More than 100 Syrian refugees arrive at N.B. resort hotel

FRENCH VILLAGE, N.B. -- More than 100 Syrian refugees have arrived at a resort hotel west of Fredericton in the past week, but the group in charge isn't saying how long they will stay or how many more are expected.

See Full Article

Local officials are restricting journalists' access to the site, citing privacy concerns.

Lisa Bamford, executive director of the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, which is in charge of the project, described the privately sponsored refugees as "vulnerable people" whose privacy must be protected.

"They are not commodities," she said Tuesday as dozens of men, women and children milled about the lobby of the resort on the Saint John River. "We have to respect and protect their privacy."

Bamford declined to say how many refugees were staying at the resort, where they came from, how long they were expected to stay or how many more were expected to arrive.

Earlier this week, a local media report said that as of last Wednesday, dozens of Syrian refugees were arriving daily at the 14-hectare resort, which is typically experiencing slow business at this time of year.

General manager Shane Hashemi told the Fredericton Gleaner there were 90 refugees at the resort by last weekend and up to 250 in total were expected to arrive in the days ahead, filling the hotel to capacity.

Hashemi said extra cribs and playpens were brought in because the average family has an average of five children in tow. He is also quoted as saying security guards were hired to make sure the children don't go near the river or the highway.

The secrecy at the resort stands in contrast to the very public displays that Canadians have witnessed in recent months as thousands of refugees have been welcomed to 260 communities across the country.

On Dec. 11, 2015, the first group of Syrian refugees airlifted to Canada checked in to their Toronto hotel, but not before they were met by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and a large group of reporters and photographers.

Immigration Minister John McCallum was at Toronto's Pearson airport Feb. 29 as the last two government-arranged refugee flights arrived as part of the Liberals' $678-million settlement plan.

Some settlement agencies have said housing remains the biggest challenge. Charities providing furniture to the refugees, meanwhile, have said they struggle to keep up with demand.

In late February, the federal government issued a tender for 150 hotel rooms in Fredericton area to house refugees.

As of March 1, 26,166 refugees have arrived in Canada, according to the federal government.

The Canadian government reached its goal of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February, but more are expected to arrive in the months ahead. The government pledged to resettle a total of 25,000 government-assisted Syrians by the end of the year, and have about 10,000 more to bring.

Nancy Caron, a spokeswoman with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, said refugees' stay in temporary accommodations can vary from days to several weeks.

Caron said more than 60% of government-supported Syrian refugees nationally are now living in permanent accommodations, and that will increase quickly now that the flow of new arrivals is slowing.

An estimated 4.7 million Syrians have registered as refugees since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, but the UN refugee agency is not seeking permanent new homes for that many.

The UN has reached out to countries to take in the refugees and only Germany has made more official spaces formally available than Canada.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Inuit girls and women in Nunavik preyed upon by some workers from the south, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Almost every day, police in Nunavik, the Inuit territory in Quebec's far north, hand out rape kits to victims who request them. The majority of the alleged aggressors are Inuit, says Michel Martin, the former chief of the Kativik regional police force. Source
  • Republican concedes Pennsylvania U.S. House race to Democrat amid anti-Trump surge

    World News CBC News
    Republican Rick Saccone conceded defeat to Democrat Conor Lamb on Wednesday night in a closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, more than a week after the end of a remarkable race that has shaken Republican confidence ahead of the November midterm elections. Source
  • White House issues threat over leaked Trump briefing papers

    World News CTV News
    U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) Source
  • RCMP get their man after chase with snowmobiles, helicopter

    Canada News CTV News
    VULCAN, Alta. -- RCMP in southern Alberta have arrested a suspected thief following a chase that included a helicopter, snowmobiles, a police dog team and the suspect's Labrador retriever. Mounties say an officer responded to reports of a stolen snowmobile and stopped a truck towing the machine on a highway. Source
  • Exhibit confronts Canada's rejection of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazis in 1939

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A new exhibition at the Canadian War Museum is shedding light on a dark chapter in Canada’s history, when more than 900 Jews aboard the St. Louis who were escaping Nazi Germany were rejected by Ottawa, and forced back to Europe, where 254 passengers were killed in death camps. Source
  • Former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin to be judge in Hong Kong

    World News CBC News
    Hong Kong's top court has appointed former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin to sit as a non-permanent common-law judge on the Court of Final Appeal. McLachlin, who recently retired from Canada's Supreme Court, will take up her new role once her appointment is endorsed by the Legislative Council, an elected body in Hong Kong that functions as a parliament or legislature. Source
  • 'This Wild West era's got to end': Facebook breach energizes UK lawmakers

    World News CBC News
    It is delicious irony that to uncover some of our worst fears about online data privacy and misinformation, it took old-fashioned journalists — the venerated British press — and an equally old-school method of whistleblowing. It's not for others' lack of trying. Source
  • Peru's president offers resignation amid political turmoil

    World News CBC News
    Embattled Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski offered his resignation Wednesday ahead of an impeachment vote, seeking to put an end to a fast-moving political drama playing out just three weeks before the Andean nation is set to host U.S. Source
  • Icy waterfall rescue nets man on date a bravery medal, couple now engaged

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- A hiking date for a Vancouver Island couple turned into a life-saving rescue that earned Janson Chapman a bravery medal and now a lifetime partner. Chapman, a golf course greens keeper from Colwood, was one of 46 people honoured today with medals of service by Gov. Source
  • Montreal man accused in U.S. airport stabbing faces new terrorism charge

    Canada News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. -- U.S. federal prosecutors have added a terrorism charge to the case of a Montreal man who is accused of stabbing a police officer at a Michigan airport in June. Amor Ftouhi, a native of Tunisia, has been charged with stabbing an officer in the neck at Flint's Bishop International Airport while yelling "Allahu Akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great. Source