It was the first anniversary of a monumental day for Quebec immigration.
One year ago, the first planeload of Syrian refugees made their way to the province in hopes of a better life.
George Kas Barsoum was one of those people.
He came to Quebec with his family and said he worked at a clinic one kilometre from the ancient and now war-torn Aleppo borderline.
“In my street, one hundred people had died in three years,” Kas Barsoum said.
His new home in Canada is a world away.
“It’s different,” Kas Barsoum said. “This country is peaceful, this country is welcoming.”
For the time being he’s focused on learning a new language, but when that’s completed there’s uncertainty.
“I will search for something for living,” Kas Barsoum said. “I don’t know anything except the medical jobs. I will search for some stage or something like doctors, I don’t know.”
He’s not the only refugee looking for employment.
“We want to do things we want to be effective people here,” Athra Naoum, a Syrian refugee, said. “Because we are effective people.”
At this anniversary event, the province is looking forward.
“The next step is full integration notably in to the job market,” Kathleen Weil, Quebec Immigration Minister, said. “That’s obviously where the challenges are.”
In August, Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil said the province had a goal of welcoming 7,300 refugees by the end of 2016.
As of December 8, 2016, Québec had welcomed 6893 refugees.
Even though there’s uncertainty surrounding what the future holds, it is a big improvement from the past.
“After the war everything is easy,” Kas Barsoum said. “It’s not easy to live in new country, but after war…it’s more easy than living in the war.”