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Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, 11 million Syrians have been displaced, or about half of the entire country. Four million of them have fled across Syria’s borders, and 75% are women and children.

Canada banned Italian immigration in 1929, Jewish immigration in 1933. Neither group was admitted again for the next 15 years. The painful memory of that failure prompted us to accept Hungarian refugees in the 1950s and 50,000 Vietnamese refugees in 1979.

It is possible to resettle large numbers of people in this country.

Refugee Children

So far Canada has managed to admit around 25,000 people from Syria and will accept many more. The government will sponsor 40 for every 60 privately sponsored.

PEC Syria is sponsoring a Syrian Refugee family through the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge.   ryerson.ca/lifelinesyria

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It's rare that all family members of the Al Jasems are home at the same time, let alone when a friend visits the house to invite them to dinner at their cottage in the County. So everyone got to experience the warmth of the fireplace, and talk about the knick nacks filling up the wood shelves adorning a typical Canadian cottage. And what else to have at a cottage on a cold winter's night but burgers on the bbq! ...

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Everyone lined up in the freezing cold for an hour. We even had RSVPed for the event with Trudeau in Belleville. But in the end only two of us got in. Disappointing for most. But it was still a great event. Glad to hear a strong commitment to continued immigration. ...

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Big line up hoping to get into town hall with our Prime Minister. Brrrr! ...

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Syrian FamiliesThe Al Jasem family enjoying the ‘spring’ County weather. The father of the family, Abdel Malek who is pictured here with other family members, sends this brief message on behalf of all their families:

“We would like to thank all of the people who have helped our family. We are happy to be here and look forward to getting to know the community. The children are very excited to go to school.”