The plane carried 163 Syrian refugees to Toronto.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – The first plane load of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada late Thursday, keeping step with new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to resettle 25,000 asylum seekers by the end of February.
“This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations,” Trudeau said as airport workers and volunteers waited to meet the refugees, Reuters reported.
The plane carried 163 Syrian refugees to Toronto, Reuters reported, and another military airlift is reportedly planned for Montreal on Saturday.
Trudeau’s Liberal government had planned to bring 25,000 refugees by the end of 2015, but following the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks changed that number to 10,000 by the end of the year and an additional 15,000 by the end of February to allow more time for security checks.
To the south of Canada, the United States has promised to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, a decision that has drawn fierce opposition internally following the Paris attacks. Weary of radicals possibly permeating accepted refugees, some U.S. governors flatly said their states would not accept them.
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“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,” Trudeau said, The New York Times reported.