Canada delays resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees

Canada to take 10,000 Syrian refugees by end of year, another 15,000 by end of February

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Thousands of refugees fleeing war

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of this year, but the Canadian government announced today that the new target is to shift 10,000 people to Canada by the end of the year adding that the rest of the 15,000 refugees will be taken in by the end of February.

"Canadians have said do this right and if it takes a little longer to do it, then take the time," Immigration Minister John McCallum told a press conference.

"And so essentially this is what we are going to be doing," McCallum added. 

A sum of 54 percent of Canadians are opposed to the operation to host refugees in the next six weeks, while 42 percent strongly support the plan, recent polls have shown.

Canada says it will give importance to refugee families, including women in vulnerable positions, or men who are gay.

"We have a responsibility to significantly expand our refugee targets and give more victims of war a safe haven in Canada," Trudeau said in a statement. "The resettling of vulnerable refugees is a clear demonstration of this."

According to the plan, all 25,000 refugees will be sponsored and identified by December 31 from lists which will be prepared by the UN refugee agency and the government of Turkey.

Moreover, government officials promise to provide health and security to refugees, to assist with transportation to Canada, and also to build special camps for them.

Refugees will go to 36 "destination" cities, 12 of them in Quebec.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canadian military transports also stand ready to assist in the massive airlift.

According to officials, the cost of this plan will be amount of Can $678 million over six years.

The UN refugee agency predicts that over 4 million Syrians have escaped from the civil war and more than 250,000 people has been killed. Canada takes approximately 250,000 refugees from around the world each year.

"We want them to have a roof over their head," McCallum said.

"We want them to have the right supports for language training and for all the other things that they need to begin their life here in Canada, and it takes a bit of time to put all of that in place."

TRTWorld and agencies