Ten thousand Syrian refugees to arrive by end of year, 15,000 more by March
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
In the past week, there have been several updates regarding Canada’s intake of Syrian refugees.
The first came on November 22, two days prior to an official address from Ottawa, regarding who would be prioritized amongst the refugees that would be coming to Canada.
Priority on the arriving refugees will be placed on children, families, single women, and those who fall under the LGBTQ spectrum.
On November 24, the Liberal government released an update on the plan. They confirmed the previous reports on which demographics would be prioritized, but they also announced that they would not be meeting their original goal to accept 25,000 refugees by the end of the year—but rather, by the end of March.
“We need to make sure it’s done right,” Trudeau said to CBC. “The question that we’ve always had at the front of our mind as we were moving forward is ensuring that these 25,000 refugees have as successful a path as possible.”
So what are the specific details on the process that will bring 25,000 new people to Canada?
The first step involves identifying those who would benefit the most from resettling in Canada. The federal government has been working closely with the United Nations to best identify Syria’s most vulnerable. These refugees are then asked if they would be interested in moving to Canada.
From there, the eligible refugees are screened for health and safety purposes. Health screenings will check for communicable diseases, while security screenings will include biometrics and fact checking with several agencies. If the applicant passes these screenings, they will be offered a permanent resident visa.
The third step will be transporting the refugees to Canada, while the fourth will involve the immediate reception of the refugees. They will arrive in either Toronto or Montreal, where they will go through a secondary screening to confirm the information obtained through the original screening. If everything checks out, they will be moved to different communities across the country.
The final step involves helping the new residents settle and integrate into Canadian life. They may qualify for up to a year of government support while looking for work and registering children for school.
The total costs of the plan will cost between $533–642 million.
There is a divide to split the costs of the plan, and 15,000 refugees will be sponsored by the government, while 10, 000 will be privately sponsored.
Trudeau expressed confidence in the plan, seeming optimistic that the refugees will contribute to a better Canada.
“This is not just about welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees, this is about welcoming 25,000 new Canadians.”