Kathleen Wynne will be at Pearson airport to welcome Syrian refugees

Premier Wynne says she will be at Pearson airport to welcome a group of around 164 Syrian refugees that will settle in Toronto.

Ontario is prepared to take roughly 4,000 Syrian refugees set to arrive in Canada by end of the year

A Syrian refugee child prepares to leave Beirut airport for her new home Canada on her first flight ever. (Susan Ormiston/CBC)

Premier Wynne will be going to Toronto's Pearson International Airport tonight to welcome the first plane carrying Syrian refugees along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Arriving in a new country will no doubt be an exciting but an overwhelming experience for these new Canadians," she said. "But I am very confident that people from across the province will welcome them and demonstrate the same kind of kindness and compassion that we have historically shown to each other."

Wynne said Ontario has been actively preparing for a "smooth and welcoming settlement."

The province is prepared to take roughly 4,000 of the 10,000 Syrian refugees set to arrive in Canada by the end of the year. The majority of refugees will be privately sponsored and all of them will be permanent residents.

Wynne's government has provided funding to support private sponsorship efforts, which include private citizens, organizations and volunteers working to make the refugees' transition as easy as possible.

"I want to thank all the people who have stepped up and are taking part in these efforts," Wynne said. "It's just beginning in terms of people arriving but there has been a lot of work that has been done up to this moment." 

The first flight carrying around 164 refugees from Beirut Lebanon is expected to land in Toronto just after midnight on Friday. 

The plane arriving from Jordan to Beirut touched down just before 4:30 a.m. ET, with another stopover in Germany before heading to Canada. (Sylvia Thomson/CBC)


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