OTTAWA — In his first Christmas message as prime minister, Justin Trudeau encourages Canadians to share the spirit of the season with Syrian refugees.
He says this is a time of year celebrated by showing generosity to family and friends and trusts Canadians will do the same with Syrian refugees experiencing Canadian holidays and winter for the first time.
He says Canadian values of love, hope and compassion is what we do and who are.
The Liberals have committed to resettling 10-thousand Syrians by year end, and a further 15-thousand by the end of February.
As of the start of this week, just over 16-hundred had arrived.
Trudeau also says Canadians should take time to remember the military men and women who can’t be with their families this holiday.
He says Canadians appreciate their sacrifices.
For the record, here’s his message:
“Around the world and across Canada, Christians gather on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a time when families, friends, and colleagues come together to celebrate the spirit of the season.
“Christmas is an opportunity for giving as well as receiving. Whether it is volunteering time at a local food bank, buying gifts for children in need, or opening doors to someone who may be celebrating alone, the true spirit of Christmas is about connecting with our neighbours and our community.
“This year, Canadians are welcoming thousands of Syrian refugees to our country — people who have been forced to flee their homeland due to war and conflict. I encourage all Canadians to show them a warm holiday welcome in keeping with our values of compassion, kindness, and generosity.
“From our family to yours, Sophie and I wish you all a most joyous holiday season and a merry Christmas.”