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Syrian migrants in Halifax will get 1-year transit passes

Refugees in Halifax will get 1-year transit passes

Refugees may be issued ID cards to help them access other city services

Walking inside Kilis Syrian refugee camp in Turkey. (Kilis Öncüpınar Accommodation Facility) The camp consists of 2053 containers, linked with brick paths. Several schools, kindergartens and playgrounds serve the camp’s 2000 school children. The camp is fully operated by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency committee. Source

By David Irish, CBC News Posted: Nov 27, 2015 3:18 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 27, 2015 3:18 PM AT

On Tuesday, Halifax council agreed to provide new refugees in the city with temporary transit passes during their first year of settlement.

On Tuesday, Halifax council agreed to provide new refugees in the city with temporary transit passes during their first year of settlement. (Robert Short/CBC)

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Halifax council has approved recommendations from city staff that will help refugees access public transportation and other municipal services.

Staff said in the report, which was discussed Tuesday at council, that Halifax Transit should provide temporary transit passes to refugees during their first year of settlement.

“The municipality can play a larger role in supporting the settlement of refugees coming to Halifax, first by helping co-ordinate services upon arrival and second by the provision of municipal services to support both refugee settlement and integration,” the report says. 

The report also recommends city staff co-ordinate with refugee agencies to help newcomers access recreation and library services, potentially through an identification or municipal services card.

Council approved the report and all recommendations with no amendments.

A municipal spokesperson says the city is still waiting for confirmation by the province on how many refugees will be coming. Many that are arriving will be supported by organizations that have signed agreements with the federal government, which means they could settle in a number of locations in Nova Scotia.

When those numbers are determined, so will many of the costs associated with the transit and municipal services plan.

The staff report also recommended Halifax police reach out to help refugees overcome fear of law enforcement. It also says the city should be prepared that temporary emergency shelters might be needed.

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sailor3
  • sailor3

So last May people _- Canadians — who were on social assistance with a disability had their bus passes cancelled. Now we are getting refugees and immediately they will get free passes for a year , healthy or not — this is a great way to make a lot of people feel like welcoming these new arrivals

  • 7 days ago
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Judith
  • Judith

@NS_MBA 2005A
I think you have a valid point about the legality of this issue. I dont see how it can be legal for the gov. to discriminate against canadians. Just like the canadian woman who lost all three of her jobs, she is now receiving $9,963 a year from social assistance whereas a syrian family will get $28,000 a year. How is that kind of discrimination even legal? Its time the gov. is challenged for their behaviour, behaviour that seems criminal to me.

  • 6 days ago
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cbcblowz
  • cbcblowz

@sailor3

Funny that I said the exact same thing and CBC decided to censor my comment…

  • 6 days ago
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roxette
  • roxette

There is something wrong here. Yes, by all means volunteer to help the refugees. But giving them a year’s free bus pass when thousands of working poor, social assistance recipients and other needy residents get no such help is beyond ridiculous. This is Halifax saying to the poor “refugees matter more than you”.

  • 7 days ago
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Furciokun 77
  • Furciokun 77

@NS_MBA 2005A
Have you ever lived in the third world to be saying stuff like that? Because I have, and only the very entitled first world would say that, like Americans saying that Obama is a communist, give me a break.
Bottom line, being in welfare doesn’t compares to being a war refugee. Have you seen the pics of children sleeping in parks, dumpsters and open fields? Be proud that Canada can help those in an extreme situation.

  • 6 days ago
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Judith
  • Judith

@Furciokun 77
Have you been to Cape Breton? I doubt it. It is like a third world country for some! Shame on you for discounting their struggle because it doesn’t meet your standards of poverty. People cant afford to eat let alone heat their homes. A canadian family receives $9,963 per year from social assistance while a syrian family will receive $28,000 per year. Thats a disgrace! As is your comment!

  • 6 days ago
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Chbc
  • Chbc

Meanwhile hard working people here in Halifax pay a ton…

  • 7 days ago
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moneywagon
  • moneywagon

Oh come on. Seriously, enough charity.

  • 7 days ago
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rankinlad
  • rankinlad

@moneywagon You move to Syria, with your lovely attitude of brotherly love, and I’ll buy you a bus pass.

  • 7 days ago
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hoodyhooligan
  • hoodyhooligan

Where’s my free bus pass?

  • 7 days ago
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withinNB
  • withinNB

@Maggiebite disagree.

  • 6 days ago
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FedUp
  • FedUp

@Maggiebite
No body is fleeing with just their clothes on their back, do you not read any other news source besides cbc? You really need to get out more!

  • 6 days ago
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FedUp
  • FedUp

Heads up government officials…Keep giving away our money and you are going to have a revolt on your hands. Is that really what you want?

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amyhockey
  • amyhockey

how long until bus fair goes up?

  • 7 days ago
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yelohomer
  • yelohomer

The refugees aren’t coming from Syria, they are already in ‘safe’ countries like Turkey. I’ve got 3 friends on vacation in Turkey at the moment. Its a major vacation destination for Europeans, not some hellhole as the media here likes to make us believe. I came to Canada as an immigrant on the federal skilled worker programme, in 2007. I did not ask for or expect any handouts. It took 3 years and nearly $10,000 to become a permanent resident and had to prove we could support ourselves… » more

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silientreader
  • silientreader

@yelohomer Do you know where and under what conditions these refugees live in Turkey? Do you know how many refugees are in Turkey? “The number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey in 2015 is expected to rise to nearly 1.9 million, including 1.7 million Syrian refugees.” Did your friends on vacation in Turkey had a chance to visit refugee camps in Turkey, if they did, I am sure they might experience a different Turkey. Do you know how many Syrian refugees live in Jordan under brutal… » more

  • 6 days ago
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yelohomer
  • yelohomer

@silientreader
When did you last visit Turkey? I have been there on 3 occasions. How many people who vacation in Canada will visit the Canadian refugee camps in Ontario and Quebec? You live in a dreamworld. Have a look at the problems Germany is now having with these economic migrants.

  • 6 days ago
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withinNB
  • withinNB

Why no free bus passes for those already in Canada who are trying to survive on social assistance? What is the matter with the City of Halifax and the province?

  • 6 days ago
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sailor3
  • sailor3

@withinNB — I think you already know the answer to this

  • 6 days ago
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caribbee
  • caribbee

Next It’ll be free vacations to Varadero and free beer here in NS. To make them happy you know.

  • 7 days ago
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