A statement released by New Brunswick’s Human Rights Commission Monday asks for the public to be sympathetic and supportive when the Syrian refugees arrive.
“I am asking the people of New Brunswick to show compassion and respect for the refugee families who will soon be arriving in our communities. These refugees, particularly the children, have been through grueling times and will need support to become acclimatized to our province,” said commission chair Natalie Chaisson.
Charity groups like Boutique Encore are lining up to help the refugees, but they're in a holding pattern until they know how many are arriving and when.
“We do have storage to put the items away. We're waiting, just like everybody, to know when they're going to arrive and how many exactly,” said community worker Melanie Doiron.
An issue facing the refugees is language. The Universite de Moncton put a call out to its student population asking anyone speaking Arabic to step forward and help.
“The reaction was very, very good,” said Thérèse Thériault, a spokesperson for the university. “People signed up right away and we have around 80 people who have come forward.”
The list of names has been sent to the province. Translators will be called when needed.
Having survived for months on a meager diet, the refugees will need nourishment. Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum has asked for food donations, and Food Depot Alimentaire spokesperson Chantal Senecal says they’re ready to acceptall contributions.
“There definitely is a need to continue donating. The donations are down a little bit this year so we do need that extra help,” said Senecal.
About 90 Syrians hoping to leave Jordan passed through Canada's processing centre in Amman on Sunday. The goal is to process up to 500 people a day.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.