Syrian refugees: Target of 10,000 to see 2-week delay
However, Liberals still on track to welcome 25,000 refugees by end of February
The Honourable John McCallum PC, MP, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, has advised that while the Government anticipates meeting its target of welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February, it appears that there is going to be a two-week delay in meeting the target of 10,000 privately-sponsored refugees by the end of the calendar year. (The Government also says it is on-track to meet the target of 25,000 government-sponsored refugees by the end of 2016.)
800 more refugees are reportedly arriving on three flights at some point today.
I agree with the minister when he suggests that Canadians should think about whether it is more important that we focus on welcoming these new refugees onto Canadian soil and assisting the refugee settlement efforts, rather than focusing on intermediate deadlines when the Government is still on track to meet its longer-term commitments.
Delays and challenges faced by the Government in the resettlement effort have included:
- securing assistance from the governments of Lebanon and Turkey
- slow start to medical screenings for refugees
- building capacity in the ministry to process cases
- timing conflicts in the actual movement of refugees
Source: Syrian refugees: Liberals say they are 2 weeks away from 10,000 arrivals at year end (CBC)