Saskatchewan promises policy review after two homeless men given tickets to B.C.

Jason Stennes says he knows what it's like to be down on his luck with nowhere to turn, so he wants to offer jobs to a pair of newly arrived homeless men who say they were given one-way bus tickets to B.C. from Saskatchewan.

VANCOUVER — Jason Stennes says he knows what it’s like to be down on his luck with nowhere to turn, so he wants to offer jobs to a pair of newly arrived homeless men who say they were given one-way bus tickets to B.C. from Saskatchewan.

“We’ve got to take care of each other … and if I’m able to help out I will,” Stennes, a 43-year-old high school dropout who is now owner and CEO of 360 Cranes Services, said Thursday.

“I’ve been offered chances in my life and I just feel it’s important to pass it on.”

Charles Neil-Curly, 23, and Jeremy Roy, 21, had been living at a homeless shelter in North Battleford, Sask., but Neil-Curly said a funding cut meant he had to find somewhere else to go.

Neil-Curly said he asked for a ticket to B.C. and was later on a bus with Roy, his friend from the shelter.

Workers from a local shelter were on hand to welcome Neil-Curly and Roy at the Vancouver bus station when they arrived Wednesday, offering them food, a shower and a warm bed.

Jeremy Hunka from the Union Gospel Mission said Thursday the men were in “good spirits” after staying overnight at the shelter and that the next step was to connect the two with caseworkers to develop a care plan.

“We want to make sure that they have a vision of where they want to go and we want to help them achieve their goals and get them out of being homeless,” Hunka said.

“They’re in the driver’s seat.”

Neil-Curly had expressed an interest in heading to Vancouver Island to be with his best friend, which is something Hunka said his organization could help facilitate.

“If that’s the case, we will do the best we can to make sure they’re connected before they arrive so that we don’t have another situation where somebody’s going to arrive in a new city with nowhere to go and with a really difficult situation in terms of finding shelter,” he said.

Saskatchewan’s Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said Thursday the province would look into revising its policies around sending homeless people out of province if the Saskatchewan Party is re-elected next month. Harpauer had already ordered a review to see if the policy was followed correctly in this particular case.

Like other provinces, she said Saskatchewan has a long-standing policy to buy bus tickets, but that is normally done when someone needs to return to their home province or needs to reunite with family.

B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman said the two men were welcome in the province and would be taken care of.

B.C. still requires that someone live in the province for three months before qualifying for social assistance, but he said there are emergency funds to deal with situations where people need significant help and require immediate help.

“This is about people in need,” he told reporters in Victoria.

“We shouldn’t decide to judge people who … move across this country. The minute we do that, frankly, I think we lose our humanity.”

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read