John McCallum, Canada’s minister of immigration and citizenship, has announced plans to double Canada’s pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees this year, with the hope of resettling up to 50,000 refugees by the end of 2016.
McCallum visited Jordan’s capital, Amman, this week to meet with Syrian families preparing to fly to their new homes in Canada, telling one family, “Everyone in Canada is waiting to meet you.”
Canada’s new Liberal government will fulfill its pledge with the help of the UN refugee agency, the Jordanian government, and the International Organization for Migration, which will assist with the vetting process.
To get Canadian citizens on board, Canada’s Immigration Department has enlisted the help of social media, launching the hashtag #WelcomeRefugees. According to a Canadian research firm, the attitude towards accepting refugees in Canada is mostly positive, with about 70% of social media comments supportive of resettlement.
As of today, 2,051 applications for refuge in Canada have been finalized. Only 1,186 Syrian refugees have actually arrived in the country, though that number is forecasted to rise to 25,000 by the end of February.