Canada's Syrian refugee plan limited to women, children, families

Nov 24, 2015, 01:17
Canada's Syrian refugee plan limited to women, children, families

The government plans to limit its intake of Syrian refugees to women, children and families, Canada's public broadcaster has revealed. From there they would be transported to two military bases in Ontario and Quebec, where they would be temporarily housed, the reports said.

The total cost of the program is expected to be $1.2 billion over six years.

The government has so far been mum about both the kind of security screening it is doing and whether it will be limited to refugee camps overseas, or whether some of it will take place in Canada.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR estimates that more than four million Syrians have fled the civil war that has ravaged their country and reportedly killed more than 250,000 people.

Though the government has already been working to process incoming refugees, officials are expected to release more detailed information about the plan by Tuesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to bring in 25,000 refugees by the end of the year, however, his administration has come under increased pressure to ensure security during the screening process, especially after the terrorist attacks in France.

Canadian colleges also announced 200 scholarships to help Syrian asylum seekers sharpen their skills and find work in Canada.

On Monday, Trudeau is meeting with the premiers of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories to discuss, among other matters, the distribution of Syrian settlements.

Trudeau broadly outlined his intention to take in the Syrian refugees during the campaign that swept his Liberals into office last month, and has mobilized several government ministries to get the job done since being sworn in three weeks ago. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, while assuring Canadians that the government is up to the task of balancing security with swift humanitarian action, has said some security checks may be completed after the refugees' arrival in Canada.

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