Katharine Starr and Christina Lopes (CBC News):
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger added his voice to those of provincial and municipal leaders calling for immediate action from the federal government on the Syrian refugee crisis.
“We think we can double the number of people we can take in the refugee category,” Selinger said in an interview on Sunday on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics.
“We’ve been capped for several years at about 500 on the public side. If the federal government would lift the cap on public sponsorship, we’d be willing to do even more. It’s always been our objective to have more people come into Manitoba.”
Immigration is a federal issue. Provinces have lobbied the government for more say over immigration and refugee issues, but currently only Quebec has control over its own immigration policies. […]
“If the public cap was lifted, we could do more and have more support for people,” he said.
Selinger said he is confident Manitoba could handle an increased influx of refugees.
“We think we can absorb the people very readily, both in the health care system, in our schools, social service agencies. We’re not worried about that at all, quite frankly.” […]
“We can serve more people. We’re there, and we’re willing to step up and do our share. We’d like the federal government to take immediate action.”
In total, 2,374 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Canada since 2013. Of those, 642 (27 per cent) have done so with government assistance, and nearly all the rest had help from private organizations.