New Brunswick has resettled more refugees per capita than any other province, with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island not far behind.

The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia crunched the numbers, which include government assisted and privately sponsored refugees.

"The provinces have stepped up," says Gerry Mills, the director of operations at the organization.

"This is a humanitarian movement of peoples. We are saving lives with this."

Fredericton Syrian Refugee

Mahmoud, a newcomer to Fredericton, making his first snowball. (CBC News)

Alex LeBlanc with the New Brunswick Multicultural Council says there are practical reasons why the province could receive more than others.

"We do have three resettlement organizations whereas other provinces, P.E.I., Newfoundland [and Labrador] and Nova Scotia have just one [each]," said LeBlanc.

"Capacity is definitely part of why we are punching above our weight."

But the New Brunswick government's appeal to the federal government played a role too.

The province made it clear to John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, that N.B. would take as many refugees for resettlement as possible.

In September, Francine Landry, New Brunswick's minister for the population growth secretariat, said that taking on 1,500 refugees could boost the stagnant population and help the province economically.

In January, McCallum said New Brunswick was "crying out" for refugees. 

"Two of the provinces who are the most keen to receive refugees are Nova Scotia and New Brunswick partly because they are nice people who welcome refugees but also because they desperately need more workers because their population is aging more than the rest of us," he said.

"The premier of New Brunswick has gone out of his way to say not only can New Brunswick welcome them but New Brunswick has jobs for them in areas like fish processing," said McCallum at the time.

Elsewhere in the country the numbers show Saskatchewan is close behind the Maritimes, followed by Alberta and Ontario, with B.C. resettling the fewest refugees per capita.

  • New Brunswick: 0.00141
  • PEI: 0.00094
  • Nova Scotia: 0.00085
  • Saskatchewan: 0.00084
  • Alberta: 0.00069
  • Ontario: 0.00068
  • Manitoba: 0.00058
  • Quebec: 0.00052
  • Newfoundland: 0.00043
  • BC: 0.00041

(Source: ISANS)