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The Government Says There Is No Imminent Threat To Canada After The Paris Attacks

Officials insist all 25,000 Syrian refugees coming to Canada by the end of the year will undergo a rigorous security screening. But the details of the plan aren't public.

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How much danger is there of a terrorist attack hitting Canada? Only a medium amount, according to officials.

Paul McLeod / BuzzFeed Canada

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters Wednesday that Canada's official threat level remains at medium, where it has been since October, 2014. Essentially, nothing has changed despite the shocking attacks in Paris last week.

RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson added that police are not aware of any imminent threat to Canada related to the events in Paris. He said DNA from the Paris attackers was sent from French officials and checked against Canadian databases. All samples came up negative.

At the same meeting, Goodale insisted Canada can admit 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year without cutting down security screenings

Paul McLeod / BuzzFeed Canada

"The objective is not to reduce the quality, in fact to maintain the very high standards that Canada has always pursued," Goodale said of security screenings.

The Liberal plan for 25,000 refugees by the end of the year is a drastic increase on the Conservative plan of 20,000 refugees over the next four years. During the election campaign, Conservatives described the Liberal position as reckless and unsafe.

But Goodale said Public Safety staff have told him it can be done safely. He was backed up by Paulson of the RCMP, the director of the spy agency CSIS, and the director of the Canada Border Services Agency.

However, the details of the plan remain secret.

Several questions — how many people will come in per day, what levels of screening will they go through, will they be screened before or after they land in Canada — haven't been answered publicly. Goodale said they will be soon.

Goodale also didn't answer how many of the 25,000 refugees have been brought in so far. He first said "The process is just beginning." Shortly after he said "The process is well advanced, particularly on those that are private sponsorships."

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at

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