Afghan refugees begin to arrive in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
The New Brunswick government says 26 Afghan refugees have either arrived in the province or are expected by the end of this week.
And many more are on their way.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says so far communities across Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have welcomed refugees.
The department said a further breakdown is not available.
"Refugees are matched with communities where settlement supports are already in place, with consideration given to whether they have family members in Canada, as well as the availability of schools, housing and language training," Julie Lafortune, said in a statement.
The Nova Scotia government confirms that no refugees have arrived in the province so far, but it "does expect some arrivals, however, nothing has been confirmed yet."
"Our province also has a proud history of welcoming refugees and the province stands ready to work with IRCC and ISANS on this resettlement when the refugees arrive," said a spokesperson with the office of immigration and population growth.
Brian Macdonald, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, was on a flight home to Fredericton when he met some of the refugees destined for New Brunswick.
"I spoke with them and confirmed that they were in fact Afghans that were coming here and then effectively learned that they were the first group of Afghans to come here," he said.
"There were about a dozen of them. I approached them and welcomed them and, I was pretty moved."
He said it was a powerful moment at a time when many veterans are trying to navigate what has happened in the country they had tried to help.
"It’s hard to look at the situation now and feel that it was a successful mission. I think that there was a lot of good done, but unfortunately, in the last little while, there’s a lot of good undone," he said.
"And we’re certainly confronted with that almost every day now, and I know a lot of veterans are really struggling with that."
He’s volunteered to help with the resettlement effort and hopes anyone who settles in New Brunswick is supported and encouraged to stay.