One way or another, 25,000 Syrian refugees will be in Canada soon.


One way or another, 25,000 Syrian refugees will be in Canada soon.

NOVEMBER 9, 2015 3:00 PM

John McCallum has confirmed the Trudeau government’s commitment to bring in the refugees by year end.

By army transport, chartered flight or ship, “all options are on the table,” McCallum said today, as he announced a cabinet sub-committee to plan the mission, headed by Health Minister Jane Philpott and vice-chaired by Montreal’s Mélanie Joly, now the Heritage minister.

McCallum was short on details. He couldn’t say where the refugees would be coming from — Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon, or a combination of the three — and he couldn’t say where they would go.

Perhaps to army bases in Canada, in the short term, he said, acknowledging that Canadian armed forces would be playing a major role.

But he has named several high-profile cabinet ministers to the endeavour, including Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef, whose life in Canada began as a refugee from Afghanistan.

McCallum said he would be liaising with provincial leaders and mayors over the next few days, who have all expressed their desire to help, as well as non-governmental organizations and ordinary Canadians.

“I detect a groundswell of support,” he said, adding he would be making a more detailed announcement soon.