A UBC expert in migration and settlement says people are blowing the settlement of Syrian refugees out of proportion.
It comes as city officials try to figure out how to accommodate as many as 3,000 Syrians, under a promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But Dan Hiebert says Canada has done this before, such as when refugees came in from Kosovo in the late 1990s.
“The non-profit settlement sector in B.C. is very well-experienced. They have a very large network of volunteers that they call on for these kinds of things. I think that is going to unfold reasonably well. These are people familiar with solving those kinds of problems.”
Hiebert also says Canadians have little to fear.
“I would say the risk is actually very low. The reason I say that is, the refugees that will be coming to Canada are people who are going to be very carefully selected by a negotiation process between the Canadian government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.”
“This is very different from the situation in Europe. In Europe’s case, people are getting to European countries on their own volition. They are very slowly moving through borders and so on, but they’re not being checked along the way, and they’re certainly not being selected along that route.”
Hiebert says it’s impossible to ensure there is zero risk, but he says he doesn’t think Canadians have much to fear.
Trudeau has promised to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of the year.
Story by Ken Paulin