Targets for Syrian refugee program shifting

OTTAWA -- Targets for the Liberal government's Syrian refugee program are shifting again, with officials saying today that the 25,000 planned arrivals by end of February may not break down as expected.

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A plan rolled out last fall had the Liberals aiming to bring 10,000 Syrians to Canada through private sponsorship and a further 15,000 under government assistance by the end of February.

There is also a program that blends the two programs, but a target was never set in that category.

Officials say the final tally is more likely to see 17,000 Syrians arrive under the government and mixed program and 8,000 with private sponsors.

They remain confident there will be 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of next month, though one official notes they are glad for the extra day this leap year provides.

The original Liberal commitment had been to resettle 25,000 Syrians under the government-assisted program and work with private sponsors to bring in even more.



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