'Welcome to Canada': Sponsors greet early Syrian arrivals at Toronto airport

TORONTO -- Cheers erupted at Toronto's Pearson airport as two families of Syrian refugees emerged from the arrival gate Wednesday night.

See Full Article

The newcomers appeared weary but moved as they came face to face with those whose support brought them to Canada.

Their sponsors, meanwhile, let out whoops of joy and hoisted signs of welcome above their heads.

Lubna Malik stood at the gate for hours flanked by her husband and other relatives. Next to her were bags bursting with winter coats, clothes and children's backpacks for the newcomers.

She says they learned Sunday that the two families would be arriving in a matter of days and have been scrambling to get everything ready.

For now, she says, the refugees will be staying with community members who have freed up their basement apartments in Milton, Ont., but only until more permanent lodging is found.

Malik and her husband are part of several families to join forces to sponsor Syrian refugees through a Muslim community group -- the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.

"In Islam, we are supposed to help our fellow human beings," the stay-at-home mother of three said. "I think we all feel empathetic to them, these are people that were just like us and now they've lost everything.

"We are pretty much cancelling whatever we can because we just want to be there for them."

The group's spokesman, Safwan Choudhry, said the fundraising effort began only a few weeks ago, but the families had been on a waiting list for some time.

It was announced Wednesday afternoon that the first government airlift of Syrian refugees would arrive Thursday night.

The Liberal government has committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February, with 10,000 of them set to arrive by year's end.

Temporary processing centres have been set up to handle the waves of newcomers at Toronto's Pearson airport and Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • RCMP commissioner warns continued IT failures will have 'catastrophic' consequences

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's top cop is warning that ongoing computer network failures and slipshod service from Shared Services Canada could have "catastrophic" consequences for police and the public. CBC News has obtained a blistering Jan. 20, 2017, memo to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in which Commissioner Bob Paulson details how critical IT failures have increased by 129 per cent since the beleaguered department took over tech support for the entire government five years ago. Source
  • Tax-free saving schemes fail to prepare many for retirement: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    With the RRSP deadline only days away, the inventor of one of Canada's tax sheltered saving plans says there is evidence such schemes have failed to encourage people to save properly, and he warns there are changes afoot. Source
  • 'You can lose everything': Tenant's medical marijuana grow-op costs landlord insurance

    Canada News CBC News
    Longtime landlord Darryl Spencer was left scrambling for insurance after discovering a tenant was growing dozens of medical marijuana plants inside and outside his rental house. When the landlord told his insurance company about the perfectly legal grow-op, his coverage was cancelled, leaving him with no insurance, few rights and a big cleanup bill. Source
  • Battered eastern Ukraine seems headed into protracted on-and-off war

    World News CBC News
    On Feb. 19, one day before the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Ukraine, 51-year-old Vitaliy Yermolovich sat in the ruins of his home in Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine and laughed. "So, it'll be the 30th ceasefire?" he said, looking toward his neighbour, Telman Salimov, who fled the conflict in Karabakh nearly 30 years ago for the safety of Ukraine. Source
  • Father of dead Navy SEAL refused to meet Trump, wants Yemen raid investigated

    World News CBC News
    The father of a Navy SEAL killed during an anti-terrorism raid in Yemen is demanding an investigation into its planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing. Bill Owens told The Miami Herald in a story published Sunday that he refused to meet with President Donald Trump when both came to Dover Air Force Base to receive the casket carrying his son, Chief Special Warfare Officer William (Ryan) Owens. Source
  • Ex-congregants of evangelical church reveal years of abuse

    World News CTV News
    SPINDALE, N.C. -- From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror - waged in the name of the Lord. Source
  • Indonesian police kill suspected militant during attack

    World News CTV News
    BANDUNG, Indonesia - Indonesian police said they shot and killed a suspected militant in the West Java capital of Bandung on Monday after his bomb exploded in a vacant lot and he fled into a municipal building and set it alight. Source
  • Parade float crashes into specators during Rio's Carnival

    World News CBC News
    A float crashed during Rio de Janeiro's world famous Carnival parade Sunday evening and injured at least 12 people, including at least one person reported in serious condition, but organizers proceeded with the show. The incident involved the last float of the first samba school parading through Rio's Sambadrome. Source
  • 'This is not a joke': Confusion, Moonlight and other Oscar highlights

    World News CBC News
    There was drama, comedy and even a plot twist on Sunday at the 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Here are a few memorable moments that stood out and, of course, the one that stood above the rest. Source
  • U.S. officials not yet authorized to vet Australia refugees

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - U.S. security officers have yet to be authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to vet refugees held on Pacific islands for potential resettlement in the United States, an Australian official said on Monday. Source