Afghan refugees are finding a warm welcome in Milton

A newly-landed refugee waves a Canadian flag outside St. John's International Airport on October 26, 2021. PHOTO: (RITCHE PEREZ/IMMIGRATION, RÉFUGIÉS ET CITOYENNETÉ CANADA)

By Muhammad Aamir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter

As many as 300 Afghan nationals arrived in Toronto, Ontario on a chartered flight, taking the total number of Afghan refugees arriving in Canada since August 2021 to over 10,000.

Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, welcomed the newcomers in Toronto on March 30.

Fraser said that Canada was facing extraordinary and complex challenges on the ground in Afghanistan, but said that the pace of arrivals continues to be strong.

He attributed it to the government’s continued efforts with ‘our trusted domestic and international partners.’

‘Being able to personally welcome these newcomers is a proud moment I won’t soon forget’, he said.

Provinces and Territories and countless domestic organizations have helped resettle refugees across the country.

Canadians, volunteers, and the private and non-governmental sectors, including several veterans organizations, have also generously given their time, services, expertise, financial contributions and in-kind donations to support these ongoing efforts.

In its statement, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it was working directly with Resettlement Assistance Program service providers, Provinces and Territories, community organizations, Sponsorship Agreement Holders, and private sponsors to provide Afghan nationals with access to housing, childcare, language training and basic necessities such as clothing and food.

Hamdullah, an Afghan national currently residing in Milton, said he was happy to see the new batch of Afghans arriving in Canada.

He expressed hope that Afghan nationals will soon be integrated into Canadian life and would heal from the trauma they faced during the two decades long Afghan war.