Canada to double refugee admissions in 2016

Canada plans to increase refugee intake up to 57,000 by end of 2016

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

A file photo by Canada’s Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on November 24, 2015.

Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum said on Tuesday that Canada aims to take in up to 57,000 refugees this year, double the number from 2015.

"Our plan will not only support our efforts at welcoming Syrian refugees across 2016, but will also help us to... welcome refugees from other countries of the world," he told a press conference to unveil the government's new immigration targets.

By the end of 2016 Canada will have welcomed between 280,000 and 305,000 new permanent residents, including the refugees, he noted and added that this is up seven percent from last year’s plan and “the highest number of projected immigration admissions put forth by the government of Canada in modern times."

The government has called for reuniting more families by allowing in 80,000 people with Canadian family ties, up from 68,000 last year.

The number of “economic migrants”, which represents traditionally the largest group, is expected to fall by 10 percent this year to a bit more than 160,000.

Admission of refugees became a political issue in Canada during last year's election campaigns, that ended with Trudeau’s victory in October.

The new government came to power on a promise to accept more Syrian refugees and Canada welcomed more than 26,000 Syrian refugees over the past three months and is processing asylum bids for another 12,000 refugees living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refugees after they arrived in Toronto from Beirut, Lebanon in December 2015.


TRTWorld and agencies