A recent Angus Reid public opinion poll shows more than half of the prairie population opposes resettling Syrian refugees into their provinces.
Manitoba is planning to resettle 2,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015. This is part of Canada’s larger commitment to bring in 25,000 of Syrian refugees by year’s end.
The poll was conducted three days after the terrorist attacks that killed 129 people on Nov. 13th.
It found 63 per cent of the public from Manitoba and Saskatchewan are opposed to the resettlement plan. 67 per cent of Alberta’s population is also against it.
The poll found Canada was divided on the issue. Just over half of Canadians oppose the federal government’s resettlement plan.
However, even before the terrorist attacks in the French capital, fully half of the Canadian public was against it.
Those who are against the resettlement cited “a lack of time to properly conduct security checks” as the main reason for their disapproval.
Premier Greg Selinger supports the resettlement and said he is not concerned that an influx of refugees would have a strain on the province or a security issue.
“We think suspending the program would be a mistake,” said Selinger. “With all of our non-profit, churches and citizens groups… we’ve got a co-ordination going on inside the department.”
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has said that fast-tracking claims could undermine the screening process, so he is calling on the federal government to suspend its refugee plan.