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

  • Duterte threatens to arrest Filipinos who refuse vaccination

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- The Philippine president has threatened to order the arrest of Filipinos who refuse COVID-19 vaccination and told them to leave the country if they would not cooperate with the efforts to contain the pandemic. Source
  • Vaccinated Brits could be back on Europe's beaches soon: minister

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain is working on easing travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated to allow people to enjoy a summer holiday on Europe's beaches but the plans are not finalized yet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday. Source
  • U.S. watchdog: Nursing home deaths up 32 per cent in 2020 amid pandemic

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims. Source
  • U.S. official to address legacy of Indigenous boarding schools

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other federal officials are expected Tuesday to announce steps the federal government plans to take to reconcile the troubled legacy of boarding school policies on Indigenous families and communities. Source
  • Kim sister derides U.S. official, dismisses chances for talks

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dismissed prospects for an early resumption of diplomacy with the United States, saying Tuesday that U.S. expectations of talks would "plunge them into a greater disappointment. Source
  • Trump Organization sues NYC after golf course contract canceled in wake of U.S. Capitol attack

    World News CTV News
    The Trump Organization on Monday sued the city of New York after it ended its contract for a golf course at Ferry Point Park in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. Source
  • This year's National Indigenous Peoples Day one of reflection and change

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Twenty five years ago, Indigenous groups and Canada set aside June 21 to recognize and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, but the painful revelation that the remains of 215 children were buried in unmarked graves at a residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Source
  • Children by the thousands forced to act as soldiers, victimized by war in 2020

    World News CBC News
    More than 8,500 children were used as soldiers last year in various conflicts across the world and nearly 2,700 others were killed, the United Nations said on Monday. UN chief Antonio Guterres's annual report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict covers the killing, maiming and sexual abuse of children, abduction or recruitment, denial of aid access and targeting of schools and hospitals. Source
  • N.B. premier says provinces discussing July for border reopening

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the provinces are talking about July for the Canada-U.S. border to reopen. Higgs told CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Monday that July 21 is “in the realm” of that timeframe. Source
  • Driver says he is devastated by fatal Pride parade crash

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- The 77-year-old driver who accidentally slammed his truck into fellow members of a gay chorus group, killing one and injuring two others, said Monday that he was devastated by the crash at the start of a Pride parade in South Florida. Source