"Welcome to your new home:" Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refug...
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne greet Syrian refugees upon their arrival in Toronto. Trudeau and Wynne shared a touching moment with the family's young daughter as they presented her with a teddy bear. Learn more - http://glbn.ca/VKrU9Posted by Global News on Thursday, December 10, 2015
While American politicians — or Republicans, to be precise — are squabbling over the idea of taking in migrants from the war-torn Syria, government officials in Canada are personally greeting the refugees arriving in their country.
In stark contrast with the United States, which plans to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing forward with his pledge to resettle 25,000 migrants by the end of February. In fact, he was among those who gathered at the airport terminal to welcome the first wave of refugees.
“This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about,” Trudeau said to staff and volunteers who were waiting to process the new arrivals at the Pearson airport. “We get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations.”
The first Canadian government plane carrying 163 Syrian refugees arrived in Toronto late Thursday, while another plane is due in Montreal on Saturday.
“They step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada with social insurance numbers, with health cards and with an opportunity to become full Canadians,” the newly elected liberal said. “This is something that we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by a skin color or a language or a religion or a background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that not just Canadians but people around the world share.”
The Canadian prime minister was joined at the airport by hordes of people, who brought along snacks and warm clothes for the new arrivals. Some even brought along placards reading “Welcome to Canada” to make their guests feel at ease.
“This is a great moment for Canada,” said Immigration Minister John McCallum, adding all 10 provinces in Canada are in favor of accepting the refugees. “This shows the way we really are. It truly is a nonpartisan, national project.”
The Toronto Star, the country's largest-circulation daily newspaper, also ran a cover story and a heartfelt editorial welcoming the refugees.
“You’ll find the place a little bigger than Damascus or Aleppo, and a whole lot chillier. But friendly for all that. We’re a city that cherishes its diversity; it’s our strength,” reads the editorial. “It’s been a long trek, but you are no longer refugees. Your days of being strangers in a strange land are over.”
Check out the video above for Trudeau's warm welcome to the new citizens of Canada.
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