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Quebec to welcome 3,650 Syrian refugees this year and another 3,650 in 2016

QUEBEC — The Quebec government says it will accept 3,650 Syrian refugees before the end of this year and another 3,650 in 2016.

Pierre Moreau, the province's acting public security minister, says the plan calls for Ottawa to house new arrivals in federally operated welcome centres before the province relocates them to one of 13 communities in the province.

Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil had already announced in September a plan to accept 3,650 Syrian refugees in 2015, with $29 million being set aside for their arrival and integration.

Weil said today the same target has been set for 2016 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has assured Quebec that additional financial resources would be made available as needed.

Of the 7,300, 2,900 will be privately sponsored this year and at least another 2,600 will be privately sponsored in 2016.

Moreau says the balance will be sponsored by the province — 750 in 2015 and the rest next year.

There was no immediate word on when most of the refugees will begin arriving. The province has already welcomed 800 of this year's target.

The federal government has also guaranteed strict security and health measures for refugees prior to their arrival in Canada, Moreau told a news conference on Wednesday.

The Canadian Press

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