Afghan newcomers to celebrate first Canada Day

·3 min read

OTTAWA, ON, June 30, 2022 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada continues to work hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. For the over 16,270 Afghan refugees who have landed in Canada since last August, tomorrow's festivities will mark their first Canada Day in their new communities.

To celebrate this special day, we extend our sincere gratitude to the settlement service providers who remind us that generosity is one of our country's greatest strength.

A shining example of Canadian generosity is the Association for New Canadians, a settlement service provider in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, which will be hosting its annual Multicultural Family Sports Day on June 30 to mark Canada Day. This event will bring together both newcomers and the local community to help build community connections and friendships. The Association will be collaborating with a local business to provide free entertainment and games for children of newcomers.

Afghan nationals who will be celebrating their first Canada Day include Mr. Farhad Iqbal, a former interpreter for the Canadian Armed Forces and an Afghan refugee who arrived in Canada with his family in August 2021. He and his family quickly adjusted to Canadian life, he found a job, and connected with his new community. His first impressions of Canada were positive: he instantly took a liking to the friendly people, the clean air, the historical structures and sweet maple syrup. As they prepare to celebrate their first Canada Day, Mr. Iqbal and his family feel relieved that Canadians welcome newcomers with open arms and are grateful for their newfound safety.

"Canada has gorgeous lakes and the cleanest air in the world. We are happy here and we enjoy the lifestyle. I am currently working and studying, and I will also try to start my higher education here to serve in the future for Canada."

Farhad Iqbal, Afghan newcomer celebrating his first Canada Day

Every day, we continue to witness the generosity and resilience of people across the country, including Afghan newcomers. Afghan refugees have resettled in more than 90 communities across Canada, from major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver to smaller centres like Red Deer and Fredericton. The Government of Canada is proud to work closely with the provinces and territories, settlement service providers and stakeholders across the country to welcome Afghan refugees and help them adjust to life in Canada. See how to celebrate your citizenship on Canada Day and read more about other Afghan newcomers on our Follow the journey page.

Photos of previous Afghan arrivals are available in Dropbox for use by media. You can also monitor Canada's progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.

Quotes

"As we come together on Canada Day, let us celebrate our beautiful, welcoming country and highlight the richness of its cultural diversity from coast to coast to coast. Our strong, shared commitment in helping the world's most vulnerable has allowed us to become a global leader in refugee resettlement. I am proud that so many Afghan refugees have been welcomed with open arms in communities across the country and can now call Canada home. We will continue to work hard to resettle Afghan refugees and ensure they are able find safe haven. "

–The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2022/30/c5749.html

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