Canadian Immigration Minister says it is difficult to meet government’s goal of resettling 10,000 refugees by end of 2015

By on
RTX1VOW5
Canada's Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada November 24, 2015. Reuters/Chris Wattie

Canada’s Immigration Minister John McCallum said on Wednesday that Canada’s plans of bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year may not come to fruition. He said that by the end of the year, 10,000 Syrian refugees will be identified as certified Canadian permanent residents, but the government is still unsure whether the refugees would be able to set their foot on Canadian soil within that time as promised.

“It’s certainly not guaranteed,” McCallum said. “There are human and weather complications that it is impossible for me to confirm with certainty. We are moving heaven and Earth to get them here as quickly as we can.”

McCallum pointed at a number of factors like unfriendly weather conditions and refugees wanting to bid their families and friends goodbye, which are beyond the control of the government, as contributing to the delay. He said that initially there was a “good chance” for achieving the goal by the end of the year, but given the present situation, there are only eight days left to bring in 8,000 refugees.

However, he said that the government is still working on its goal of resettling 25,000 refugees before February.

“We are sticking to our target of 10,000 by the end of the year, but there are challenges and it’s less possible to guarantee that than it is the 25,000 target, but we are still committed to it and we are still working very hard to achieve it,” he said.

The Star reported that even as he spoke, 298 refugees were airbound to Montreal, which would bring the total number of admitted refugees so far to 2,167.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vouched during the election campaigns that brought him to power that the Liberal government would resettle 25,000 refugees in Canada by the end of 2015. The deadline was extended to the end of February last month. Trudeau said he is confident that the goal will be reached well before the deadline and said that by Dec. 31, the government will bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.