Plan to accelerate acceptance of 20,000 refugees coming soon: Kenney

CALGARY – Conservative MP Jason Kenney is insisting the federal government will soon release details on how it plans to accelerate the intake of 20,000 Iraqi and Syrian refugees.

The party dispatched Kenney to respond to a number of issues as Conservative Leader Stephen Harper prepares for Thursday’s leaders’ debate on the economy.

Kenney offered a spirited defence of the government’s response to the refugee crisis amid calls that it needs to act more swiftly and take in more people.

READ MORE: Tima Kurdi, aunt of drowned Syrian boy, pleads for help for refugees

“People are picking numbers out of a hat,” Kenney said in Calgary.

“At the end of a day, we have to have a manageable number so that we can apply the appropriate screening and focus on the most vulnerable.”

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Kenney’s comments come a week after Harper said the government will unveil “in the very near future” its plans to speed up the acceptance of refugees.

In January, the Conservative government announced it would accept 10,000 refugees over three years.

READ MORE: Alberta man hopes for ‘more speed’ in refugee system

Since last month’s election call, Harper has committed to open the country’s doors to another 10,000 people over the next four years.

So far, Canada has resettled fewer than 2,500 Syrians.

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