Overseas operations shrinking for Syrian refugee resettlement as deadline nears

OTTAWA -- Overseas operations launched last year as part of the Liberal government's Syrian refugee resettlement program are winding down as the target date nears for the resettlement of 25,000 people.

See Full Article

The processing centre for security, health and identification checks in Turkey has now closed, one in Lebanon closes this week and the one in Jordan is not far behind as officials expect 25,000 Syrians to be in Canada by Monday.

"The last few months have been something unique and totally different from anything the government has ever done," Immigration Minister John McCallum said Wednesday.

"And so now it will be more, after the end of the month, still a very quick pace but nothing like the speed of what we've done."

However, the Immigration Department has not yet officially told the Canadian military to take down the preparations they've made to potentially house thousands of refugees at bases in Quebec and Ontario while they await permanent housing.

"We continue to stand by, if needed," said Evan Koronewski, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence.

Finding both temporary and permanent housing for the 23,000 Syrians who have landed in Canada as of late Tuesday has been the most immediate challenge for the Liberals' resettlement program.

The potential that some would be housed briefly at military bases was part of the program when it was rolled out last fall, and six were designated at sites for that purpose.

While just a few weeks ago, officials had been near-certain they'd have to use at least two, they stepped up efforts to find enough hotels rather than have to use the bases.

Over the weekend, hundreds of people were moved out of hotels in Toronto and Montreal where they'd been staying for weeks as the federal government managed to find space in their eventual destination cities.

More cities have also been designated as reception centres for government-assisted refugees.

On Wednesday, the government announced Leamington, Ont., Peterborough, Ont., and Brooks, Alta. will all now receive government funding in order to assist Syrians to settle in those three centres, bringing the total number of cities taking in government-assisted refugees to 27.

About 52 per cent of the refugees who've arrived to date in total have found permanent housing.

"It's normal that it doesn't happen overnight," McCallum said of the move into permanent homes, adding he is "almost certain" military bases will not end up being used.

One benefit of not needing to use them is that it will save money, McCallum said. The government has budgeted $678 million for the resettlement program.

Follow ?åòStephanieLevitz on Twitter



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • WikiLeaks praises Manning clemency but makes no mention of Assange pledge

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - WikiLeaks said President Barack Obama may have saved Chelsea Manning's life by granting clemency to the former Army intelligence analyst Tuesday. But the secret-spilling site said little about founder Julian Assange's promise that he would agree to extradition to the United States if Manning got clemency. Source
  • No comparison between rise of Trump and U.K. Brexit vote, says British envoy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Britain’s envoy to Canada says it is lazy to equate the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. to his country’s controversial decision to leave the European Union. High Commissioner Howard Drake said the British decision to stage a “Brexit” and leave the EU differs greatly from the so-called populist sentiment that propelled Trump to Washington and Friday’s presidential inauguration. Source
  • Chris Hadfield donates six-string to Guitars for Kids group

    Canada News CTV News
    A guitar that once belonged to Canadian astronaut-slash-galactic crooner Chris Hadfield has found a new home in an Ontario town. Hadfield tweeted last November that his old acoustic Yamaha was broken, thanks to a bridge that popped off, and that if anyone wanted to fix or donate it, “it’s yours. Source
  • Garland's sister tipped off police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Relatives of Douglas Garland, charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the disappearances of a five-year-old boy and his grandparents, are taking the stand on the second day of his trial. Crown lawyer Vicki Faulkner told the court Monday, that four days after the disappearance of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and Nathan O’Brien, police found a smouldering burn barrel on Douglas Garland's parents' farm. Source
  • Australia defends end of MH370 hunt; investigation continues

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s Transport Minister Darren Chester said on Wednesday that experts will continue analyzing data and scrutinizing debris washing ashore from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a bid to narrow down where it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. Source
  • Orlando nightclub gunman's wife knew about attack beforehand, court hears

    World News CBC News
    The widow of the Orlando nightclub gunman knew about the attack ahead of time, prosecutors said Tuesday as she appeared in court to face charges of aiding and abetting her husband in the months before the rampage last June that left 49 people dead. Source
  • Winnipeg waitress gets $1,000 tip [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Winnipeg woman who left a four-figure tip for a stressed-out server says she did so as a lesson to her young sons and as a full believer in the powers of karma. Lisa Holgate said she wanted to lead by example and let her three sons who were with her learn the power of generosity when she left a $1,000 tip for Jennifer Peitsch, a server at Mongo’s Grill on Regent Avenue, last Saturday. Source
  • Kids snatched three decades ago found, mom arrested

    World News Toronto Sun
    SCITUATE, R.I. — Two sisters who disappeared from Rhode Island with their mother in 1985 have been located in the Houston area, and their mother was charged with snatching them, police announced Tuesday. An anonymous tip two days before Christmas led police to Kimberly and Kelly Yates and their 69-year-old mother, Elaine, said Rhode Island State Police Lt. Source
  • German nationalist calls for end to Nazi guilt

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 06:37 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 06:40 PM EST Source
  • Elvis?!

    World News Toronto Sun
    FAha. You knew it all along. Elvis is alive. The proof is splashed across British newspapers and Facebook. “UNCANNY!” says the British Sun. “IS THE KING ALIVE?” The Daily Mail and others also picked up the story, which debuted on a Facebook page, where else, called Evidence Elvis is Alive. Source