The Liberal Cabinet Is Working Towards Bringing Thousands of Syrian Refugees to Canada
The Liberals won many Canadian votes because of their stance on matters that Mr Harper refused to address due to his conservative ways. These opinions have seen many Canadians frustrated with how things have been happening in their country but all of that is in the process of change.
As so many of you know, Justin Trudeau has given Canadians something to be excited about with his forward thinking. His position on the Syrian refugee crisis that is a constant on our minds is one that people are most interested in. Canada has continued to be outspoken about the matter stating that countries that are able to, need to do something more about the issue.
The Liberal government is now putting its most senior cabinet ministers in charge of bringing thousands of Syrian refugees into Canada by the end of the year.
“The commitment is to have 25,000 of them here by the end of the year. We are working on the logistics of that,” Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum told reporters Monday in the House of Commons.
“We are working on the process for selecting the refugees, for getting exit permits for these refugees. We have to engage with leaders of the countries in which the refugees are now residing . . . we are working on all these fronts at the same time.”
The cabinet committee is headed by the Health Minister Jane Philpott and the vice-chair is taken by the Heritage Minister Melanie Joly. The two met for the first time on Monday. McCallum will join the ministers responsible for public safety, defence, foreign affairs, democratic institutions and the Treasury Board among others on the committee as it tries to meet the pledge that the Liberals have made.
McCallum confirmed that the government is looking to bring the refugees into Canada by military plane, by sea or by commercial airline.
“Air Canada has offered to co-operate with the federal government to the fullest extent possible in any operation to transport Syrian refugees,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “At this point, however, we have only exchanged preliminary information.”
McCallum also told reporters that they are looking to bring refugees from countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon as these countries have experienced some of the highest influxes of Syrian refugees. Housing the refugees at a military base is one of the options on the table at the moment.
Since McCallum has assumed his cabinet position he has stressed that multiple departments need to be involved in Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The Liberals are not yet ready to reveal their plans but they have shown that they are being proactive about the situation as it was a prominent issue during the election.
The Prime Minister’s office announced on Monday that Malcolm Brown will serve as a special adviser on the matter. Brown is a long time public servant that has served in senior positions at the CIC, Canadian Border Services Agency and most recently as deputy minister for international development.
Despite the Liberal’s enthusiasm, some point out the task that lies ahead is not an easy one as there are challenges to finding low-cost housing for 25 000 refugees for a seven week period. Major cities like Toronto and Vancouver have infrastructure in place for war-traumatised refugees.
People are waiting to hear the Liberal’s full plan as it should contain more concrete solutions. They have to factor in the element that many of the refugees are non-English speakers and they will be in yet another strange country.
We look forward to seeing what Justin Trudeau and the Liberals do for these refugees as their situation is not improving.