November 20, 2015 / 1:02 AM / 5 years ago

Canada poll says more time needed for Syrian refugee checks

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, Canada November 12, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians believe the new Liberal government should take a longer time to run security checks on the Syrian refugees it plans to bring in, or else take fewer refugees, a poll released on Thursday found.

The Angus Reid survey showed that 46 percent of respondents thinking last Friday’s attacks in Paris should cause the government to go ahead and accept 25,000 Syrians as planned but to take longer for security checks.

A further 13 percent said it should cause them to take fewer Syrian refugees than planned and another 22 percent to not take any at all. Only 19 percent said the government should proceed as planned or take more.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took power on Nov. 4, has not backed down on his promise to take in 25,000 more Syrian refugees by Dec. 31.

It has had government bureaucrats scrambling to try to figure out whether it is possible to meet the pledge safely in such a short time, and if so how.

The Islamic State attacks on Paris that killed 129 people caused more concern, particularly when news emerged that at least one of the bombers had arrived as a refugee in Greece last month.

The Angus Reid poll also found 62 percent of respondents opposed to the government’s intention to pull out its jets from the bombing mission against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The online survey of 1,508 Canadian adults was conducted on Nov. 18.

Reporting by Randall; Editing by Alan Crosby

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