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Helpline for residents wishing to help welcome refugees set up in N.B.

Syrian refugee boys play at a refugee camp in the town of Hosh Hareem, in the Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The United Nations said Tuesday the worsening conflict in Syria has left 13.5 million people in need of aid and some form of protection, including more than six million children. Hassan Ammar/AP Photo

FREDERICTON – The line is toll-free, and New Brunswickers who want to help incoming Syrian refugees can call in to see what and where they may be needed.

By calling 1-855-444-6554, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Francine Landry says people can call to find out what they can do to make newcomers feel at home.

READ MORE: New Brunswick government releases plan to respond to Syrian refugee crisis

The province announced last week it was in the early stages of assembling a working group to organize the welcoming of Syrian refugees to the province.

The group will work with immigrant settlement agencies, sponsorship agreement holders, multi-faith organizations and other stakeholder groups, according to Landry.

READ MORE: Offers of aid for refugees flood 211 phone line

Callers will be asked what kind of support they are willing to provide, as well as their contact information.

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Multicultural Council creates petition to show N.B. support for refugees

The N.B. Multicultural Council says there is a lot of confusion and misunderstandings, causing some people to spread false information about Syrian refugees.

The Council has launched a campaign to tell another side of the story. They’ve started a petition, asking people to sign and comment on why welcoming refugees into the province is not only a good thing for newcomers, but for the province.

READ MORE: Liberal government still holding back detail on Syrian refugee plan

“Originally, what we wanted to do, was kind of remind New Brunswickers that our provincial motto is ‘Spin Reduxit’ or ‘Hope Restored,'” said Alex LeBlanc, Managing Director of the Council.

“It comes from our history in supporting refugees, in particular the Loyalists. So it very much started out as a New Brunswick initiative or trying to get New Brunswickers on board but we’re seeing signatures from Cambodia, Australia and across Canada.”

The Council is working with the province and immigrant settlement agencies on the provincial response for Syrian refugees.

The petition had over 600 signatures as of Friday afternoon.

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