Despite committing itself to welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees by January 2016, Canada’s government unveiled a slightly less ambitious resettlement program earlier this week.
While the Trudeau government insists it remains committed to fulfilling both objectives, Liberal ministers have introduced a slightly altered plan to the public, including an updated timeline and increased reliance on private sponsorships. Under the new plan, Canada’s government will increase efforts to resettle 10,000 refugees by December 31, with a promise for another 15,000 by the end of February 2016.
In a second announcement on November 26, the Trudeau government announced an additional $100 million in humanitarian assistance funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order “to help respond to pressing needs, including shelter, protection, education and health for those affected by the Syrian crisis.”
Read more: How Canadians Can Privately Sponsor Refugees
Over the coming weeks, the government will prioritize processing the applications of privately sponsored refugees, under a program that allows Canadian citizens and organizations to sponsor family members or other asylum seekers. Of the 10,000 Syrians expected to arrive in Canada by December 31, 8,000 are to be privately sponsored.
For refugees permitted into Canada under government sponsorship, emphasis will be placed on admitting Syrian women and families currently displaced and living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, according to Immigration Minister John McCallum. Some restrictions have been placed on single males seeking asylum in ,Canada,according to a CBC report. As the report suggests, while the government has condemned the recent outburst of domestic Islamophobia, some of its policies may be playing into these same fears toward the Muslim community.
For these applicants, the government will work in cooperation with UN agencies and national governments to process and screen individuals before they board chartered flights to Montreal and Toronto, where they will attain permanent residency and be ferried to host communities. The federal government has identified thirty-six host communities across Canada that are preparing for the arrival of thousands of Syrians in the coming weeks. The military has reserved 6,000 housing units in the event of a shortage. All refugees will have access to a range of health care providers upon arrival, including pharmacare, dental, as well as mental health services.
Read full on: Muftah org