Up to 900 Syrian refugees a day to land in Toronto, Montreal: document
Published Thursday, November 19, 2015 7:30PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:53PM EST
As many as 900 Syrian refugees could land each day in Toronto and Montreal starting as early as Dec. 1, according to a government document obtained by CTV News.
“Operation Syrian Refugees” shows the majority of the Syrians will come from camps in Lebanon, Jordan and perhaps Turkey.
The refugees will fly out of Amman, Jordan, beginning as early as Dec. 1, at rate of up to 900 per day or 6,300 per week.
The Syrians will be identified by the United Nations and screened on the ground by Canadian officials, including from the CBSA and CSIS, which will examine documents and biometric data, such as fingerprints.
After landing in Toronto and Montreal, the refugees will be housed at nearby sites, as well as in Cornwall, Ont., and Trois-Rivières, Que.
If the immigrants pass further health and security checks once in Canada, they will immediately become permanent residents.
Federal government employees will need to work through the holidays, which will cost taxpayers plenty in overtime pay, according to the document.
Calgary ready to accept up to 1,500
Calgary’s mayor says his city is “ready to go.” Naheed Nenshi told CTV Power Play he met with more than 100 people Thursday to discuss how the city will integrate the 1,000 to 1,500 Syrians that he expects will be resettled in Alberta’s largest city.
Nenshi said that, despite some negativity, “eight out of 10 people” he speaks to about refugees are simply asking, “How can I help?”
The mayor said he had been approached by many people, including “a guy who owns a bunch of McDonald’s.” The man told him, “it’s not the best job, but it’s a job, and I can probably hire over 100 of them.”
Nenshi also said some people -- including Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall -- are asking “fair questions” about whether Canada should take more time resettling the refugees in order to get it right.
“(Wall) basically argued this should not be driven by numbers, it should not be driven by 25,000 by Christmas, but driven by a good process,” Nenshi said of Wall. “Nobody disagrees with that."
"I think that even the greatest of Liberal supporters would say, if it ends up taking a little bit longer, nobody is going to be too fussed about it," he added.
Mayor Nenshi blasts “hateful” comments
Nenshi said that he has been bothered, however, by a small minority -- about two per cent -- who “are saying some hateful stuff.”
"I think that we as Canadians need to stand up and say, 'This kind of conversation, this kind of rhetoric is not acceptable.'"
The mayor said there is a "direct line" between hateful rhetoric and incidents this week in Toronto and Peterborough, where the Muslim communities have faced alleged hate crimes following the terrorist attacks on Paris.
Nenshi also blasted “a rhetoric of divisiveness” from politicians during the federal election campaign.
The mayor said that Canadians should have faith in the security screening process, and not worry that terrorists might pretend to be refugees.
He pointed out that the plotters of last week’s deadly attack on Paris had French and Belgian passports.
“If I have a French passport, I can be in Calgary in 12 hours with no screening at all,” he said.
And the mayor suggested it's illogical to think terrorists are going to hide in refugee camps for years “in the hopes that I might end up somewhere I could eventually do something bad.”
Nenshi said the real problem is homegrown radicalization.
“When people get radicalized, it’s precisely because we’re not integrating them into society,” he said.
“The real danger is not the people who come, but making sure we welcome and integrate them and give them a great chance once they get here.”
With a report from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson