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Ottawa may consider forgiving flight costs for Syrian refugees: John McCallum

Until Nov. 4, all refugees arriving under the government’s resettlement programs were required to cover their own airfare


 
Canada's Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada November 24, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Canada’s Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada November 24, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. — Canada’s immigration minister says the federal government may consider forgiving the flight costs for Syrian refugees who came to Canada before the Liberals came to power.

Until Nov. 4, all refugees arriving under the government’s resettlement programs were required to cover their own airfare, a long standing policy dating back decades.

The Liberals decided to waive that requirement for Syrian refugees it was bringing to Canada, though all other refugees arriving after that day are still required to pay the fees.

Most do so by way of a loan that an internal government evaluation found ends up having a negative impact on refugees lives here in Canada.

The policy was already under review by the Liberals but in the meantime, Immigration Minister John McCallum says the government will consider whether Syrians who arrived before Nov. 4 should also be exempted.

McCallum says he expects to be briefed on the issue after he returns to Ottawa from this week’s Liberal cabinet meeting in New Brunswick.

 


 
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