Canada’s commitment to the Syrian refugee crisis will see around 25,000 migrants enter the country by the end of this year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan will be officially outlined tomorrow, though the most significant details have already emerged.
The matter of most concern for Canadians is the screening process that will determine exactly who will be able to obtain refugee status within our borders. According to the CBC, the plan will limit admittance to women, children and families only. Citing security concerns, unaccompanied men seeking asylum will not be allowed to enter as part of the program, which is expected to cost $876.7 million in the first year alone.
Over six years, the federal government will commit $1.2 billion to accommodate refugees.
The move is a reasonable middleground between Canadians who favour an open door policy and the 51 per cent who oppose resettling 25,000 Syrians in Canada. The strongest opposition from an elected official came last week when Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall called for the plan to be suspended.
Government officials expect new arrivals through the program to be “mobile” within a month’s time and said they will not be housed in tents. After the majority arrive in either Toronto or Montreal, they will be housed in military bases, as well as hotels and abandoned hospitals, before more permanent accommodation can be arranged.