Montreal

Quebec open to accepting more Syrian refugees after talks with Ottawa

Syrian Montrealers are feeling hopeful as both the provincial and federal governments prepare to accept more Syrian refugees.

Syrian Montrealers optimistic about Liberal government's plan to bring over 25,000 refugees

Omar Jandali, left, and Lahoud Touma, right, say that Syrians are hopeful about the new federal government. (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)

Syrian Montrealers are feeling hopeful as both the provincial and federal governments prepare to accept more Syrian refugees.

Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil says the province has the capacity to accept about 5,400 refugees under the new federal government.

"Quebec is on board, totally 100 per cent on board," said Weil. "And we have been for a while."

Earlier in the fall, Quebec was poised to accept 3,600 refugees. Weil said talks with the federal government are going smoothly.

Omar Jandali, a Syrian Montrealer whose family is from Homs, said that many are positive about the Liberal government's promise to bring over 25,000 Syrian refugees.

"Syrians are being looked at as humans who are fleeing the risks of the Syrian regime and acts from other terrorists organizations and they [the government] are taking actions based on that," Jandali told CBC Montreal's Daybreak. "Before they were giving empty promises without applying them."

Canada now has less than two months to bring over 25,000 refugees.

The number seems ambitious to many but for Lahoud Tourna, a McGill University student whose family is from Aleppo and Lebanon, is hopeful.

He thinks the federal government will screen Syrians fleeing from the crisis to ensure they are not dangerous but that it will abide by its promise to bring them over by Jan. 1.

"They are doing their best to welcome as many people as possible," said Tourna.

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