Minister says Canada avoids Cologne-style attacks because its Syrian refugees are 'carefully selected'

'Most of them are not single men. Most of them are family members. Whereas Germany accepts everybody that comes to its borders'

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The Independent US

The Canadian government says it will not suffer from Cologne-style sex attacks because the country “carefully selects” the Syrian refugees it takes in.

Immigration minister John McCallum said that because Canada has welcomed Syrian refugees “with open hearts and love”, Canadians will not be affected by their resettlement as Germany has been.

The speech addressed the next phase of resettlement in Canada after the arrival of more than 10,000 refugees into the country, reported CBC news.

“We are mindful of the situation in Germany, but let me remind you that we are talking about 25,000 Syrian refugees, while Germany has accepted close to a million," said Mr McCallum.

“The one’s we have accepted, we have carefully selected them. Most of them are not single men. Most of them are family members.

While Canada has been widely praised for the way it has welcomed refugees, in Germany the public perception of the crisis has turned.

A poll by ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) broadcaster said Germans are markedly more pessimistic about refugees, with 60 per cent of people surveyed now saying they believe Ms Merkel has handled the situation poorly.

One person has been arersted in relation to the spate of sex attacks on New Year's Eve in Cologne - a 26-year-old Algerian asylum seeker. 

Mr McCallum finished his speech by saying: “I think the two situations are quite different in the sense of the numbers involved and the kinds of people coming into our country.

He said: “I also think we have a pretty good history in this area of successfully integrating newcomers.”

The minister made clear in his speech that Canada is not putting Syrian refugees ahead of its own people, especially when it comes to issues such as social housing.

The country had pledged to settle 25,000 refugees by 31 December, but lowered that to 10,000 in November.