Sudbury

Greater Sudbury sponsors await arrival of Syrian refugees

The first plane load of Syrian refugees has landed in Canada, but sponsors in Greater Sudbury are still waiting to find out when they will meet their new neighbours.

Family of 9, currently waiting at a refugee camp in Lebanon, to resettle in Capreol

Two Syrian children wait for the first flight taking refugees from Beirut to Toronto on Dec. 10, 2015. (Susan Ormiston/CBC)

The first plane load of Syrian refugees has landed in Canada, but sponsors in northeastern Ontario are still waiting to find out when they will meet their new neighbours. 

Dozens of groups across northeastern Ontario are preparing to welcome refugees, and are at various stages of the process.

Every time the phone rings, Faye Moffatt said she wonders if it will be news about the family of 9 her sponsorship group is bringing to Capreol.

"And I'm sure it's the same for them. They've been waiting for 2, 3, 4 years — waiting to see if they'll be accepted to go some place."

Moffatt said she's waiting for word about when the family — a couple and  7 children — will leave a refugee camp in Lebanon. 

The sponsorship group, which is made up of a coalition of churches and community groups, plans to house the family in an empty priest's home next to a Capreol church, said Moffatt. 

"You can do all the preparing of a house that you want, but bottom line is you have to prepare you heart and understand how bewildering and scary it will be for them to come to a place that's so different from what they've known," she said.

The group is planning a house warming party for the family in the new year. 

In Timmins, sponsors are still waiting to be paired with their first family.

A promise from Timmins city council to match fundraising up to $15,000 has prompted a campaign that may raise enough money to sponsor two families. 

None of the refugees who arrived in Toronto on Thursday will be resettled in northern Ontario. A second flight is set to arrive on Saturday in Montreal. 

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