Feds target of resettling 10K Syrian refugees could be met on Tuesday

OTTAWA -- Tuesday could be the day that the influx of Syrian refugees hits the 10,000 mark, but resettlement groups are now looking far beyond that milestone.

See Full Article

Flight arrival data on the Immigration Department's website suggests the 10,000th Syrian will arrive on one of two flights bound for Toronto on Tuesday though the department could not confirm that number.

"We expect to achieve our goal of welcoming 10,000 Syrian refugees to Canada this week," said spokesman Remi Lariviere in an e-mail, but he added that information online is still subject to change.

In November, the Liberals said 10,000 Syrians, mostly privately sponsored, would arrive by the end of 2015, but failed to meet that target.

They say 25,000 Syrians in total should be here by the end of February and then a further 10,000 government-assisted Syrian refugees will come by the end of 2016.

What's unclear is how many more privately sponsored refugees will be accepted after the end of February.

There are upwards of two hundred applications a week being submitted by private groups looking to sponsor Syrians, said Chris Friesen, the president of the Canadian Immigration Settlement Sector Alliance.

But nobody knows how those applications will be treated without knowing the government's overall immigration plan for 2016, he said.

Ordinarily, the government sets a range of privately sponsored refugees it will accept from around the world each year, but it's unclear whether the Syrian program will be part of that or on top of it.

"I'm assuming the government has a range, a target, as part of the 2016 plan but all of this impacts funding going into the next fiscal year, particularly settlement support, because some regions of the country have significant wait-lists for some or all settlement programming," he said.

The levels plan is contained in the legally mandated annual report on immigration. It lays out how many immigrants in all categories the government anticipates accepting each year.

"That 2016 immigration level plan is going to be critically important for everybody," said Friesen.

"Are we talking about a pre-existing number of 250,00 to 260,000, but we've rearranged the focus towards more humanitarian at the expense of economic class? Or are we talking about increasing the overall numbers? And how does this play into 2017 planning?"

The report is supposed to be tabled by Nov. 1, but the election delayed its release. The law says that if the House of Commons is not sitting on Nov. 1, the report must be tabled within 30 sitting days after the Commons meets.

It also usually preceded by public consultations as the government seeks input from the private sector and from the provinces on what their capacity and demand is for new residents in a given year.

This year, consultations don't appear to have taken place.

A spokesman for Ontario's Immigration minister says the 2016 plan did come up in ministers' meetings in December, but there have been no formal talks yet with the federal government.

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister John McCallum did not return a request for comment.

Opposition immigration critic Michelle Rempel said the complex nature of the plan makes consultation essential. The number of immigrants affects everything from schools to the labour force and consultation is necessary to know what the system can absorb, she said.

"It's surprising that they wouldn't consult but it's not surprising that they're flying by the seat of their pants on the immigration portfolio and I think this is indicative of things to come," she said.

As of Jan. 7, 7,671 Syrians had arrived in Canada, according to the latest available data on the Immigration Department's website.

About half are privately sponsored, the rest assisted by government or by a combination of both. The Liberals had said the 10,000 slated to arrive by the end of 2015 would be mostly privately sponsored.

The military is gearing up for the arrival of greater numbers of government-assisted refugees in the coming days.

Unlike refugees with private sponsors, arriving government-assisted refugees do not immediately have homes to go to. So, three Canadian Forces bases -- Valcartier in Quebec and Kingston and Borden in Ontario -- are expected to house thousands of people, potentially beginning later this week.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump's 'big, beautiful' border wall faces many roadblocks

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the "big, beautiful wall" that he's promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. Source
  • German minister 'speechless' over Erdogan rhetoric

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- A senior German official says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rhetoric in the standoff with European countries ahead of his country's April 16 referendum is causing damage that will take years to repair. Source
  • Russian opposition leader arrested amid wave of corruption protests

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Thousands of people crowded into Moscow's Pushkin Square on Sunday for an unsanctioned protest against the Russian government, part of a wave of demonstrations taking place throughout the country. Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is leading the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, was arrested while walking from a nearby subway station to the demonstration, according to Associated Press journalists at the scene. Source
  • Syrian opposition urges U.S. to spare Raqqa civilians

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- A leading Syrian opposition group is calling on the U.S.-led coalition to stop targeting residential areas in and around Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital. The Syrian National Coalition says it is "increasingly concerned" about civilian casualties in the campaign against the extremist group. Source
  • China-friendly Carrie Lam chosen as Hong Kong leader

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- The candidate favoured by China's Communist leadership was chosen as Hong Kong's new leader on Sunday, in the first such vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the semiautonomous Chinese city's election system in 2014. Source
  • Cincinnati, Ohio nightclub shooting leaves 1 dead, 14 wounded

    World News CBC News
    Fifteen people were shot, one fatally, at a packed nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, early on Sunday. The shooting took place around 1 a.m. when hundreds of people were reported to be at the Cameo Nightlife club, which the Cincinnati Police Department said has had "multiple problems" in the past. Source
  • Dozens detained in anti-corruption protests across Russia

    World News CBC News
    Several dozen people were detained in protests across Russia on Sunday, after the opposition urged people to take to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on his website that more than 80 towns and cities across Russia would hold protests on Sunday and that authorities had not sanctioned the majority of the rallies. Source
  • Grenade attack leaves 4 dead, many wounded in Philippines

    World News CTV News
    JOLO, Philippines -- At least four people were killed and 23 others wounded in a grenade attack in the southern Philippines that appears to be unrelated to terrorism, officials said Sunday. Army Col. Cirilito Sobejana said the attacker was arrested following the late Saturday grenade blast in Busbus village near the domestic airport in Sulu province's Jolo town. Source
  • 1 dead, 14 injured in Cincinnati nightclub shooting

    World News CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- At least two people opened fire inside a crowded nightclub early Sunday morning, killing one person and wounding more than a dozen others in what authorities described as a chaotic scene. It was not clear what prompted the shooting at the Cameo club about 1:30 a.m. Source
  • Encrypted social media 'secret place for terrorists' to communicate, U.K. minister says

    World News CBC News
    British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday end-to-end encryption of messages offered by services like Whatsapp are "completely unacceptable" and there should be no "secret place for terrorists to communicate." Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge last Wednesday, killing four people and wounding several others. Source