16:28 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Syrian refugees arrive at the Pearson Toronto International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario

    Canadians to Be Unaffected by 10,000 Syrian Refugees - Immigration Minister

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    The government of Canada will not give preference to Syrian refugees to the detriment of Canadians waiting for social assistance programs, Immigration Minister John McCallum said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the number of Syrian refugees who have arrived in Canada under a plan proposed by the Liberal Party reached 10,000.

    "We want to welcome all of these refugees with open hearts and with love the way Canadians have, but at the same time we are mindful that we don't want to offend Canadians who have themselves been waiting for a long time for social housing and things of that nature," McCallum said Wednesday, as quoted by the CBC News broadcaster.

    He added that the government would not put Syrian refugees "ahead of the queue" to avoid triggering anti-refugee sentiment.

    His comments come in the wake of a recent incident in the Canadian city of Vancouver, in which some 30 people were injured in a pepper-spray attack on a group of refugees from Syria.

    According to the media outlet, the Liberal Party initially proposed to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by December 31, 2015, but decreased the target number to 10,000 in November. Since then, the Liberals have pledged to resettle another 15,000 "mostly government-assisted" Syrian refugees in the country by March 1, 2016.

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    Tags:
    migrant crisis, refugee crisis, Syrian refugees, Canadian Immigration Ministry, John McCallum, Canada
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