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Canada reaches goal of 25K Syrian refugees by March

Published:Wednesday | March 2, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Stranded refugees stand in queue to receive food distributed by a non-governmental organisation at a refugee camp in the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni.


Canada's immigration minister on Monday disclosed that the country has reached a significant milestone with the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees.

Immigration Minister John McCallum said work continues to integrate the Syrians into the community. McCallum was at Toronto's Pearson airport as the last two government-arranged refugee flights were arriving as part of the Liberals' $678-million Canadian (US$501 million) settlement plan.

The refugee resettlement program was launched in November, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power and promised to bring in 25,000 government-sponsored refugees by the end of 2015 amid an intense debate in the West over what to do with people fleeing violence in the Middle East. Trudeau later pushed back the date by two months.

In the United States, the Obama administration plans to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees. But several Republican governors have tried to stop the arrival of Syrian refugees in their states in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris and California.