Security won't be compromised in Syrian refugee process, governments say
Ontario government says significant number of refugees could come to this province
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, questions are being raised about how well refugees arriving from the Middle East are being screened.
Some worry Canadians will now link the refugee crisis with terrorism, but both federal government officials and analysts said Monday that link is misguided.
- Sask. premier Brad Wall asks feds to suspend Syrian refugee plan
- Refugee plan will be 'responsible and orderly,' Health Minister Jane Philpott says
- Paris attacks have countries ramping up security, debating immigration policy
Immigration minister John McCallum said the federal government is committed to a "rigorous, balanced, and compassionate response to this humanitarian crisis."
McCallum said the prime minister has reiterated the government's commitment to immediately resettling 25,000 refugees and he said effective security screening has always been paramount to the government's plan.
"This operation will be done without compromising security," McCallum said in a statement.
Earlier on Monday, Saskatchewan's premier Brad Wall said he's worried about fast tracking 25,000 refugees into Canada by the new year.
Wall has asked for a suspension of the current federal government plan.
"If even a small number of individuals who wish to do harm to our country are able to enter Canada as a result of a rushed refugee resettlement process, the results could be devastating," wrote Wall in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He said it's wrong to conflate what has happened in Paris or to compare the refugee migration in Europe to Canada's refugee process.
"The one in Europe is like a migrant flow, which is almost unstoppable, with little of those safeguards in place," said Mendes.
"The latest information is that we've already sent some of our officials there and are working with the high commission for refugees. They're working day and night with the UN to get that preclearance."
Meanwhile, the Ontario government has reiterated its support to bring in 25,000 refugees by the end of the year.
Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins said he believes the necessary screening will be in place prior to the Syrian refugees coming to Canada.
"In addition, they will be doing health checks prior to refugees coming here," said Hoskins. "So I'm confident the process the federal government is working on will take into account the legitimate security needs."
Hoskins said Ontario expects to receive a significant number of the 25,000 Syrian refugees.