Justin Trudeau rallies NS supporters with fond memories as controversies rage

The Barho family arriving in Canada on Sept. 29 2017 at the Halifax airport

The Barho family arriving in Canada on Sept. 29 2017 at the Halifax airport

Canada is seeking to swiftly resettle the siblings of a Syrian refugee distraught over the loss of her seven children in a Nova Scotia house fire, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

The city says community members and elected officials will speak at Grand Parade in front of city hall, and a book of condolences will be available.

The seven children died early Tuesday in a fire that swept through their suburban home.

Ali Duane, a member of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, urged all Canadians to pressure the federal government to bring grieving mother Kawthar Barho's family members to Nova Scotia.

She has no other family in Canada.

Photos from Facebook show the Barhos enjoying a fall trip to a local farm.

Neighbours and others carried flowers and wept openly in the frigid darkness, looking for solace in the company of neighbours and listening to a Christian pastor attempt to gather community strength for the Syrian refugees beginning to make a new life in Canada.

Josh Crawford sang "Amazing Grace" and said they all needed to draw upon their faith to recover from the tragedy.

He says he hopes that by opening the ceremony up to all who wish to attend, the children's mother - Syrian refugee Kawthar Barho - will see the widespread support and sympathy from the community.

The fire struck not long after midnight on Tuesday morning.

Fire crews said the fire quickly engulfed the first and second floors of the building.

They had only lived in the Halifax suburb of Spryfield for a few months, having moved to the city from Elmsdale, N.S., to take advantage of language training and other immigrant services.

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Natalie Horne, vice-president of the community group that sponsored the Barhos' refugee claim, said some family members from Syria have already registered with the United Nations refugee agency, which should help speed up the process.

Natalie Horne, vice-president of the community group that sponsored the Barhos' refugee claim, said some family members from Syria have already registered with the United Nations refugee agency, which should help speed up the process.

Three-month-old Abdullah; Rana, 2; Hala, 3; Ola, 8; Mohamad, 9; Rola, 12; and Ahmed, 14, all were lost after the fire.

Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign launched to help the parents was quickly gathering support.

Friends of the family started a GoFundMe page that by Wednesday afternoon had already raised more than $279,000 to help them with expenses, including finding a new home.

The vigil was scheduled for 6 p.m.

A neighbor said she heard a loud noise at the time the blaze started. "She does not have friends as well here in Halifax because she moved here five months ago", said Yousri on Friday.

"When you hear about these things in the media, you think these happen so far away, but today it happened so close and to have it happen to a family that's from Syria, it's just a devastating blow to the neighbourhood", McLaren said.

As an MP and now prime minister, Trudeau said he gets to meet people from every corner of the country who come to the Parliament Buildings, which he described as impressive and intimidating stone buildings with "paintings of white guys on the walls".

"Once (the Barhos' story) leaves the headlines and people go back to their lives, there's still going to be a wake of tragedy for Kawthar and for Ebraheim", said Horne, vice-president of the Hants East Assisting Refugees Team.

"We know that moving forward on something that's been talked about for so many decades ... is something that a lot of families around here have been waiting for".

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