Syrian family returns to N.B. after brief stint living in Vancouver

November 3, 2016

By Shane Fower, CBC News |

A Syrian family arrived at the Greater Moncton International Airport on Wednesday night and were immediately greeted by friends and others ready to help them integrate into the city.

This was a common sight a year ago when the first wave of Syrian refugees began landing in New Brunswick.

But this time, the family is returning to Moncton after leaving the province in hopes of a new start in Vancouver.

Mike Timani, the chairman of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, was among the group who welcomed the family home on Wednesday night.

Timani said multiple factors were involved in the family’s return to southeastern New Brunswick.

Timani said the family wanted the safest possible environment to raise their four young children aged two, five, seven and nine.

He said the expensive real estate market in British Columbia is something that they were not expecting when they left New Brunswick.

“We all know a million dollar home there is $300,000 here or $250,000, so the cost of living is not the same,” said Timani.

“People do think it’s greener on the other side, but the fact is that it’s not. New Brunswick is a great place to live.”

New Brunswick brought in an estimated 1,500 Syrian refugees and that influx of new residents was a major factor in the province setting a string of population increase records earlier this year.

But the province has also had to cope with the challenge of settling Syrians and keeping them in the province.

In September, Janet Hunt, who volunteered with the resettlement effort in Saint John, said there had been at least five Syrian families that have left that city for other Canadian destinations so they could find work or to reunite with friends.

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