Cross Country Checkup·Checkup

Is Canada ready to settle 25,000 refugees by January?

Amid renewed security concerns, and with groups across the country still scrambling to find housing and resources, some are asking: Is Canada ready to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees by yearend? With guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.
A refugee family from Syria walk over the grounds of former military barracks serving as shelter for asylum seekers on Nov. 3, 2015, in Ehra-Lessien, Germany. (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/Getty)

Amid renewed security concerns, groups across the country are still scrambling to find housing and resources.
Some are asking: Are Canadians ready to accommodate 25,000 refugees by January?

With guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.

The push to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees by year's end has been turning from a rather abstract number into a reality these past weeks. 

Piya Chattopadhyay will guest host Cross Country Checkup on Nov. 22, 2015. (Ruby Buiza/CBC)

Across the country, Canadians are galvanized to find ways to contribute: grouping together to bring Syrians here, to donate money, or to offer accommodation--others are collecting clothing and furniture and holding fundraisers. 

Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship John McCallum has called Canada's response to the worst refugee crisis since the second world war "a national project." He says it is one that requires not just all levels of government working together, but also the volunteer support from  regular Canadians in their communities.

Some have raised the issue of security--especially in the light of the recent terror attacks in Paris and Beirut--and say there needs to be more efficient ways of screening refugees. They say that the current process is too slow and cumbersome and there simply are not enough officials to do the work.

What are the primary needs that have to be met when an individual or a family arrives after what is often a long and difficult journey to Canada? And what are the most efficient - and the best - ways of addressing those needs?

Our question: "Are we ready to accommodate 25,000 refugees by the end of the year?"


Chris Friesen
Executive Director of the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.
Twitter: @chrisfriesen4 @issbc

Raquel de Queiroz
Director of Yukon Cares

Kyle Matthews
Senior Deputy Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University, and former UNHCR official

John McCallum
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Twitter: @JohnMcCallumLPC

Mike Molloy
Former Director-General of Refugee Affairs in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Former coordinator of Indo-Chinese refugee movement


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