The Syrian civil war forced millions of people to flee their homes and seek new settlements in foreign countries.
For Canadians, what sparked the sudden urge to help resettle the refugees to Canada was a photograph of Alan Kurdi dead on a Turkish beach – the Syrian child and his family were trying to escape from the war in Syria. It had appeared that the Kurdi family were simply trying to escape the war, but were not given proper help.
The ongoing refugee crisis has prompted the Liberal platform to create a plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by January of 2016. New Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, promised on behalf of the Liberal platform that they “will welcome more refugees from Syria to Canada, and offer more help to those providing aid in the region,” (Justin Trudeau, 2015).
The Liberals were able to keep their promise with the help of immediate government sponsorship by investing $250 million. Between November 4th and December 28th, a total of 4,420 Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, with a further 4,985 refugees who had been approved for permanent residency on December 28th.
By January 1st, hundreds of new Syrian refugees began to settle into Canada, taking the total to 10,700. With the fast growing population of refugees in Canada, the Federal Government estimated that “Canada could welcome somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016,” (The Toronto Star, 2015). With the help of private sponsors, the Liberal’s hope to see an additional 10,000 refugees arrive to Canada by the end of 2016.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne welcome Syrian refugees with winter jackets on December 11th, 2015.
In a country where 25% of the population is made up of immigrants, the Liberals are able to carry on the image of Canada as being a multicultural country that welcomes people from all around the world, hence it has “a responsibility to expand our refugee targets and give more victims of war a safe haven in Canada,” (Justin Trudeau, 2015).
By Anastasia Andric