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Minister John McCallum says Canada bringing in at least 35,000 Syrian migrants

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John McCallum discusses health care for refugees 1:09

Syrian refugees play soccer in the Al-Azraq camp for Syrian refugees on April 30, 2015 in Al-Azraq, Jordan. To celebrate the first anniversary of the camp's opening, UNHCR, Care and other partners innaugurated a multi-purpose sports ground, a souk in the market in Village 3, launced the 1st Azraq soccer cup, an open air cinema and other recreational activities for children and adults. The camp is located in the desert 110 km to the east of Amman and not far from the Syrian border

Syrian refugees play soccer in the Al-Azraq camp for Syrian refugees on April 30, 2015 in Al-Azraq, Jordan. To celebrate the first anniversary of the camp’s opening, UNHCR, Care and other partners innaugurated a multi-purpose sports ground, a souk in the market in Village 3, launced the 1st Azraq soccer cup, an open air cinema and other recreational activities for children and adults. The camp is located in the desert 110 km to the east of Amman and not far from the Syrian border April 30, 2015| Credit: Jordan Pix 

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Immigration Minister John McCallum told reporters today that the federal government remains focused on housing to help with the influx of Syrian refugees coming to Canada in the coming months.

In a news conference where he was joined by provincial ministers Michael Chan and Eric Hoskins in Toronto, McCallum said the federal government vowed to bring in 25,000 government-sponsored refugees during the election campaign and they’re sticking with that figure.

With private sponsors currently helping with 10,000, the total number of Syrians coming to Canada will be at least 35,000 and could hit 50,000 with enough sponsorships.

Each refugee will undergo a series of tests overseas to become a permanent resident and landed immigrant, McCallum said. This grants refugees access to benefits many Canadians enjoy, including legal rights, freedom of movement along with equal treatment and protections, to name a few. 

A federal court ruled in July 2014 that Conservative cuts to health care for refugees constituted “cruel and unusual” punishment.

McCallum also responded to a question about a report that only six per cent of Syrians are choosing Canada or the United States as their top choice for resettlement.

‘More generally, this national project is going very well.’– Immigration Minister John McCallum

“There’s a huge enthusiasm to come to Canada,” the minister said, adding the data may be incomplete because communications are not always reliable in that part of the world.

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