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Upper Canada District School Board contacted about housing refugees

The Upper Canada District School Board has been approached to help with the recent flow of refugees from across the American border.

Representatives at the Upper Canada District School Board say they have had discussions with the Ontario Ministry of Education about backup plans in case they run out of space to house asylum seekers in while being screened for permanent entry into the country. Ministry of Education officials contacted all four schoolboards that serve the Cornwall area last Thursday to tell them the Federal Government and Government of Ontario are making plans they could be involved in.

Upper Canada District School Board officials say nothing was requested of the school board during the call and it was just for informational purposes. They add that during their discussions they assured the ministry the province could count on the school board’s cooperation during the province’s time of need.

School Board Chair Jeff McMillan says the school board has direct experience in supporting their schools and school communities who were preparing to receive Syrian refugees during 2015-2016 and they will apply their understanding from that experience to assist any families who are new to Canada.

All school boards in the region are expected to receive updates once there are further developments on the plans.

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