the implementation phase of the project together with other 30 member organizations of the Surrey LIP Committee.

Council Corporate Reports: Surrey LIP Updates

Why does the City lead the Surrey LIP?

While cities have always been “the first point of contact” for newcomers, historically, immigration in Canada has been under federal jurisdiction. However, with a dramatic influx of immigrants in the last decades, Canadian municipalities are increasingly facing challenges to effectively respond to the emerging needs of new residents.  As a result, some Canadian municipalities, in consultations with community stakeholders, are introducing innovative local approaches to immigrant integration, such as Local Immigration Partnerships.

The City of Surrey has a history of being involved in a variety of local and provincial collaborative initiatives aimed to improve social well-being of local residents. In 2012-2013, the City acted as the lead agency for the Welcoming Communities Program (WCP) funded through Welcome BC – the Province’s strategic framework for settlement services and welcoming communities’ initiatives. Over 25 local stakeholders came together as the Surrey Welcoming Communities Committee (SWCC) to collaboratively develop and implement a Welcoming Communities Action Plan. As a result of the Surrey WCP, a number of  tools and resources have been developed to help Surrey-based organizations to integrate immigrants and refugees. Through the LIP project, the City continues to build on the work of the SWCC.

City of Surrey's Petition To Cancel Transportation Loan Program for Refugees

As part of its international humanitarian commitment, Canada sponsors Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) that are in urgent need of protection. Canada is the only country worldwide that issues interest bearing loans to Government Assisted Refugees to cover their pre-entry medical examination and transportation costs to resettle in Canada.

The burden of the transportation loans is having a detrimental impact on thousands of Government Assisted Refugees and on Canadian society, undermining these refugees’ ability to integrate and to contribute their full potential in their new homes.

The City of Surrey put forward a Resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities’ Annual Convention in October 2009, calling for the termination of the transportation loan program for refugees. The Resolution was endorsed by all BC municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ National Board of Directors.

Sign the petition in support of eliminating the Government Assisted Refugee Transportation Loan. Print and sign the petition and return the original copy to: Councillor Judy Villeneuve, City of Surrey, 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3T 1V8