New Brunswick vows refugee intake will continue

The mayors of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton had a conference call with the minister of post-secondary training and labour Wednesday after one mayor asked for a pause on the plan.

New Brunswick is nearing its goal of resettling 1,500 refugees

Francine Landry said that New Brunswick is a national leader in welcoming refugees who are fleeing a humanitarian crisis in Syria. She spoke with three New Brunswick mayors to help sort out their resettling concerns. (CBC)

There will be no slowing down when it comes to the resettling Syrian refugees in the province, says provincial cabinet minister Francine Landry.

Landry held a conference call Wednesday with the mayors of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton on Wednesday after Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside asked for a pause on the plan.

Some misinformation probably was the cause for their concern.- Francine Landry, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour

"Some misinformation probably was the cause for their concern," said Landry, the minister of post-secondary education, training and labour.

"We straightened out the numbers and who is doing what and everything should be okay."

Woodside said the work was overwhelming volunteers. He had phoned federal Immigration Minister John McCallum's office asking for a break before the next wave of 200 arrivals.

Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside phoned federal immigration Minister John McCallum's office asking for a break before the next wave of 200 arrivals.
Fredericton's deputy mayor, Eric McGarity, said Woodside had the right to be worried.

"Like anything else there's no manual on this for us. The organizations that are handling it are going full tilt. The mayor was concerned … that's his job to be concerned," he said.

The Multicultural Association of Greater Moncton also requested the halt in new refugees in March so refugees could be "properly" integrated.

"They have asked for a pause because they were looking for housing."

No stopping now

But Landry said the province is nearing its goal and there's no stopping now.

"We as a province are nearing our target of 1,500 refugees … We are also designating refugees to smaller communities around the province," said Landry

"New Brunswick is a national leader in welcoming refugees who are fleeing a humanitarian crisis in Syria. We are praised by the federal minister of immigration refugees and citizenship."

There are 372 refugees in 81 families in Saint John, Moncton has 320 refugees in 68 families and Fredericton has 342 in 62 families.

There are also 238 people at the Riverside Resort and Conference Centre in Mactaquac destined for smaller communities around the province in the coming weeks.
 

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