Halifax Plans for Free Public Transportation to Asylum Seekers

March 21, 2018

Halifax Regional Municipality is planning to start electrical transportation in the country and also avail free public transportation to asylum seekers. During the February 27, 2018, agenda, Welcomed in Halifax program was discussed. In November 2017, the Nova Scotia council passed the amended draft of User Charges By law that allows asylum seekers and those whose claims have been refused to have their transportation fees waived off for a year.

It also suggested waiving off recreational fees for a year for the two groups. According to a report published by the council, the costs of the program are almost negligible. According to the amended law, a person is eligible for the fee to waive off include a person who has received protected status from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, have been issued a refugee protection claimant document; someone who has applied for a pre-removal risk assessment; a person who can’t return to his home country after the Canadian government has suspended him; a person who doesn’t have temporary status; or a person who is allowed to stay in Canada on a permanent basis on compassionate or humanitarian grounds.

Tim Outhit, councilman, and chairman, Transportation committee, the government will be partnering with Nova Scotia Power and Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium for developing a two-year pilot program of energy storage. According to a feasibility study, electric bus technology will have multiple benefits including reduction in greenhouse gases, reduced lifecycle costs, better air quality, positive driver feedback, and positive public perception.

Monetary savings

The report also revealed that 20 years after implementation, around $127 million to $163 million will be saved as operating and maintenance costs will be very less. Asylum seekers have a lot of problems including adjusting to a different lifestyle, higher cost of living and something like this will help them reduce financial stress.

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