MONTREAL - Canada on Saturday moved to ease immigration for Turkish and Syrian citizens already in the country, a month after an earthquake killed more than 50,000 people in the two countries.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6 killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey and thousands more in neighboring Syria, and devastated hundreds of thousands of buildings.
'Canada is committed to providing relief to those impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria,' said Sean Fraser, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
The new measures would allow, for example, people from those countries to apply for work permits that authorize foreigners to work for any employer for a specified period.
'Today we are introducing new measures that make it easier for Turkish and Syrian nationals to extend their stay in Canada and be with their families, while continuing to work and study in a safe environment,' Fraser added.
The announcement comes 10 days after the U.N. urged the international community to speed up its settlement of Syrian refugees from areas affected by the earthquake in Turkey.