McCallum: No guarantee 10,000 Syrian refugees will arrive in Canada by year end

Immigration Minister John McCallum said he can’t guarantee that the federal government will be able to meet its goal of bringing in 10,000 refugees by the end of the year.

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Speaking at a briefing on Wednesday, McCallum said 10,000 refugees will be “verified” by Dec. 31, but not all will be on Canadian soil.

McCallum said such factors as poor flying weather, as well as other circumstances, could prevent the government from meeting its goal.

“If there’s bad weather, or people wanting to delay their flight, then it’s much more difficult to deal with that over a period of eight days rather than a period of 60 days,” McCallum said.

However, McCallum said he is “confident” that Ottawa will meet its overall target to resettle refugees “well before” the end of February.

As of Dec. 21, 1,869 refugees had landed in Canada. Three more flights carrying Syrian refugees are scheduled to land before Dec. 31.

In his briefing, McCallum said that public servants in Lebanon and Jordan are working to “hit the target that we set.”

A flight carrying 298 Syrian refugees is expected to land in Montreal on Wednesday evening.

Another planeload of refugees is departing on Christmas Day, and is expected to arrive in Canada on Dec. 26.

McCallum also announced that the federal government would be allocating an additional $15 million to Canadian resettlement agencies.



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