Monday March 14, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 11:25 am]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Last Thursday Premier John Horgan said that Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside is working on finding ways for BC schools to accommodate a sudden influx of students from Ukraine.
Island Social Trends inquired with the Ministry of Education about this. “The Province will support all school age refugee students to attend BC’s public schools,” was the response received today.
Ministry of Education on settling refugees:
The Ministry of Education says it hopes to have more information about all supports very soon, and further says:
“The federal government hasn’t put any limits on the number of people from Ukraine who are eligible to apply for a visa so we are unsure at this time how many will come to B.C. When they do arrive, they may settle wherever they choose.”
“Refugees usually receive settlement supports through federal programs, but this situation is unique because the Ukrainians will arrive with temporary status. We are working closely with the federal government to coordinate our efforts so that the right supports are in place.”
“We know there is a large and vibrant Ukrainian diaspora in British Columbia and there may be many Ukrainians with family here whom they want to reunite with temporarily or permanently.”
“We are also working in collaboration with local agencies to make sure that we do everything we can to house, protect and care for as many individuals and families as we can.”
Helping out in SD62:
Meanwhile, here in the west shore, we asked the local Sooke School District SD62 (with schools in Langford, Colwood and Sooke but students incoming as well from Metchosin, East Sooke, and west of Sooke out to Port Renfrew, as well as parts of View Royal), as to any preparations that are being made for incoming Ukrainian refugee children to attend school after they arrive and settle.
“We have not been approached as of yet in regards to educational support for Ukrainian refugees,” said SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson.
“The Sooke School District is prepared to assist refugee families with school-aged children settle and integrate into our schools and communities,” it was stated by the school district today.
In previous years, SD62 has assisted with the settling and schooling of refugee children during previous international crises.
West shore MLA:
Premier John Horgan is the MLA for the west shore region (Langford-Juan de Fuca) in which much of SD62 is situated.
He mentioned last week that some people from within his faith community are busy ‘renovating basements’ and making ready other rooms in their homes in the event that accommodation is required for incoming refugees.
Horgan on Ukrainian refugee crisis: housing & K12 (March 11, 2022)
Ukrainians cross (March 11, 2022)
Canadians offering support for Ukraine (and BC donating to Red Cross) (February 26, 2022)
Streamline and speed up handling of Ukraine refugees says NDP (February 25, 2022)