Premier Brad Wall is asking the federal government to re-evaluate its Syrian refugee plan.
The new Liberal government has set a goal for 25,000 refugees by the end of the year.
But with what he feels is a lack of settlement plan in place, Wall has written, and made public, a letter to the prime minister asking him to suspend the plan.
In it, Wall writes that while he shares Justin Trudeau’s desire to help refugees fleeing violence; he is concerned with fast-tracking the refugees through the immigration screening process.
“However, if even a small number of individuals who wish to do harm to our country are able to enter Canada as a result of a rushed refugee resettlement process, the results could be devastating.”
He referenced the recent terror attacks in Paris.
In a scrum with reporters at the Saskatchewan legislature Monday, Wall echoed that sentiment.
If there’s a chance that even, only one person, would use the refugee process to come in to this country, with a plan to do ill, to do bad things in Canada to Canadians that’s worth it, that is worth some circumspection.”
Wall insists this is not borne out of racism or so-called “Islamopobia”.
“At the end of the day you want this to be successful. You want the settlement to work, you want the country to remain safe and it is worth not having arbitrary dates, now 45 days away to achieve those things.”
Wall has heard from municipal leaders who are concerned about capacity. They are asking him how many refugees will there be and where will they live.
He maintains that is why he is asking the prime minister to suspend the plan.
“And we are 45 days away from this deadline and we don’t know where they will live,” he said. “That is part of the issue, 45 days away and there are no answers to questions.”
NDP Opposition responds to letter
NDP leader Cam Broten is responding to Wall’s comments with his own letter.
“I don’t think it is wise for Mr. Wall to attempt to stir up fear in order to slam the door shut on families that are desperate to flee the tyranny of ISIS.”
He also writes about fears over immigration security screening.
“Does Mr. Wall really think Ralph Goodale and the Canadian security authorities were just going to rubber stamp refugee claims without proper security checks? That’s ridiculous!”