July 17, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets baby Justin Trudeau

by Neha Monga

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Saturday, met a two-month old Syrian baby named after him as a honour. The meeting took place at a Calgary Stampede breakfast on Saturday, where Mr. Trudeau also held the baby briefly while he was snoozing.

The two-month old boy, whose full name is Justin-Trudeau Adam Bilan, was born in May this year in Calgary – a city which is home to around 1000 Syrian refugees.

The boy’s parents, Muhammad and Afraa Bilan, who are from Damascus, named their son after the Prime Minister as a gesture of thanks to him and his country which offered refuge to thousands of displaced Syrians.

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Mr. Trudeau became the prime minister in November 2015 and since then more than 40,000 Syrians have taken shelter in Canada.

However, the resettling has come with its own set of challenges wherein the refugees have often talked about the difficulties of finding work and learning English or French.

In spite of several workshops being launched to help refugees to cope better with the anxiety, the federal government has been criticised by some settlement agencies for not doing enough for the refugees.

Last year, John McCallum, Canada’s minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship, said the government had increased funding for language training to address shortages across the country.

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“And what makes me proud is not just that we got the job done, which we did – but there is still more to do – but really that if you compare Canada with other countries around the globe which are tending to close their doors to refugees, Canadians responded so overwhelmingly positively to the refugees,” he said.

After the US President Donald Trump introduced a ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries earlier this year, Mr Trudeau took to social media to confirm his government’s commitment to helping “those fleeing persecution, terror & war.”

 

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