POLITICS

Quebec Misses Syrian Refugee Target For 2015

01/12/2016 07:53 EST | Updated 01/12/2017 05:12 EST
Quebec has failed to reach its publicly stated goal of welcoming 3,650 Syrian refugees to the province by the end of 2015.

Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil said Tuesday roughly 2,800 Syrians have so far made it to Quebec, representing about 75 per cent of the provincial government's initial objective.

philippe couillard

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard presents a newly-arrived Syrian refugee with a teddy bear on Dec. 12, 2015. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

Quebec had pledged to accept close to 6,000 refugees by Christmas, if the federal government had stuck to its original goal of welcoming 25,000 Syrians to Canada by the end of 2015.

Ottawa revised its goal and said it will welcome 25,000 by February, with Quebec pledging to accept a total of 7,300 by the end of 2016, including this year's arrivals.

Weil said the number of flights into Quebec transporting refugees is expected to accelerate until the end of February.

She added that refugee children will be required to enrol in French-language school, while adults can choose to take courses in English.

Weil said the government will ensure it has enough resources to properly educate Syrian children in French and to enrol them quickly in full-time school.

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