Conservative government aims to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by September 2016

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The Conservative government said Saturday it will speed up the processing of refugee applications in an effort to bring in “thousands more” Syrians and Iraqis by the end of 2015.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the new measures mean the 10,000 Syrian refugees the government previously promised to resettle in the next three years would instead be brought to Canada by September 2016 — “a full 15 months earlier than anticipated,” he told reporters in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.

Syrians and Iraqis fleeing civil war and sectarian conflict will no longer have to prove they are convention refugees under the United Nations Refugee Agency, but will be presumed to be refugees by Canadian authorities for the purposes of vetting their applications.

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