"You’re with family now," the Star's editorial read. "And your presence among us makes our Christmas season of peace and joy just that much brighter."
The newspaper's editorial line is traditionally left-of-center and currently in accord with the new Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who made the issue of Canada's responsibility to refugees part of his election platform.
The editorial assures Syrian refugees that they will find a real home in Canada:
You’ll find the place a little bigger than Damascus or Aleppo, and a whole lot chillier. But friendly for all that. We’re a city that cherishes its diversity; it’s our strength. Canadians have been watching your country being torn apart, and know that you’ve been through a terrifying, heartbreaking nightmare. But that is behind you now. And we’re eager to help you get a fresh start.
The tone here is starkly different to that being aired in the United States. The prospect of jihadist violence and infiltration in the West — though totally separate from the plight of Syrian refugees — has led to a host of American politicians calling for a halt to refugee arrivals. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has even used the present moment to grandstand against all Muslims.
Trudeau's election victory came amid a controversial debate over Muslim integration in Canada, stoked as a wedge issue by the then-ruling Conservatives. The triumphant Liberals hailed their success as a repudiation of xenophobia.
"Multiculturalism isn't an experiment anymore," Harjit Sajjan, Canada's defense minister and one of four Sikh cabinet ministers, told WorldViews last month. "My kids think like Canadians, and they don't know anything else."
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