Welcome to Canada
Dawn Edlund, former Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and Government of Canada Operational Lead for Operation Syrian Refugees, recalls setting up welcome centres in Toronto and Montréal to greet incoming flights of Syrian refugees.
Transcript: Welcome to Canada
Video length: 1:44
Light music plays.
An image fades up of various directional signs at a refugee welcome center.
Text appears: Operation Syrian Refugees – Phase 4
The image fades to black and turns into a blurred background.
Text appears: Welcome to Canada
Screen fades to black and music stops.
Transition to a woman speaking to the camera, with flags in the background.
Text appears: Dawn Edlund, Former Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and Government of Canada Operational Lead for Operation Syrian Refugees
dawn edlund: People arrived at the Welcome Centre either in Montréal or Toronto, so we decided operationally that the flights coming from overseas would only stop at those 2 airports and then onward travel to the eventual community destination would happen obviously after that. And so we built a brand new port of entry in that infield terminal in Toronto in the space of about 3 weeks, and procured everything – got all the setup, got all the IT stuff in place, got all the staff in place, everyone trained, everyone vaccinated from a health and safety perspective … all that organized – and so those were ready to go on December 1  and then our first flight was … arrived the 11th. The second flight went to Montréal …
The image fades to an airport terminal with refugees waiting to speak to a Canadian border agent. The image then cuts to a close-up to a young boy. The image cuts back to Dawn.
dawn edlund: and Montréal was a bit of a different setup because the airport we were arriving at didn’t have enough space for us to have the welcome centre in the airport, and so we were actually busing people from the airport to where our welcome centre was where they could …
The images fades to a couple waiting in the airport terminal. The image then cuts to a close-up to an elderly woman. The images then cuts to the same couple discussing with a Canadian border agent with an interpreter. The image cuts back to Dawn.
dawn edlund: and at the Welcome Centre, they would go through getting their social insurance number, getting their interim federal health care coverage certificate, getting their – in the case of Quebec – their Quebec health-care card right away so that when they … when the folks were leaving the airport, they were fully papered from a Canadian document perspective when they actually left our welcome centres.
The screen fades to black.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature along with the copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2020.” are shown on screen followed by the “Canada” wordmark.
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