Canada has brought in 30,000 Syrian refugees to date, and is on track to meet the goal in 2016 for 44,000 resettled refugees from all countries, Immigration minister John McCallum told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.
"We’re up to 30,000-plus, and there will be some more," Minister McCallum said, speaking about the number of the Syrian refugees that have settled in Canada to date. Last year, the newly-elected Trudeau government announced the ambitious target of bringing in 25,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, and met that target in late February.
Despite initial concerns about families waiting to find permanent housing and attend language classes, he said overall, the settlement of refugees from Syria is going well.
"Overall, I think it’s been a great success," he told reporters, adding that it's "never perfect."
"There are always challenges when 25,000 people come here from a desperate situation. They don’t all immediately fit in perfectly, but if you look around the world at the refugee crisis and how it’s been handled in various countries, I think ours has been a great success. All of these people have been cleared for security and health. All of them have permanent housing. They’re in the process of learning English or French and getting jobs."
Countries emulating Canada's private refugee sponsorship
He noted 15 other countries have expressed interest in modeling Canada's system for privately sponsored refugees, and that the UNHCR and George Soros Foundation are working with Canada to export this system to other countries. The U.S., meanwhile, now has a pilot project in place for citizens to privately sponsor Syrian refugees.
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Asked about the potential for refugees from Syria to land jobs after coming to Canada with no English skills, the Minister said in the long run, they will contribute greatly to the Canadian economy.
"You have to understand that we brought in people who were extremely vulnerable. Often, they – almost always, they don’t speak English or French and they have little education. So it takes a while to equip them for success in jobs," he said.
"The good news is that past waves of refugees have succeeded and the children of refugees actually do better than Canadians in terms of education and post-secondary. And so if you take a longer term point of view, I think it’s a great investment for Canada."
Our federal government has
Our federal government has done a great job in bringing those refugees to canada. Other countries who have rejected accepting Syrian refugees are the losers. In the big picture we will benefit . The majority of these people are hard working and entrepreneurial and can only help the Canadian economy in the long run.