The Liberal government announced Tuesday that it still intends to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, but they will miss their self-imposed deadline of December 31st made during the election campaign. The new plan calls for 10,000 to arrive by December 31st, with the remaining 15,000 to arrive by the end of February. These new targets include government and privately-sponsored refugees. The government hopes to bring in 25,000 government sponsored refugees by the end of 2016.
Details of the plan are still not clear. The refugees with arrive in Canada at Toronto’s Pearson Airport or Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport. A total of 6,000 temporary spaces at military bases in Ontario and Quebec have been set aside to aid the resettlement process.
Canada will focus on refugees who have been deemed the most vulnerable — families, women at risk, and LGBTQI claimants. Officials say that does not preclude men; including gay men and single men accompanying their parents from admission.
Officials suggested the delay had more to do with the difficulty of obtaining exit visas from host countries, as well as ensuring Canadian communities are prepared to receive the influx of Syrians fleeing their countries brutal civil war.