President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison says his government remains committed to bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country, but would not specify how much that will cost or how many of them might be privately sponsored.
Speaking to The West Block’s Tom Clark, Brison said the Liberals are serious about keeping their campaign promise, which was to get 25,000 government sponsored refugees across Canadian borders by the end of 2015. That timeline has been called into question by experts who say it is likely unrealistic.
“We have the potential as a country to bring in 25,000 refugees,” Brison said without addressing the timing. “We committed to that. It’s the right thing to do.”
Asked if the government will still be investing a proposed $250 million to increase processing and sponsorship and settlement services, Brison said his colleague, Minister of Immigration John McCallum, is the one in charge of the file.
“He’s leading the charge. He’s also working with (Health) Minister (Jane) Philpott on that. They will be speaking to this in the coming days, as will the prime minister.”
So will some of the 25,000 refugees be privately sponsored, or will they all be brought in by the government as the Liberals have said? Brison did not say.
“My message today, to our organizations out there, community-based, faith-based, philanthropic sector who want to participate in this, please come forward and there will be opportunities to participate in this and of course as a government we will welcome that.”