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

  • China should allow Nobel laureate to seek treatment abroad: U.S. envoy

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - The new U.S. ambassador to Beijing said Wednesday that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo should be allowed to receive treatment outside China after he was diagnosed with cancer while in prison for advocating democratic reforms. Source
  • Montreal man back in U.S. court over airport stabbing

    World News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. - A Canadian man accused of stabbing an airport police officer in Flint, Michigan, is returning to court to learn if he'll remain in custody. Amor Ftouhi is unlikely to be granted bond Wednesday because the charge is serious and he lives outside the U.S. Source
  • Review board wants another look at decision in Keith Lamont Scott killing case

    World News CTV News
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A review board Tuesday found "substantial evidence of error" in a North Carolina police department’s decision that the fatal shooting of a black man by an officer last year was justified and scheduled another hearing on the matter in August. Source
  • Man dies in hospital after being shot in apartment by Montreal police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    THE CANADIAN PRESS First posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:38 AM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:44 AM EDT Source
  • FBI agent indicted over Oregon refuge standoff shooting

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. - An FBI agent has been indicted on accusations that he lied about firing at a rancher in 2016 when officers arrested leaders of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon. Source
  • Trump administration plans border wall models in summer

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO - The agency in charge of U.S. border security plans to start building prototypes for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico later this summer. Ronald Vitiello, Customs and Border Protection’s acting deputy commissioner, said Tuesday that four to eight companies will get contracts for prototypes in San Diego that could be models for the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometre) border. Source
  • Activists take step to recall judge in Brock Turner sex assault case

    World News CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO - Activists seeking to recall a judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman say they believe voters will still support the effort even if it appears on the ballot two years after the trial. Source
  • Iran accuses U.S. of 'brazen' plan to change its government

    World News CTV News
    Iran is accusing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of "a brazen interventionist plan" to change the current government that violates international law and the UN Charter. Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Tuesday that Tillerson's comments are also "a flagrant violation" of the 1981 Algiers Accords in which the United States pledged "not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal…
  • Major security measures for Ottawa's Canada 150 bash amid ISIS threat

    Canada News CTV News
    More than 500,000 revelers are expected to flock to Parliament Hill Saturday to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, and heightened security will be in place across the capital to ensure the party goes off without a hitch. Source
  • One Hong Kong, two sentiments after 20 years of Chinese rule

    World News CTV News
    Hong Kong is planning a big party as it marks 20 years under Chinese rule. But many people in the former British colony are not in the mood to celebrate. Fireworks, a gala variety show and Chinese military displays are among the official events planned to coincide with a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping starting Thursday for the occasion. Source