POLITICS

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Wynne to Announce Funding, Says Feds Need To 'Step Up'

09/11/2015 01:02 EDT | Updated 09/11/2016 05:12 EDT
Rene Johnston via Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 27: Kathleen Wynne addresses the media after a bombshell revelation that the former premier's top aide is suspected of committing breach of trust. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced she is enacting new rules to keep political staff from involvement in commercial decisions. Toronto, March 27, 2014. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

QUEBEC — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne urged Ottawa on Friday to speed up its process to welcome more refugees to Canada.

Wynne also said she will make a funding announcement on Saturday related to the crisis.

"I will continue to ask the federal government to streamline their processes so more refugees can come to the country and can come to Ontario," she told a news conference in Quebec City ahead of a meeting between her cabinet and Premier Philippe Couillard's.

"I think there should be...a quicker process and I think the federal government needs to step up to that responsibility."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been steadfast that accepting more refugees and sending humanitarian assistance to displaced people in the Middle East is not enough, and that dealing with the root cause of the problem — taking the military fight to Islamic militants responsible for the carnage — is essential.

On Thursday, however, he suggested Canada can and will do more to help Syrian refugees in the face of mounting public pressure on his Conservative government over the past week.

Both Wynne and Couillard said it is possible to welcome more refugees and at the same time guarantee the security of Canadians.

"The two are not mutually exclusive," she said. "Having the right security measures in place, having the right documentation and the need for documentation, all of that is very very necessary. At the same time, I think there is more we can do as a nation to expedite the process."

The two leaders echoed their earlier thoughts when they held a news conference after the meeting.

"A country as rich as ours must do more," Couillard said. "And we have the means to do more."

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