Canada meets deadline to accept 25000 Syrian refugees

Canada meets deadline to accept 25000 Syrian refugees
Canada has welcomed its 25000th Syrian refugee as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
2 min read
29 February, 2016
Canada's PM pushed for the #WelcomeRefugees initiative throughout his campaign last year [Getty]

Canada has fulfilled a promise to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees escaping the civil war.

One hundred flights chartered between Canada, Lebanon and Jordan have now delivered thousands of refugees as pledged by Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The deadline was met over the weekend and was announced by Immigration Minister John McCallum who tweeted: "25000 reasons why Canadians should be proud today #WelcomeRefugees."

The government's ambitious resettlement programme welcomed its first flight in December 2015 after Liberals backtracked on the likelihood of delivering their promise.

As part of the initiative, costs for more than half of the refugees during their first year in the country will be covered by the government.

Canadians took to social media to commend their government on welcoming refugees.

But the programme has been met with resistance.

A petition to stop Canada's resettlement plans has been signed by 47,826 of the 50,000 expected.

Posted by 'Canadian Citizen,' it calls for the government to consider the country's security before looking at compassion.

"The hustle to bring a large number of Syrian people in a short period of time has potential to overlook terrorists," the statement said.

Canada's intake will continue over the year with 12,000 more refugees expected to arrive by the end of this year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR).