Canada has provided a total of nearly $1 billion in aid funding in response to the crisis in Syria
Immigration minister says refugees are being held up by lack of exit visas overseas
By James Fitz-Morris, CBC News Posted: Nov 26, 2015 12:57 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 27, 2015 7:58 AM ET
Canada has so far issued 928 permanent resident visas to Syrian refugees — but there is still no timeline for when they could start arriving.
Immigration Minister John McCallum blames red tape overseas for the delays.
“Not all of them yet have exit visas from Lebanon, and we are working really, really hard to expedite that so they can get those exit visas as soon as possible,” McCallum said an interview with Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio’s The House.
McCallum also said the first group of new refugees will be flown to Canada on a military plane — although the date for that flight has yet to be set because of the lack of exit visas.
- How many Syrian refugees from each country will depend on need: ambassador
- Justin Trudeau to pull fighter jets, keep other military planes in ISIS fight
- ANALYSIS | Trudeau’s delay in resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees may be a smart political move
- Syrian refugee children tend to be resilient but face unique health issues
“That will be followed by further flights that will be leased,” he added. All flights will be arriving in Toronto and Montreal, and the refugees who will be resettled in other cities will travel on from there.
The government also intends to launch a website that will provide regular updates on the progress and delays for the Canadian population, McCallum said.
‘What I want to do is be clear and transparent and take the 35 million along with us on the voyage,” he explained, “and let them see the good things and let them also see the challenges.”
More aid money
Canada will also contribute an added $100 million to aid the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in efforts to help Syrian refugees meet their “basic daily needs.”
Minister for International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau made the announcement Thursday, following through on a Liberal election promise and filling in some of the blanks regarding Canada’s plan to bring 10,000 more refugees to this country in the next five weeks.
- Quebecers respond en masse to knit tuques for Syrian refugees
- Saskatoon: Volunteers flood refugee group with offers
- P.E.I.: Syrian refugees supported by furniture drive
- Kamloops: Interior Health preparing for Syrian refugees
The minister says the refugee agency will use the money for shelter, protection, education and health.
With this announcement, the government says Canada has provided a total of nearly $1 billion in aid funding in response to the crisis in Syria.
(…)Ottawa lists vulnerable persons as:
- Complete families.
- Women at risk.
- Persons identified as at risk due to membership in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.