The Canadian government has extended its deadline for accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees to the end of February. The government will fly in 10,000 refugees by the end of the year and the remainder by end-February.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the goal as part of his election campaign despite critics saying the goal was unrealistic. This development is consistent with our policy commentary.
One of the biggest political challenges for the government is the fear that militants could sneak into Canada disguised as refugees. Since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State, an anti-refugee petition launched in Quebec has garnered more than 75,000 signatures nationwide.
Some leaders have complained the short timeline did not allow for security checks to detect possible Islamic State militants.
The opposition Conservative Party said it was pleased Trudeau had abandoned a timeline that was not workable.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said refugees would undergo several security checks overseas.
The federal government will give priority to complete families, women at risk and gay or transgender people. Single adult men will only be prioritized if they are gay, bisexual or transgender, or if they are accompanying their parents.
Canada will spend up to C$678 million ($510 million) over six years flying in the refugees from Turkey, Syria and Jordan and then helping resettle them. The first flight is due to leave from the region early next month.
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