January 12, 2016 9:29 am
Updated: January 12, 2016 10:11 am

Refugees should spend 3 years in Atlantic Canada before getting citizenship: former N.B. premier

A Syrian refugee smiles in a photo as he arrives in New Brunswick in December, 2015.

File/Global News

Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna says Ottawa should consider a program to require some immigrants to live in Atlantic Canada for three to five years before getting their citizenship.

McKenna says unless the region can get a larger base of new citizens, immigrants will continue to flock to larger centres like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

READ MORE: First Syrian refugees to call N.B. home arrive in Fredericton

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the federal government needs to work with the premiers to increase immigration numbers in the region.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says growing the population is critical to sustaining the economy.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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