Cornwall staff recommend Syrian Refugee Task Force

Cornwall Coun. Bernadette Clement during an August 2015 council meeting. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – It looks like city council will likely push ahead with Coun. Bernadette Clement’s suggestion to strike a Syrian Refugee Task Force.

City staff are recommending the task force be led by council with the support of city administration.

Cornwall hasn’t been formally picked to settle Syrian refugees and wasn’t identified in the first round of host communities.

But it’s been widely speculated that Nav Center may be used by the federal government as a lodging site for refugees.

The city believes coordinating philanthropic efforts locally will be crucial.

“Many residents wish to provide items and funding to help but do not have the information necessary to make the most of their generosity. Likewise, volunteers are looking for a way to give of their time, but lack the knowledge of where best to apply it,” writes Myles Cassidy, general manager of shared services.

Meanwhile, the city’s economic development department is working on an “municipal immigration portal”, to be launched early next year, which will help Syrian refugees settle in Cornwall.

The task force is not expected to cost the city any money. “Potentially, staff time, meeting materials and meeting space will be the sum of expenses,” states a report before city council Monday night.

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