10 photos of Canada showing the world how to love refugees

Canada is showing the world a thing or two about extending love to refugees. Soon after he was elected in October, their new Prime Minister pledged to welcome 25,000 people fleeing war-torn Syria by the end of February. Refugees in Canada will be privately funded . . . by churches, non-profits, and individuals, and will be settled in more than 100 communities across Canada. The is a sharp contrast to the US, who has said it will accept just 10,000 refugees over the next year, with some Republican governors even attempting to keep people from being resettled in their states. Not to mention leading presidential candidate Donald Trump, who said there should be a ban on any Muslims entering the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave an impassioned speech that set the tone for how his country will embrace refugees:
"Tonight they step off the plane as refugees. But they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada, with social insurance numbers, with health cards, and with an opportunity to become full Canadians. This is something that we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by a skin colour 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. And how you will receive these people tonight will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives, but also I know something that you will remember for the rest of your lives. And I thank you deeply for being a part of this because this matters, tonight matters, not just for Canada but for the world. "Merci beaucoup, mes amis."
Here are some inspiring photos of the first wave of immigrants to Canada.

Trudeau personally welcomed refugees at the aiport. “You’re home,” he said. “Welcome home.” (source)

A children's choir sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Tala al-Badru ‘Alayna’ – one of the oldest songs in Islam, to welcome refugees. (source)

Greeters held signs at the airport to welcome refugees. (source)

A local priest and friends hold a welcome sign in a room where a family of four Syrian refugees they're sponsoring will stay temporarily at St. Joseph's College women's residence in Edmonton.(source)

At Pearson airport, all were welcomed by a large contingent of staff and given winter coats, boots, hats and gloves before resting a few hours in a hotel. Meanwhile, strangers brought signs, warm winter clothing, teddy bears, toys, and candy to the airport. (source)

At Pearson’s port-of-entry, Syrian refugees can expect to be equipped with everything they need to transition into their new lives in Canada.

Syrian refugees receive welcome bags and new flags. (source)

This boy brought flowers for the strangers landing. Says his mom, "They deserve a warm welcome and to feel at home." (source)

Canada has opened a processing center in Amman to help move applications for those who want to immigrate. (source)

The Toronto Star welcomed refugees on the cover, with the following moving editorial:

Ahlan wa sahlan.

You’re with family now.

And your presence among us makes our Christmas season of peace and joy just that much brighter.
The people of Toronto are honoured to greet the very first group of 25,000 Syrians who will be arriving in this country in the next few months, and who have chosen to make a new life here. It’s been a long trek, but you are no longer refugees. Your days of being strangers in a strange land are over . . .

Canadians have been watching your country being torn apart, and know that you’ve been through a terrifying, heartbreaking nightmare. But that is behind you now. And we’re eager to help you get a fresh start.


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