On Wednesday, numbers released by the government showed only 6.3 per cent of refugees contacted in Jordan and Lebanon had actually shown interest in being resettled in Canada.
In November, the UN sent out more than 40,000 text messages to potential refugee applicants. Only 3,000 refugees came forward, only 1,800 of which decided to go forward with the resettlement process.
John McCallum, Canada’s Immigration Minister, spoke on the issue in a press conference in Toronto on Thursday.
“Why there is such a low percentage is nothing I know [about]…some people may have lost their phones- All sorts of extraneous events get in the way”
Indeed, the UN later found that only 28,500 of the phone numbers which applicants had provided were working. However, that is still a far cry from the 3,000 refugees who responded to the messages. Why are Syrians not looking to secure a new life in Canada?
Understandably, many would rather wait out the conflict and resettle back in Syria if possible. Those who are looking for a new home would rather not put so much distance in between them and their homeland.
McCallum has said he isn’t concerned about the lack of response from potential applicants.
“I’m confident we’ll find easily 25,000 people who want to come here…. We’re talking about millions of people who want to come here”