FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has created a working group and framework outlining the province’s planned response to an anticipated influx of refugees.

The federal government has pledged to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the calendar year. The creation of an ad hoc, inter-departmental provincial committee will serve to facilitate the smooth transition of the Syrian refugees to this province.

“Welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing a war-torn country is the right thing to do and is a priority for our government," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry, whose department will chair the committee.

Refugee identification and admission is a federal responsibility, however, the provincial government’s priority will be to retain and integrate refugees into the province.

Landry spoke with federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum today over the phone, and received an update on the file.

“I thank New Brunswickers in advance for doing their part to welcome refugees to our province and for showing these individuals what makes this a great place to call home,” said Landry. “With commitment and effort, our response can assist in the successful resettlement of many families who are looking for a safe place to live.” 

The provincial government is also working with immigrant settlement agencies, sponsorship agreement holders, faith-based organizations and other stakeholder groups throughout New Brunswick to ensure there will be a co-ordinated response to the arrival and resettlement of the refugees.

The departments on the committee include: Health, Social Development, Education and Early Childhood Development, Public Safety, Environment and Local Government, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Service New Brunswick.