Site icon Mayor Cam Guthrie

Refugee Settlement Within #Guelph – Our City Will Help

A young migrant's hair becomes stuck while crawling under a barbed fence with her family at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke, on August 27, 2015. As Europe struggles with its worst migrant crisis since World War II, Hungary has become, like Italy and Greece, a "frontline" state. So far this year, police say around 141,500 migrants have been intercepted crossing into Hungary, mostly from neighbouring Serbia. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

There are a handful of people in our city that have been telling me that we shouldn’t be helping any refugees.

To those that are still not hearing my response clear enough and to those that continue to put down the plans that the city, private groups and citizens have – to save people’s lives – I’ll state it loud and clear yet again:


The most common comment I hear is “you should be helping those within our own city, not people from half-way around the world.” –  We aren’t a city of this “OR” that. Guelph is a city where we can do this “AND” that.

I also found a quote last week that sums up this situation perfectly for me:

We are blaming a refugee crisis for terrorism, when we really should be blaming terrorism for a refugee crisis.”

With news growing over the last two months of several local communities, faith groups and now citizens like Jim Estill sponsoring families to come to our city, I felt it was important to explore a city-wide approach to the settlement of these families that will eventually arrive.

This is why on Dec 7th I will be bringing forward a notice of motion for council to consider (on Dec 14th):

“That the City of Guelph explore ways of working within and outside the City of Guelph on resources, services, programs or placement opportunities for refugees.”

This council already has approved $5100 towards helping to sponsor refugees but it’s time (council willing) we think beyond money and start thinking about how our city will embrace them, provide for them and to help them integrate into one of the best cities in the world. If there’s any city that can do this, it’s Guelph!

There are many pictures of this tragedy that have brought me to my knees. This collection of photos is some of them.

I encourage all Guelphites to step up and support such a noble and life saving/changing cause as this.

Thank you,


P.S – An Update: I recently discussed this issue with Lloyd Longfield a few days ago as our federal representative. He is working on this file locally too, and understands the value in coordinating our collective efforts to help those arriving here. It’s great to have all levels of government working on this so well.

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