Feds may consider forgiving flight costs for all Syrian refugees: McCallum

The federal government may consider forgiving the flight costs for Syrian refugees who came to Canada before the Liberals came to power, the federal immigration minister said Tuesday.

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

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.

But the Liberals decided to waive that requirement for Syrian refugees it was bringing to Canada as part of its program to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada by the end of February and a further 10,000 by the end of 2016.

“We only came to power on Nov. 4, so our policy affects post-Nov. 4 refugees,” Immigration Minister John McCallum said outside a Liberal cabinet meeting taking place in New Brunswick.

“But we will consider whether we should make a special case for the pre-Nov. 4 refugees. That is one of the things that we will be considering very soon.”

All other refugees who arrived in Canada after Nov. 4 are still required to cover their travel costs most do so by way of a loan. A recent internal government evaluation found the loan program often ends up having a negative impact on the lives of refugees in Canada as they struggle to pay it back.

The evaluation — which was carried out under the previous Conservative government — had recommended the policy be overhauled and the Immigration Department had already been reviewing it.

McCallum had also already committed to taking a second look at the system.

“Except for the Syrian refugees, they all receive loans and are expected to pay back the loans over time,” he said.

“And as I said, one of the things that I am about to be briefed on soon after our return is this very issue and we will be considering whether to change that policy.”

Just Posted

High volume of Cherry complaints has CBSC at limit of processing capacity

TORONTO — The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council has been so overloaded with… Continue reading

Sportsnet cuts ties with Cherry in aftermath of poppy controversy

TORONTO — Brash, outspoken, opinionated — longtime hockey broadcaster Don Cherry was… Continue reading

Red Deer residents honour veterans in great numbers

Our soldiers paid the ultimate price to give us peace and freedom.… Continue reading

Canadians to mark Remembrance Day this morning

OTTAWA — Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and monuments across the country… Continue reading

Canada supports genocide case against Myanmar at International Court of Justice

OTTAWA — Canada is supporting a genocide lawsuit against the Myanmar government… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

Opinion: Kenney plainly explains why Alberta deserves a fairer deal

By David Marsden It had been expected that Premier Jason Kenney would… Continue reading

Sportsnet cuts ties with Don Cherry in aftermath of poppy controversy

TORONTO — Sportsnet has cut ties with “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcaster… Continue reading

High volume of Cherry complaints has CBSC at limit of processing capacity

TORONTO — The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council has been so overloaded with… Continue reading

Sportsnet cuts ties with Cherry in aftermath of poppy controversy

TORONTO — Brash, outspoken, opinionated — longtime hockey broadcaster Don Cherry was… Continue reading

A Whole New World: Disney streaming debuts with hit brands

NEW YORK — Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming… Continue reading

Safety officials probing records of work on Southwest jets

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines says it will speed up inspections of dozens… Continue reading

Zombie debt will haunt more Canadians as scourge of indebtedness rises: experts

TORONTO — Canadians with old debts beware: a momentary slip or lack… Continue reading

Most Read