Canada Welcomes Syrian Refugees To Their New Home

The first plane carrying refugees from Syria flies in to Toronto's Pearson Airport. Image courtesy Tom Podolec.
The first plane carrying refugees from Syria lands at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Image courtesy Tom Podolec.

Something wonderful is happening, which Canadians can be very proud of.

The country is taking in refugees from Syria to help them begin a new life in Canada. The country will take in 25,000 refugees from now until the end of February.

Last Thursday, the first 163 of the refugees arrived at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. The first two families were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynn, the premier of Ontario, who welcomed them and gave them warm winter coats.

The Syrians had to leave their country because of a civil war there that makes it very dangerous. The war has been waging since 2011; it is between government forces and people opposed to the Syrian government.

The Canadian people have embraced the refugees. The government is paying many of the refugees’ costs, but many private groups have also pooled together money to pay for families to come to Canada. That’s known as “sponsorship.”

The sponsorship groups haven’t just donated money. They have also worked to figure out where the new families will live, get them appropriate winter clothing, help them learn English or French, and get all of the necessary legal documents they will need in their new life.

Many volunteers and charitable organizations as well as donors who have given money have also come together to support the new Canadian residents.

Greeting one new family, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “You are home. Welcome home.”

Earlier on Thursday, Trudeau said that, “we define ‘a Canadian’ not by a skin colour or a language or a religion or a background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams…”

More refugees from Syria will be entering Canada throughout this month and into the new year.

Related Links Below

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
If you were to greet a newly arrived Syrian refugee, what would you think to say? What would you want them to know about Canada and being a Canadian?

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
The author’s presence is felt throughout today’s article. Rather than telling the news, the author writes several things that tell us about her and what she thinks. 

Underline any parts of the text that reveal who she is. Next, consider if she is using her vocabulary and/or tone to communicate about herself.

Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Language Feature: Definition


Trudeau said that, “we define ‘a Canadian’ not by a skin colour or a language or a religion or a background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams…”

A definition explains the meaning of a word and, in this way, is a very powerful idea to communicate. It can have the power to adjust the way a reader sees, thinks, and understands.

To write a definition, it helps to think about these three parts

A. Function (what it does)
B. Structure (how it is put together)
C. Comparison (how it’s the same / different from other things like it)

Pick 3-5 words that you’d like to define. Write your own definition and compare it with a dictionary or a classmate’s definition. Use the 3 parts above to assist you.

For more fun with definitions, get your hand’s on a copy of Balderdash!

Related Links

This 2013 TKN article has good background information about how the Syrian conflict began.

The World Is Watching Syria

This Sept. 2015 TKN story talks about the Syrian refugee situation.

Countries Sending Aid To Syrian Refugees

The government of Canada’s #WelcomeRefugees website.