Trudeau personally greeted Vanig Garabedian, a Syrian OB-GYN, and his family when they landed in Toronto last December.
“We landed in Pearson airport and the very first person we shook hands was the prime minister,” Garabedian said while appearing on camera with Trudeau last week. “He said two words, ‘Welcome home.’”
The camera then pans to the prime minister, who grabs a handkerchief to wipe away tears.
“Watching you and your girls walking through this airport towards me was a moment in which I understood just the kinds of things we can do as a country,” Trudeau said. He pledged to allocate more resources toward improving the resettlement system in Canada.
“Now, after one year, I am even more proud to be Canadian,” Garabedian replied. He added that he feels a duty to give back to Canada by returning to his medical profession.
Many international leaders consider Trudeau’s administration exemplary for its welcoming stance toward refugees. It has already resettled more than 35,000 Syrian refugees in the last year ― more than twice as many as the U.S. has taken in. Many Canadian citizens have also taken on the task of privately sponsoring refugees, funding their resettlement process and looking after them once they’ve been set up in Canada.