'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

  • Strong earthquake near Osaka, Japan, causes scattered damage

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck around 8 a.m. Source
  • 5 dead as SUV chased by U.S. Border Patrol crashes in Texas

    World News CTV News
    BIG WELLS, Texas -- At least five people are dead and several others hurt as an SUV carrying more than a dozen people crashed while fleeing from Border Patrol agents in South Texas. Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd says the SUV went out of control at more than 100 mph and overturned on Texas Highway 85, ejecting those inside. Source
  • Alberta mosque set ablaze in 'brazen' attack

    Canada News CBC News
    A mosque in Edson, Alta. was set on fire late Saturday night shortly after a small group of people left the building after evening prayers. The three people who were praying inside had left the mosque and were still in the parking lot when a fire started at the building's south entrance at around 11 p.m. Source
  • Alberta mosque set ablaze in 'brazen' arson

    Canada News CBC News
    A mosque in Edson, Alta. was set on fire late Saturday night shortly after a small group of people left the building after evening prayers. The three people who were praying inside had left the mosque and were still in the parking lot when a fire started at the building's south entrance at around 11 p.m. Source
  • Dogs saved from Korean meat farm are recovering well in Montreal shelter

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The 50 terrified dogs and puppies rescued from crammed cages on a South Korean dog meat farm are well on their way to becoming pets in Canada, Humane Society International said. The dogs -- which include terrier crosses, Jindo mixes and Labrador mixes -- were recovered with the help of animal advocates in Korea and transported to a Montreal emergency shelter last week. Source
  • N.B. First Nation chief says his election points to progress

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- The new leader of a New Brunswick First Nation said he's proud to be elected as the first openly LGBTQ chief in Atlantic Canada -- though he said he's more well-known in his community for his leadership skills and creativity. Source
  • New opera tells little-known story of Canadian nurses killed in WWI boat sinking

    Canada News CBC News
    A new opera tells the story of the Llandovery Castle, a Canadian hospital ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the First World War, taking hundreds of lives — including those of 14 nurses. Source
  • Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas

    World News CTV News
    MCALLEN, Texas -- Hundreds of children are waiting away from their parents inside a Border Patrol holding facility in South Texas, with groups of 20 or more children to a single cage. There are bottles of water, bags of chips, and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets. Source
  • Toronto police charge man in death of woman he allegedly met online

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police have charged a Brampton, Ont., man with second-degree murder after a woman was found dead in her apartment Tuesday. Police say 41-year-old Richard Isaac has been arrested in connection with the death of 28-year-old Victoria Selby-Readman. Source
  • Man faces murder charge in death of Toronto woman he met online: police

    Canada News CTV News
    A man has been arrested and charged with murder after a 28-year-old woman he allegedly met online was found dead in a downtown Toronto apartment building on Tuesday, police say. Richard Isaac, 41, of Brampton, Ont. Source