Syrian woman grateful for new life in Canada hopes others will get same chance

Mayor Gregor Robertson (credit: Canadian Press). Syrian refugees reach Turkey (credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

VANCOUVER — A woman whose family settled in British Columbia after escaping horrors in Syria says other refugees should get the same chance to start a new life in Canada.

Hanan Alawwad says she's grateful Canada took in her family last year, especially because her eight-year-old son suffers from Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Her family of six visited a construction site for a refugee and newcomer centre, which is set to open in Vancouver next year.

The $24.5-million facility will include 18 housing units that can accommodate up to 130 beds, a health clinic and adult education classes.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says he has joined mayors in Toronto and Calgary in urging the federal government and cities to do more for refugees.

Robertson says he will ask council next week to support a motion calling on Canada to increase the number of government-assisted refugees to 20,000 per year by 2020.

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