Feds pledge $50M for refugees, but doors not open for 10,000 Syrians

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 9:59 PM ET

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Chris Alexander pledged more than $50 million to help refugees worldwide, but would not commit to accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees into Canada by 2016, as requested by the United Nations.

Alexander made the funding announcement in Ottawa during a World Refugee Day event on Friday.

He said Canada recognizes it can do more to help Syrian refugees, and that the resettlement process "is just beginning."

He was not specific in the number of refugees Canada is ready to take in, however.

About 1,100 refugees have already moved to Canada since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, Alexander said.

He also refuted concerns that Canada is slowing down the Syrian refugee acceptance process due to fears that radicals or terrorists could sneak into the country in the guise of a refugee claimant.

Alexander said he has confidence in Canada's refugee vetting system.

There are reports up to 100 Canadians may be fighting in Syria.

 

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