In addition to withdrawing Canadian warplanes from the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS, Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to reverse his predecessor Stephen Harper’s policy and accept 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by the end of the year.
The Associated Press notes, without elaboration, that “some analysts have questioned whether Trudeau’s goal is realistic.”
Increased Syrian immigration was one of the promises Trudeau made on the campaign trail. “Canadians get it, that this is about doing the right thing, it is about living up to the values that we cherish as a country and it is also an extraordinary way to continue to grow our country,” he said in early September. “Canada must immediately accept 25,000 Syrian refugees, stop dragging its heels and understand that we must once again be the country that we like to think of ourselves as. This is something that goes beyond politics. It is about who we are and what we want to continue to be.”
Last month, Trudeau spoke of organizing massive airlifts of refugees from Syria to Canada and dismissed questions about security by saying it was a simple question of “employing more case workers and increasing screening capacity,” as reported by the Globe and Mail. He described Harper’s concern about security as “quite frankly a distraction from a lack of political will to get it done.”
“The government’s ungenerous handling of the refugee crisis and the passage this year of a controversial anti-terrorism law – which the Liberals intend to amend – proved unpopular with many Canadians,” asserted the UK Independent in its post-election analysis. “The Conservatives were also accused of stoking anti-Muslim sentiment in a row over whether women would be permitted to wear the niqab when they took the oath of citizenship.”