September 15, 2016 4:31 pm
Updated: September 15, 2016 4:42 pm

Multicultural Council president not worried over Syrian refugees leaving New Brunswick

WATCH ABOVE: The president of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council says there's no need to panic after more than a dozen Syrian immigrant families decided to leave New Brunswick. Global's Andrew Cromwell reports

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Premier Brian Gallant says the province will continue to work to try to improve the retention rate of immigrants in New Brunswick.

This comes after news that several Syrian families, who were originally resettled in New Brunswick, have left for other parts of the country.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council says a total of 15 families have left the province — six from Moncton, five from Saint John and four from Fredericton.

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READ MORE: Several Syrian refugee families leaving Saint John, others considering moving

Gallant says this is a decades-old challenge every province faces.

“What we have to do is continuously learn, continuously get better at making sure that when new Canadians come here they know what type of lifestyle we have in New Brunswick, what we have to offer,” said Gallant.

“It’s not for everyone but I think it’s for a lot of people.”

Mike Timani is president of the Multicultural Council in the province. An immigrant from Lebanon, he owns Fancy Pokket bakery, the largest independent bakery in Atlantic Canada.

He says there’s no reason to panic.

“There’s many of those people looking, there’s the possibility of opening their own business,” Timani said. “Right now, 103 of them that they already found jobs and there are 30 more that are looking at the possibility of getting a job between all the three big cities.”

READ MORE: Syrian refugees get entrepreneurial training in Moncton

Timani has high praise for those in the Syrian resettlement effort, including governments, resettling agencies and volunteers.

He also offered a message for Syrians who are still considering leaving New Brunswick:

“Sometimes people think its greener on the other side, and that is not always the case,” he said. “I think our province have a lot to offer.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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