Feds likely to miss Syrian refugee target


OTTAWA – The federal government appears likely to miss its latest target to resettle 10,000 Syrians by the end of this year.

According to analysis of current statistics on the Immigration department’s website, approximately 6,239 Syrians will have arrived in Canada by midnight on Dec. 31, if all the government flights that are scheduled arrive on time.

That doesn’t include any arrivals on commercial flights.

As of Dec. 28, a total of 3,701 Syrians had arrived in Canada, about 60 per cent of whom are being supported by private groups.

Storms delayed flights earlier this week — and weather was cited by the Immigration minister last week as one of the reasons the government wasn’t guaranteeing its year-end target could be met.

The promise to resettle 10,000 Syrians by Dec. 31 began as a Liberal election campaign commitment to resettle 25,000 in the same time frame, and all of them were expected to be refugees assisted by the government.

But that plan was amended in November to set a new goal of 10,000 arrivals by year’s end, with most of them privately-sponsored.