Local Community Information

In the face of the expected influx of Syrian refugees to our local community we’re naturally getting a lot of questions, the most common being:

  • How are refugees screened before coming to Canada?
  • How many refugees are coming to our community?
  • When will they be arriving?
  • What are the accommodation arrangements going to be?
  • What is MAGMA doing and how can I help?

For a full explanation of Canada’s refugee screening process, check out this CBC story.

In regard to the next three questions, while the federal government announced the specifics of the program to get them to their initial destinations in Toronto and Montreal, they have provided no additional details of their subsequent reallocation to the various regions throughout Canada. In short, we are we are still waiting on the answers of how many are coming, when, and where they will be housed.

Therefore MAGMA is preparing for a number of potential scenarios and is working closely with the all three levels of government, local service providers, private organizations and community groups to get ready—the most important being coordinating the astonishing and touching outpouring of support from throughout the region.

We’ll need all the help we can get, and below you can see exactly how you can get involved in helping out, as well as get some background on Syria’s history, culture and the current crisis.

We thank you again for your immense support, and feel very proud to be part of such a welcoming, supportive and generous community.

Item Donation

Many of you have offered to donate items such as beds, toys and clothes, all of which are greatly appreciated. Since neither MAGMA nor the Red Cross have actual storage space to house donated items we have reached out to the key local organizations who do, and our good friends at Encore Boutique  have agreed to be the initial point of contact. They have been supplying clothing and other donations to our refugees at no cost for many years, and they will also be working with the other organizations to form a network of support as the Syrians arrive.

However as you can imagine, until the refugees start arriving locally, storing so many items will be a major issue and space is at a premium, so if you’re interested in making a donation please contact them directly on (506) 384-1853 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They’ll be in touch with you directly once the refugees are arriving and they’re in a position to start taking items. Until then we ask that you hold onto the items you’re offering.

Volunteer Support

Every person has specific talents and abilities to offer so we ask that those interested to review the different programs and then register as a volunteer. The registration process helps us to match offers of help to best suit our needs when the refugees arrive.


Accommodation will be certainly be needed, however until more details are released on the local plans we’re uncertain how many will be arriving, in what size family groups and when they’ll actually be arriving in our area.

In order to match the incoming refugee families with accommodation that will suit, please register in this database to let us know exactly what kind of place you have on offer.


Our experience with refugees is that they want to get to work and get to work fast, but face challenges with language barriers and foreign credential recognition. If you’d like to be part of the solution and have offers that would be suitable, please feel free to forward them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Private Sponsorship

1. What is a private sponsorship?


In order for refuges to be resettled in Canada, they must demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to support themselves and their dependents. If they do not personally have sufficient resources and they are not selected or do not qualify for government assistance, they can demonstrate adequate resources by private sponsorship: the support of individuals or a community group in Canada who are able to provide for refugees’ financial and non-financial needs during their first 12 months in Canada.


3. What are the responsibilities of private sponsors?


Private sponsors must complete a settlement plan that demonstrates their ability to provide financial and non-financial support to the sponsored refugee or refugee family for a period of 12 months.

Financial support includes sufficient funds for lodging, clothing, food and other necessities. The guideline is that the funds available must be at least equivalent to the amount of support provided under provincial social assistance programs.

Non-financial support includes connections with physicians, dentists, banks, schools, interpreters, language courses, transportation, job searches, and social and cultural support networks, etc.

2. Who can be a private sponsor?


There are several types of groups that can apply to be private sponsors:

  1. Sponsorship Agreement Holders (organizations holding formal agreements with the Government of Canada) or Constituent Groups who are authorized to work with Sponsorship Agreement Holders;
  2. Groups of 5 or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, at least 18 years or older, who live in the settlement community; and
  3. Community Sponsors: organizations or community groups who make an organizational commitment to sponsor.

More details regarding the criteria of each type can be found on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada


4. Where can I learn more about the private sponsorship process?


The website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides important information.

An overview of the private sponsorship process can be found here

The application forms for groups wishing to apply to become private sponsors can be found here.

5. What does it cost?

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program also provides this handy sheet to help with cost calculations.


Additional Resources for Private Sponsorship:

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program, which also has an excellent handbook.

Atlantic Baptist Intercultural Ministries Private Sponsorship


Financial Donation




Private Sponsorship

Background to Understanding the Current Situation in Syria

The political, social and religious reasons behind the conflict are incredibly complex. As refugees flooded into Europe, this video was created to help Europeans and the rest of the world have a simplified understanding of the situation.

Those interested in learning more about Syrian history and culture can look here.