Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government said Saturday that it will issue thousands more visas to Syrian refugees before the end of this year by accelerating the processing of their applications, as it tries to counter election-year criticism over its handling of the
Canada will bring in 10,000 refugees by Sept. 2016, 15 months ahead of schedule. The government said it will speed the processing of Syrian refugees by no longer requiring them to prove their refugee status through the United Nations refugee agency. Instead, Syrians will be presumed to be refugees by Canadian authorities who vet their applications. Canada again declined to resettle more Syrian refugees. The country has long prided itself for opening its doors to asylum seekers, but the numbers have waned since Harper took power almost 10 years ago.