Refugee Task Force to Support Refugee Resettlement Efforts

Posted on Monday November 29, 2021

Waterloo Region –Afghan and other refugee resettlement in Waterloo Region

The Immigration Partnership (IP) Council is convening a Refugee Task Force to provide strategic and operational oversight to resettlement efforts across the region as the federal government works to bring 40,000 Afghans to Canada. As one of 34 resettlement locations for government assisted refugees in Canada and with a strong history of private refugee sponsorship, Waterloo Region is poised to welcome many new refugee families.

IP Council members from the Region of Waterloo and KW Multicultural Centre will chair the Task Force, which held its first meeting today. Inaugural members include settlement leads Reception House and YMCA Immigrant Services plus housing, education and health sector leaders. Since the federal initiative was announced, community partners have worked to address structural issues with systems leaders while getting the Task Force in place.

Around 200 refugees from Afghanistan have arrived in the region, plus refugees from other countries. About half have successfully moved to their first permanent homes with others spread across four temporary accommodation sites until appropriate housing can be secured.

“Everyone plays a vital role in ensuring the success of our efforts to welcome and support refugees in settling in the region. We worked as a community to welcome many Syrian refugees in 2015/16, and we will do the same again,” says Tara Bedard, Immigration Partnership Executive Director.

The Refugee Task Force will hold a regular meeting and communication cycle. Its work will unfold over many months as the federal government works to resettle 40,000 Afghans in complex circumstances.  Many volunteers are coming forward and community organizations like Reception House and others are working hard to meet the needs of families who are here and who will arrive. “We are leaning into what we know worked well during the Syrian initiative and figuring out what we need to do differently in light of changes in the community, the pandemic and the ongoing restrictions we face,” says Bedard.

Updates on Afghan and other refugee resettlement in Waterloo Region will be posted at


For more information, contact:
Tara Bedard, Executive Director
Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership  or 226.750.7640