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Government of Canada flights of Syrian refugees began on December 10, 2105, with one flight landing in Toronto, followed by a second one in Montreal on December 12. The first two flights used military aircraft, but chartered flights are expected to be used for subsequent flights in December.

“I am heartened to see Canadians come together to welcome the Syrian refugees. I have hopes of the greatest success for them and their families as they build their new home in Canada,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

All flights of Syrian refugees are being destined to either Toronto’s Pearson International Airport or Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. These airports and cities have the necessary facilities and services available to process and temporarily accommodate large volumes of passengers over a short time. Approximately 300 privately sponsored Syrian refugees are expected to land in Canada via these two flights.

Upon arrival, refugees will be welcomed and undergo the final steps for admission by Canada Border Services Officers (BSO) who will confirm their identity using the documentation the refugees received following their immigration processing overseas. All refugees will also be checked for signs of illness when they arrive in Canada, per the Quarantine Act, and treatment will be available if anyone is ill upon arrival. Prior to boarding their flights refugees will have already undergone security screening and completed immigration medical exams.

Refugees whose travel arrangements are complete will continue travelling the following day toward their destination community in Canada. For those being met by their sponsors locally in Toronto or Montreal, the sponsors will receive specific information about when and where to meet the new arrivals.