'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

  • Another sex assault charge laid against Ont. massage therapist

    Canada News CTV News
    WHITBY, Ont. -- Police have laid another sexual assault charge against a massage therapist from Whitby, Ont. Police originally charged 51-year-old Robert Newey earlier this month after a woman alleged that he had touched her inappropriately during an appointment in December. Source
  • 10-year-old boy drives to store, speeds away in police chase

    World News Toronto Sun
    FOSTORIA, OHIO - Ohio police say an erratic, speeding driver who led an officer on a brief pursuit turned out to be a 10-year-old boy who took his parents’ car without permission and drove 11 miles to a nearby city to shop at a convenience store. Source
  • Victim killed in Surrey, B.C. shooting was targeted: police

    Canada News CTV News
    SURREY, B.C. -- RCMP in Surrey, B.C., say the latest shooting in that city has killed one person and the attack is believed to be targeted. It happened just before 9:15 Monday night as the victim was in a vehicle on 96 Ave. Source
  • Federal court to rule on bid to block Canada-Saudi Arabia arms deal

    Canada News CBC News
    A federal court will rule today on the case of a Montreal law professor who challenged the federal government's decision to approve a $15-billion deal to sell armed military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Daniel Turp filed for a judicial review in Federal Court, arguing the sale should be blocked due to the country's human rights violations. Source
  • Florida man stabbed dog that wouldn't stop barking: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    SUNRISE, FLA. - Police say a South Florida man stabbed his dog in the leg with a kitchen knife when it wouldn’t stop barking. The SunSentinel reports the dog was injured in November but Michael O’Brien wasn’t arrested until Jan. Source
  • Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israel said Tuesday it approved plans to build 2,500 new settler homes in the West Bank, signalling a major ramp-up of construction just days after the swearing-in of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose election has emboldened the settlement movement. Source
  • Garland trial: Police extinguished smouldering burn barrel, found bone, tooth, glasses

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The burn barrel on the farm where the Crown believes Douglas Garland disposed of his victims was left smouldering overnight after the initial police raid, court heard Monday. Staff Sgt. Timothy Walker testified he went to the Airdrie farm north of Calgary the morning of July 5, 2014. Source
  • Internet charmed by small band of women who marched in tiny N.S. village

    Canada News CTV News
    DIGBY, N.S. -- When Gwen Wilson and Melissa Merritt decided at the last minute to organize their own women's march on Saturday, they were prepared to be the only ones trudging down the only road in their rural Nova Scotia village. Source
  • Todd Nicholson named Team Canada's Paralympic chef de mission

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian Paralympic Committee has announced that retired sledge hockey player Todd Nicholson will be Team Canada's chef de mission for the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 47-year-old Ottawa native competed in five Paralympic Games, including sledge hockey's debut at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Source
  • 'Murder gives me a high'; Teen’s diary leads to 15-year sentence after innocent woman stabbed 21 times

    World News Toronto Sun
    "I stabbed an innocent woman to death earlier today ... It was absolutely fantastic. Murder gives me a high unlike any other. It feels like this crisp unreality, flashing and sparkling, adrenaline and shock." While these lines might sound like the demented writings of John Wayne Gacy or perhaps Charles Manson, they actually appeared in what police said was a diary kept by a teenage girl named Pearl Moen. Source