Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters at a press conference earlier this week they need to open their arms to Syrian refugees.
When asked if the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut has changed his outlook on accepting Syrian refugees, Nenshi said the city will be announcing their resettlement plan in the next week or two.
“I need to point out that the people who are desperate refugees are fleeing the exact same people who perpetrated the kind of violence that we saw in Paris and Beirut last week,” he said.
“They’re running away from the bad guys and as such, we need to be able to open our arms to make sure we can provide safety to these folks who are trying to run away.”
Nenshi says with that said, good screening practices must be put in place.
“We need good systems in place to insure the integration of people when they get here, but we’re working hard on that with our counterparts in the federal and provincial governments.”
When asked how he felt about Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall’s letter to Justin Trudeau asking him to delay the national refugee resettlement plan, Nenshi thought it was reasonable – except for one thing.
“His conclusion was the only way to do this is to slow down the process. I would argue that the best way to do this is to get the right screening in place and the number of refugees accepted are an outcome of the screening as opposed to starting with the number.”
Meanwhile, Alberta premier Rachel Notely says the province is ready to accept up to 3,000 refugees and that they deserve a fresh start.