25,000th Syrian refugee lands in Canada marking milestone for Liberal program
MONTREAL – The 25,000th Syrian refugee landed in Canada Saturday night marking the end of the first phase of the Liberals’ massive resettlement program.
They were part of a plane load of refugees who touched down in Montreal.
In the coming days, the group will spread to eight different provinces joining those who’ve arrived in Canada since the Liberals’ launched their Syrian refugee plan in November.
The Liberals had first made a commitment to resettle that many Syrian refugees in Canada almost a year ago while in opposition.
During the election campaign, they pledged to bring that many people to Canada by the end the year, but that target was pushed back to the end of this month once they took office.
Earlier in the day, a group in Vancouver gathered to take part in a global day of action calling on governments to offer safe passage for refugees and migrants bound for Europe.
Demonstrators came together at a downtown beach as volunteers coasted ashore in a dinghy, simulating the treacherous Mediterranean voyage that has so far claimed thousands of lives.
Vancouver was the event’s only Canadian location, dubbed Safe Passage, which took place in more than 120 cities, mostly within Europe.
Of the 25,000 who have now arrived, more than half will have their costs covered by the government in their first year with the rest supported by private groups or a mix of the two.
The Liberals have promised to resettle 25,000 government assisted refugees in total and say they will meet that goal by the end of 2016.