OTTAWA – The Liberal government will not meet its Dec. 31 deadline to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees and now says it aims to complete the program by February.
The new target is to bring 10,000 people to Canada by year’s end and the remainder in the first two months of 2016.
The group will be a mix of government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees, all of whom will be identified by the end of next month.
Priority for government refugees will be given to complete families, women at risk, members of sexual minorities and single men only if they are identified as members of an LGBT community or are travelling with a family.
All screening will take place overseas and once that’s complete, refugees will be flown to Toronto and Montreal, largely on chartered aircraft.
The federal government cost for the program is estimated at $678 million over the next six years, but doesn’t include additional funding that could be necessary for provinces and territories.