In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre

Research Report Released on the Settlement of the Syrian Refugees in Ottawa

November 17, 2017

Ottawa (November 21, 2017) ­­– The Local Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) today released a research report titled: The Arrival and Settlement of Syrian Refugees in Ottawa – System Responses, Lessons Learned and Future Directions. With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, OLIP spearheaded this research initiative to create a common understanding of the successes and challenges of the community-wide effort to settle the Syrian refugees in Ottawa and learning from this experience.

In 2015 and 2016, more than 2,000 Syrian refugees arrived in Ottawa. Although refugees arrive in our city every year, this influx of a large number of refugees in a very short time period represented an exceptional situation. “There was a vast and varied network of agencies and organizations that had a hand in welcoming and settling Syrian refugees, and they crossed many sectors,” said Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP. “The settlement sector was naturally key, but it was not alone; housing, education, employment, health and three levels of government were all involved.”

The research highlighted a large number of successes in the community response to Syrian refugees. “As part of Ottawa’s Syrian refugee response, there were excellent partnerships, an exceptional commitment and level of effort from service providers, even when funding and resources were not commensurate with the task,” adds Ms. Mohamoud.

Partnerships and collaborations criss-crossed this array of actors, including established collaboration tables and new relationships were formed. Many new practices and adaptation of existing services and programs took place in response to meet the unique needs of Syrian refugees, and the innovation and flexibility of service providers was noteworthy. The public response to the arrival of the refugees was overwhelming – more than $900,000 was raised locally and over 5,000 community members offered their help as volunteers.

There were challenges and important lessons that were learned, both from the successes and from the setbacks. The lessons learned, and the possible directions for the future flowing from them, were grouped into seven main areas in the research report:

  1. Strengthen collaboration capacity within and across sectors.
  2. Develop a local settlement and integration strategy that is focused on newcomer youth.
  3. Address service gaps and funding shortfalls
  4. Ensure equity and fairness in policies, programs, and investments.
  5. Improve the policy environment that governs supports for refugees.
  6. Leverage and strengthen community and public engagement.
  7. Undertake a complementary local research that documents the experience of the Syrian refugees in their first year of arrival in Ottawa.

To download a full copy of the research report, click here. A summary of the report is available here.


Suzanne Charest, Communications Officer, OLIP
613-232-9634, ext. 318