December 18, 2015 7:23 pm
Updated: December 18, 2015 10:02 pm

Governor General welcomes latest batch of Syrian refugees in Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: Gov. Gen. David Johnston was greeted with a hug from a Syrian refugee after arriving at Toronto's International Airport on Friday night.


TORONTO – The latest government-organized flight carrying Syrian refugees to Canada has landed in Toronto, with Gov. Gen. David Johnston on hand to greet the newcomers.

The chartered plane from Beirut, carrying about 214 refugees, is the fourth flight organized by Ottawa as part of its plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to the country by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Syrian refugee asks Prime Minister Trudeau to help reunite families like his

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Saying “Marhaba,” the Arabic word for “welcome,” Johnston, his wife, his daughter and his four grandchildren greeted three refugee families who came through a children’s play area set up in the airport terminal being used to process the refugees.

One man, Mohammed Al-Mubaied, asked for permission to kiss Johnston, and when he agreed, he gave him a kiss on the cheek.

The man, saying “hello” repeatedly in English, said through a translator that it was an honour to be welcomed by the Governor General.

The latest flight means nearly 1,500 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada since the Liberal government took office.

The Liberals have promised to bring a total of 25,000 refugees to the country by the end of February.

READ MORE: Immigration Minister McCallum makes surprise visit to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Immigration Minister John McCallum inspected the other end of the refugee pipeline Friday, making a visit to a processing centre in Lebanon.

Earlier this year he joined two other cabinet colleagues on a similar trip to Jordan.

McCallum also met with Lebanon’s Interior Minister Friday.

A Syrian refugee Salam (centre left) plays with The Canadian Governor General’s grandchildren (left) to right Georgina, Tea, Sadie and Lucas, as she arrives with her family at the Welcome Centre at Toronto’s Pearson Airport on Friday December 18, 2015.




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