One Canadian businessman decided he could do more for desperate Syrians fleeing their war-torn country. So he bankrolled an Ontario town’s resettlement of over 200 refugees.
Jim Estill was growing frustrated.
Over the summer of 2015, the business executive from the southwestern Ontario town of Guelph watched the Syrian refugee crisis unfold a half a world away, night after night on the evening news.
“I didn’t think people were doing enough things fast enough,” he says.
So Estill, chief executive of home appliance company Danby, devised a plan.
He would put up CA$1.5m (US$1.1m/£910,000) of his own money to bring over 50 refugee families to Canada, and co-ordinate a community-wide effort to help settle them into their new life.
It would be a volunteer-driven project, but organised like a business. Volunteer directors led multiple teams, each in charge of a different aspect of settling newcomers.
Canada allows private citizens, along with …