After running two weeks behind the schedule, Canada officially gave a green to 10,000 asylum seekers from Syria on Wednesday. A plane carrying the refugees landed in Toronto late Tuesday, which outnumbered to 10,121, in total between November and January.
Immigration Minister John McCallum termed it a “significant milestone” in a statement.
“Many people have worked day and night to bring these refugees to Canada,” he said, “and Canadians have opened their communities and their hearts to welcome them.”
“Canada continues to set an international example with its response to the worst refugee crisis of our time.”
Earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised to accept 25,000 Syrian migrants by December 31. But the target date was postponed to March, following the aftermath of Paris Attacks and security concerns around the borders.
The Liberal Government welcomed 6000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015, which made the journey from camps from Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. It failed to fulfill the target of 10,000 and promised to meet the target next month.
Trudeau also criticized an incident, where a man spurted a capsicum spray on a group of refugees during a welcome event in Vancouver. He tweeted that it “doesn’t reflect the warm welcome Canadians have offered.”
According to the government officials, the major concern is of housing facilities. Few families are still living in local hotels and educational facilities for children are yet to be arranged. Sponsors and resettlement workers are expecting to fix all within next two weeks.
“There’s little doubt in my mind that 25,000 will have arrived by the end of February,” said Trudeau in a statement outside parliament
“We have now demonstrated, I think, an ability to get the machine up and to deliver the refugees to Canada. The next phase – and it won’t be easy, it won’t always be totally smooth – is to…ensure that they find a place to live and get services that they require,” added Trudeau.