Liberals Push Refugee Settlement Commitment To Next Year

Government aims to bring 10,000 refugees by Dec. 31, the remainder by March 2016.

OTTAWA – The Liberal government is extending its deadline to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by two months, setting the end of February 2016 as a new target date.

While unveiling details of the massive resettlement program today, the government said it will identify all 25,000 selected refugees by Dec. 31, 2015, but only 10,000 will arrive by year’s end.

Thousands of applicants now being processed for privately sponsored refugees will be included as part of that commitment, but they are in addition to the 3,089 Syrians who have already arrived in Canada between Jan. 1, 2014, and Nov. 3, 2015, reported CBC News.

Resettlement and integration supports will cost an estimated $678 million over six years.

The year-end deadline was an election campaign promise from the Liberal Party, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been under pressure to slow down the process to allow time for proper screening.

“Resettling refugees is a proud and important part of Canada’s humanitarian tradition. It reflects our commitment to Canadians and it demonstrates to the world that we have a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and fleeing persecution. Protecting the safety, security, and health of Canadians and refugees is a key factor in guiding the Government of Canada’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees as quickly as possible – while also taking the time to do it right. The Government’s plan will welcome 10,000 refugees by the end of the year, with the remaining 15,000 arriving by the end of February 2016,” Trudeau said on his facebook page.

Syrians will be coming to Canada from refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

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