The federal government insists it will meet its new target to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February, despite reports suggesting there may be a lack of interest among Syrians to come to Canada.
The Globe and Mail reports only six percent of Syrians contacted by the United Nations, mainly in Turkey and Lebanon, expressed interested to immediately relocate to Canada.
Speaking in Surrey, Minister responsible John McCallum says he’s not worried the federal government may fail to meet its targets.
“There is a huge enthusiasm to come to Canada, it is just a question of the logistics connecting us to them, but you can be assured that we will do that.”
He says there is no shortage of need in the Middle East, and that in many cases, people didn’t reply because they couldn’t actually be reached by text message.
“There are about four million refugees we can draw on, so if a smaller percentage wants to come, we just contact more. And I think in many cases there is probably a miscommunication; they don’t necessarily get the message.”
Of the 41,000 Syrians originally contacted, 1,800 indicated interest.