Syrian refugee totals in Nova Scotia could top 700
'It feels like a huge number, but 25,000 go into Germany every weekend,' ISANS director says
The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia doesn't have exact figures, but it estimates 500 to 700 Syrian refugees could be coming to Nova Scotia.
The refugee support group is working around the clock to try to prepare for the influx of people.
Canada's new immigration minister says he's ramping up efforts to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year.
The federal government not only has to figure out how to get the refugees to Canada, but how to house them once they arrive.
That's where ISANS comes in. Director Claudette Legault says they've been working non-stop to prepare.
The group has been trying to come up with lists of locations that could possibly house dozens of people in a pinch.
"It feels like a huge number, but 25,000 go into Germany every weekend. So I think we have to keep it into perspective," said Legault.
Legault says ISANS is ready to provide orientation and work with community groups to ease the transition.
"The players here in Nova Scotia are ready, so I think once we know what the ballpark is we can begin to be more concrete ... we don't get to make the decisions, but we'll be ready to implement whatever comes," said Legault.
Legault isn't complaining about the long hours and huge demands. She says she's thrilled to be a part of an exciting transition.
On Monday, Immigration Minister John McCallum announced a new subcommittee will be formed in Ottawa to fast-track Syrian refugees.
"As we speak we are working on transport, air transport, possibly transport by sea," said McCallum.
He says when it comes to housing refugees everything is on the table, including army bases.