Some government-sponsored refugees from Syria are staying longer than expected in hotels as settlement agencies struggle to find homes for them in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver.

Private sponsors and church groups still waiting for their refugee families to arrive say they're willing to help in the interim, and some refugees will be diverted to less populated centres in New Brunswick, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

Readers discussed the issue in our latest CBC Forum, a live, hosted discussion where readers can talk about stories of national interest. 

(Note that usernames are not necessarily the commenters' names. Some comments have been edited for length, to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to read the original comment.)

Some readers were unimpressed with the Liberals' preparations.

"The best way to deal with this is to make sure they have adequate housing before they enter the country. This is straightforward. I don't know why the government figured that affordable housing wouldn't be an issue for newly arrived immigrants since it has been an issue for Canadian residents for years in areas like Vancouver and Toronto. This all makes me think that there was no planning or forethought about bringing the Syrians to Canada. It was all about filling quotas and dealing with issues like housing later." - bc

"This is another example of civil servants and the government not being able to manage anything. Common sense tells you that you do not bring 10,000 refugees here with no plan to accommodate them." - Shirley Harvey

"Housing them in Vancouver is a massive mistake. People born, raised and working here aren't able to afford to live here, I can't imagine how hard it is for refugees to find enough space to house themselves at reasonable prices." - Vancouverite

Increasing the number of refugee arrivals in smaller areas was a popular suggestion.

The government should find areas in Canada where population decline is negatively impacting the local economy (think - Atlantic Canada) and move the majority of refugees to those communities. Yes, a lot of those communities cannot help (money, manpower etc) like the larger centres but if the government could kick in some additional funds to help settle the refugees; it would positively impact some communities that are in need of some economic stimulus. - Ale

Perhaps we could look at trying to revitalize some of these more satellite areas with a population influx. In order to be able to provide services, maybe try to pick a few specific locations in each province. Places like New Glasgow, New Waterford, or Yarmouth here in NS come to mind. - EastCoastGill

Lacking language skills and work qualifications, these families will also likely be starting at the bottom of the occupational ladder, running restaurants or convenience stores in the first generation, which might be easier in smaller towns and cities which have a lower cost of living. Everyone has to pay their dues. -Laur52

Others felt the entire idea is folly.

Don't take any more. Large population movements in a very short span of time cause a lot of misery in the long run. I'm not blaming the refugees themselves, but I believe they can best be helped by stopping the problem that is driving them away from their homes, not by simply shipping them around like cattle. - A Guy

"It is now obvious good intentions do not equate to enough housing. I know Canadians who have been waiting years to get housing in Vancouver and other Vancouver families that have had to break up because the kids cannot afford housing here. People not being able to see their own children or grandchildren. Is is unfair to put newcomers ahead of Canadians in need, and the Liberals could pay a political price." - Radio Head

You can read the complete conversation below.



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