“One year ago today, our national project to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees reached an important milestone, as the first plane organized by the Government of Canada to carry refugees from the Middle East touched down at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
“Those of us who were at the airport that day with Prime Minister Trudeau will never forget the moving experience of welcoming Syrian newcomers with warm hearts and winter coats. Millions of Canadians were equally moved as they followed media coverage of the event, and over the past year, they have enthusiastically greeted the arrival of resettled Syrian refugees in communities from coast to coast to coast.
“Canadians from all walks of life joined in what was truly a national project to resettle Syrian refugees. Every effort, big and small, from volunteers, service providers, sponsors, corporate Canada and so many others, combined to make an enormous difference. Over the past year, more than 36,300 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada, and we continue to resettle refugees from Syria and other countries, and help them to integrate into their new homes.
“The enthusiasm, dedication, support and engagement of Canadian organizations and individuals continues to make all the difference in providing refugees with a smooth transition to life in our country. As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I am grateful for the work of the provincial and territorial governments, all our partner organizations, and all of those in Canada who volunteer their time and talents with organizations that help to welcome and integrate newcomers.
“Resettling refugees will continue to be a proud reflection of Canada’s humanitarian tradition. It demonstrates to the world that we have a shared responsibility to help those who are displaced, persecuted and most in need of protection. All Canadians should be proud of this historic effort. It is a true demonstration of who we are – a diverse, strong, compassionate and welcoming country.”