New Brunswick

Fredericton rally calls on government to allow more Syrian refugees

A group of people gathered in Fredericton Saturday to call on the government to allow more Syrian refugees into Canada immediately.

Fredericton welcomed a family from Syria over the weekend

Fredericton Syrian refugee rally

6 years ago
1:57
A group of people gathered in Fredericton to call on the government to allow more Syrian refugees into Canada immediately. 1:57

A group of about 80 people gathered in Fredericton Saturday to call on the government to allow more Syrian refugees into Canada immediately.

"What happened here today is part of a larger national conversation and that's what's required. We can't really change things significantly in Fredericton, but on a nationwide basis, by applying enough pressure, we can change things," said Asaf Rashid, one of the event's organizers.

According to organizers, a family from Syria arrived in Fredericton over the weekend. One family, they say, is not enough as thousands of Syrian families are trying to escape their war-town country.

In the last week, there have been similar rallies held across Canada and the rest of the world. In Fredericton, Sylvia Hale, a professor of sociology at St. Thomas University, started organizing efforts to bring a few more families to New Brunswick.

"If we get a ground swell of support, we'd like to bring in three to four families so that there's a little community of people," she said.

Assistant professor Gul Caliskan said a community is what refugee families need in order to help them settle into new lives in Canada.

"Fredericton and New Brunswick, although very welcoming place, and prides itself to be so, is also a very white place," she said. "So these refugees coming from a part of the world, New Brunswick has very little connection to." 

The event ended with a performance from a local youth group, most of them immigrants to Canada as well.

They said they can understand the difficulty of coming to a new place, but can only imagine the fear Syrian refugees must feel.

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