Canada continues to welcome more Afghan refugees

News release

February 11, 2022—Ottawa—The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Over the past week, nearly 460 Afghan refugees arrived in Canada on 20 different commercial flights. To date, a total of 7,550 Afghan nationals have arrived in Canada.

On February 3, a flight with 90 government-assisted refugees arrived at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and was greeted by Musqueam elders, who welcomed the newcomers to their territory with a cedar brushing and welcome song as a way to ensure a fresh start and safe path on the next steps of their journey. As part of the Vancouver Airport Authority’s Friendship Agreement with Musqueam, and as a step toward reconciliation, Musqueam and YVR hope the gesture helps share a glimpse of Musqueam history and culture and encourages newcomers to learn more about Indigenous people in Canada.

Photos of the Musqueam ceremony are available in Dropbox. You can also monitor Canada’s progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.


“It is extraordinary to watch our communities welcome some of the world’s most vulnerable. I am encouraged to see more Afghan refugees landing safely in Canada, with nearly 460 people arriving on 20 commercial flights in the last week alone. I want to thank the Musqueam elders in particular for their beautiful gesture in welcoming some of our newest neighbours to their traditional and unceded territory.”

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

“Musqueam is proud to welcome newcomers to our territory. Through our relationship with YVR, we are able to showcase our culture and connection to the lands and waters that many refugees will now call home. Together, we demonstrate the mutual respect that is a building block for reconciliation in Canada.”

– Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam Indian Band

“At YVR, we are honoured to play a role in Canada’s efforts to resettle Afghan refugees alongside our Musqueam partners, ensuring their first impression of YVR included the traditional welcome of Musqueam as the original stewards of the land on which we sit.”

– Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO, YVR

Quick facts

  • Afghan refugees have resettled in more than 90 communities across Canada. In the past week, Afghan newcomers were welcomed in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

  • Government-assisted refugees resettle in communities where there is an IRCC-funded resettlement service provider organization. The Province of Quebec receives separate funding to provide similar services as part of the Canada-Quebec Accord.

  • Privately sponsored refugees settle in the same community as their sponsor.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Aidan Strickland
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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