FREDERICTON – As New Brunswick receives an increasing number of Syrian refugees in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, interest is growing in other regions of the province to play their part.
The Federal government controls approval of destination cities for Government Assisted Refugees (GARs), however the provincial government has made it clear that communities throughout New Brunswick can support this important work. The Minister responsible for Immigration, Francine Landry, will be addressing all 13 Multicultural Associations from across province to reinforce this message, on Friday, January 15 at the Wu Center in Fredericton.
“A key purpose for this meeting is to build capacity in associations throughout New Brunswick to play a larger role in refugee settlement” said Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “New Brunswick has all the right ingredients to be a leader in the country”.
“Some of our members have vast experience supporting refugees and others are newer to serving this population”. “We are supporting our members with less experience to build capacity over the short term, so they can play a larger role settling refugees in the months and years to come” said LeBlanc.
While the Feds determine destination cities for GARs, private and community sponsorship groups are getting organized throughout the province to fundraise and sponsor refugee families. Once these families arrive, the multicultural associations in their regions will provide settlement and language supports, so this remains a way that smaller cities and communities can get involved.