By Zool Suleman in Opinion, Politics for National Observer – March 11th 2016: On its surface, the 2016 immigration levels plan announced by Immigration Minister McCallum this week spins a positive message by increasing the overall number of immigrants to be accepted to a high of 305,000 and focussing on family reunification and refugees. On closer look the numbers tell a different story.
Promises can be hard, and expensive, to keep.
Having promised to accept and land in Canada 25,000 Syrian refugees as part of the 2015 election, Minister McCallum had little choice but to significantly increase the refugee and humanitarian assistance totals anticipated in 2016 from 24, 800 to 55,800. The higher number reflects not only the 25,000 Syrian refugees who were admitted to Canada by the end of February deadline, but also acknowledges that there are many more private and blended refugees to be processed and admitted to Canada (more than 15,000 are in process or are waiting to travel to Canada ). The anticipated costs are in excess of $600 million over the next six years. Do not be surprised if this amount spirals higher as settlement and transition costs climb.
I am supportive of the Syrian refugee efforts.