The Liberals revised goal was met as 25,000th Syrian refugee arrives in Canada
Monday, February 29, 2016

The image of a three-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, face down, dead on a Turkish beach, shocked the world last September. It hit especially close to home for Canadians, as the boy’s aunt, Tima Kurdi, who lives in Port Coquitlam, B.C., pleaded with Canada to open its doors to the desperate refugees.

The heartbreaking story came at a time when Canadians were preparing to elect a new federal government, bringing out the rarely seen emotional side of the party leaders and shifting the campaign’s focus as parties came under pressure to present a plan for Syrian refugee resettlement.

The Liberals’ pledge was clear – they had committed in their platform to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees through government sponsorship by the end of 2015 – but after winning a majority government in late October, they found it was one they could not keep. Though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made Syrian refugee resettlement an early priority after the Liberals took power in early November, not even a month into their mandate, newly appointed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum pushed back the original deadline by two months to the end of February, 2016. He also announced that the government would include privately sponsored refugees in the total goal of 25,000, as opposed to just government-sponsored refugees.

A plane carrying the 25,000th Syrian refugee arrived in Montreal Saturday night, meaning the government met its revised goal two days early.


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Source: Globe and Mail