US & Canada

Canada vows to double Syrian refugee intake

Mr McCallum meets Syrians in Jordan Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr McCallum has been meeting refugees in Jordan

Canada has vowed to double its intake of Syrian refugees next year.

The minister of immigration and citizenship, John McCallum, said the country's resettlement programme would be expanded in 2016 to take 50,000.

Mr McCallum made the announcement from the Jordanian capital of Amman, where he met Syrians heading to Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed some of the first arrivals earlier this month and said Canada was "showing the world how to open our hearts".

His new Liberal government had promised to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February.

But Mr McCallum said Canada now hopes to settle as many as 50,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016.

The UN refugee agency, the Jordanian government and the International Organization for Migration will be helping to speed up the vetting process, he said.

The minister spoke to Syrian families as they prepared to board flights to Canada.

He told one family: "Everyone in Canada is waiting to meet you."

Mr McCallum also toured development projects and refugee facilities during his two-day visit.

Syrians to Canada

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Media captionCanadian PM Justin Trudeau: 'This is a wonderful night'
  • 1,409 arrived since 4 November
  • Target is 50,000 by end of 2016
  • 18,717 applications being considered
  • 2,251 applications approved and awaiting travel

Source: Government of Canada