February 19, 2016 1:44 pm
Updated: February 20, 2016 12:09 am

42% of Canadians want government to stop taking in refugees now: poll

WATCH: The challenges in handling the wave of refugees from Syria appear to be influencing public opinion. Nadia Stewart reports.


More than 40 per cent of Canadians want the government to stop taking in Syrian refugees immediately, according to a new poll.

As the federal government’s self-imposed deadline of resettling some 25,000 Syrian refugees nears, 42 per cent of Canadians say the country should stop the intake immediately, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute.

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The Liberals vowed to reach the resettlement target by February 29, and as of Tuesday, 21,672 refugees have arrived in Canada.

READ MORE: Refugee health care will be fully restored April 1, feds say

However, 29 per cent of the poll respondents said Canada should accept more refugees while another 29 per cent said the government should stop at its target of 25,000. According to the government’s website, Canada has already surpassed its target and has finalized applications for 26,233 refugees (4,561 have yet to travel).

WATCH: Immigration Minister John McCallum says that overall, the resettling of Syrian refugees is going as smoothly as can be expected

The idea of welcoming more than the government’s original target seems to be more popular in the west.

Of the 29 per cent who said Canada should up its numbers, 43 per cent of the respondents live in B.C., while 32 per cent, in Alberta, while support was the lowest in the Prairies.

Security screenings has been a concern for some Canadians and Immigration Minister John McCallum acknowledge those concerns is a recent interview The West Block’s Tom Clark.

WATCH: McCallum rejects U.S. claims Canada moving too fast on settling Syrian refugees

“CSIS and Immigration officers have been conducting detailed interviews with every person in the region,” the minister said. “They’ve had the endorsement of the heads of the RCMP, CSIS, and the Border Services that this is correct, and we are going after the most vulnerable people, and largely, that excludes males on their own. And so a lot of those fighters that you described might be in that category.”

READ MORE: Refugee resettlement running according to plan, says John McCallum

According to the Angus Reid poll, 31 per cent of the respondents said they feel the screening process is adequate, while 37 per cent said the process is inadequate while the remaining 32 per cent were unsure.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

with a file from Monique Muise

© 2016 Shaw Media

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