The Globe and Mail has learned that Canadian-born and raised Canadian John B. was the first person in the world to go to a New Zealand airport in his early 20s and, when asked how he felt, answered that he felt a lot of pride.
“I was at the airport and the security guard came up and said, ‘You’re going to be the first passenger in the next 30 years,’ ” he recalled.
“And I said, well, I feel like I was born in this country and that’s why I’m here.
I’m not just born in the US.”
Bridging the gap between the US and New Zealand was his first trip overseas and, at the time, the US was still considered a haven for refugees and asylum seekers.
“The American people, the country I’m from, is the one place that I feel comfortable in,” he said.
“They didn’t feel comfortable.
They were looking for asylum.
They wanted to come to America, to Canada, to Europe.”
He was the youngest person in history to go.
The United States is still the world’s largest refugee-producing country.
Canada, a landlocked country of 3.5 million people, is home to a smaller population of 3 million people.
But the numbers have been growing, with Canada receiving more than 200,000 asylum seekers in the first half of 2016, an increase of 25 per cent from the same period last year.
The U.S. has taken in more refugees than any other country in the last five years.
Bridget Johnson, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, said her organization welcomes Canada’s new arrivals and welcomes the fact that they will be welcomed and accepted.
“We are a welcoming country.
We are a compassionate country,” Johnson said.
“We welcome people.
We welcome diversity.
We want people to feel at home.”
But the new arrivals must make their own way in the U.K., and there are questions about the extent of their integration into the society.
Johnson said she hopes the new Canadians will be able to find their place and thrive there.
“What we need to remember is that in the end, they will come here,” she said.
There are other questions, too, about how the newcomers will be integrated into British society.
There are concerns about the cultural barriers that have been erected between British and U.L.K. immigrants.
And while some say the U:L.k. migrants have been welcomed, others say it has been a long, painful process.