Trudeau stands by refugees promise in exclusive interview
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2015 10:06PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 23, 2015 5:13PM EDT
Justin Trudeau says he will deliver on his promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of 2015, in an exclusive television interview airing this Saturday on W5.
Trudeau spoke to CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme.
When asked about the refugees commitment, Trudeau said “that’s something we’re getting cracking on right away,” adding that he has already met with the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Governor General about implementing his platform.
“I know this is a surprise to certain people within the political universe, but the commitments I made in that platform, I’m going to keep,” he said.
“We put that platform together not because we thought it would help us get elected, but because we knew that these were things that Canada needed to do to succeed as a country, and for Canadians to have the success that we deserve.”
The interview will air on W5 this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Liberal leader told CTV Question Period in early September that he supports sending Canadian military planes with security and immigration officials to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to airlift refugees out of the region, as Canada did in 1979 to rescue fleeing Vietnamese.
Trudeau had long demanded the Conservative government speed up its processing of Syrian refugees. As of September, Canada had only brought in 2,300 Syrians over three years, despite a commitment to accept 10,000.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told Question Period at the time that he was proud of Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis but did not support an airlift of refugees, adding “1979 is not 2015.”
“Terrorism was a not a phenomenon there (Vietnam),” Alexander said. “We’ve got to recognize that circumstances change.”
Sources later told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that the Prime Minister’s Office temporarily halted resettlement of United Nations-screened Syrian refugees while an audit was undertaken. Department of Citizenship and Immigration insiders said PMO officials wanted to ensure they were choosing persecuted religious minorities that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper could court for votes.
United Nations data show that, as of Monday, there were nearly 4.2 million Syrian refugees registered and seeking resettlement, mostly in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.