Ghassan ElHelou can attest to the difficulties of immigrating to Halifax.
He’s from Lebanon, one of the larger ethnic groups to have settled in the city, but he says, it’s not easy.
“You need someone in Halifax to get in immigration,” the 19-year-old said.
“My aunt is here, so it’s easier for me to get in immigration from someone else who’s got no one here.”
While shaving chicken off a rotisserie spit where he works at Venus Pizza on Barrington Street, he admitted also that he probably wouldn’t have a job in Halifax if it hadn’t been for his relatives in the city.
ElHelou said immigrants tend to go to bigger city centres like Toronto and Montreal because they have family there and there are more jobs.
The 2006 census states that almost 7,000 people in Halifax are of Lebanese descent.
They’re attracted to the city because a Lebanese community already exists.
Halifax is home to about 180 different ethnic groups.
Of visible minorities, blacks are the largest group in the city, while Arabs are second.