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24 Nov, 2015 01:16

Canada to exclude single males from Syria refugee program – report

Canada to exclude single males from Syria refugee program – report

Canada, which has agreed to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, will reportedly limit the immigration flow to single women and families, refusing to accept single males in the wake of the Paris Friday 13 bombings.

Ahead of the announcement of the government plan to house the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, CBC News has learned that Ottawa will limit their welcome to women and children, but will not accept any single unaccompanied men seeking asylum.

In the wake of the Paris attacks on Friday 13, which left 130 people dead, politicians in North America and Europehave expressed concern that the flow of refugees and migrants makes it possible for Islamic State (Is, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants to infiltrate the EU. Authorities believe that at least two of the eight people believed to have been involved in the Paris attacks, came as part of the refugee flow from Syria via Greece.

Now governments in the US and Canada are worried that, under the guise of being a refugee, single, IS-sympathetic males might abuse benevolence of their new found homes, and carry out attacks in the countries which offer them safe heaven.

However the CBC report on single male exclusion is yet to be confirmed, as Canada is due to announce its immigration plan only on Tuesday.

“All these refugees are vulnerable but some are more vulnerable than others, for example, women, families and also members of religious minorities who are oppressed,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. Yet, he rejected the notion of “exclusion” of single men.

The possible exclusion policy has already attracted some criticism from Canada’s political elite. New Democratic Partyleader Tom Mulcair voiced his concerns over the possible discrimination.

“We do not believe it is appropriate to make a vast generalization about a category of refugees and exclude them ahead of any processing because of who they are,” Mulcair said in Ottawa on Monday.

“While security concerns remain of vital importance, will a young man who lost both parents be excluded from Canada’s refugee program?” said Mulcair. “Will a gay man who is escaping persecution be excluded?”

Meanwhile, the country’s ambassador to Jordan, Bruno Saccomani, said that first set of refugees will start leaving Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey refugee camps heading for Canada starting December 1. The CBC said that in the past six weeks, Canadian authorities have been able to screen about 100 people per day in Lebanon, in addition to refugees being processed by the UN. The screening program encompasses various agencies including the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

According to reports, Canada will spend some $877 million on housing the refugees in the first year alone. The total cost of the program is estimated to run to a further $1.2 billion over the following six years.

The majority of the funds will be spent on creating interim lodgings at military bases in Quebec and Ontario, as there are no refugee camps in Canada. The Department of Public Works is also creating a list of facilities, such as hotels and abandoned hospitals, which could provide initial accommodation.