No free Cornwall bus passes for asylum seekers

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – There will be no free bus passes for the mostly Haitian asylum seekers temporarily staying in Cornwall.

Coun. Elaine MacDonald put the idea on the floor at last night’s council meeting, believing that getting the migrants out of Nav Center on Cornwall Transit to see the city might entice them to settle here.

But the new business motion by MacDonald and Coun. Mark MacDonald was quashed in a 6-4 vote.

“Blush….terribly ashamed…blush,” Elaine MacDonald quipped, seconds after the vote.

Social services manager Stacey Ferguson said there are already “limited” bus tickets for “claimants” in order to allow them to travel around the city.

“They are very interested in visiting the parks. A lot have young children. Interested in going into the community for restaurants as well as to do some shopping,” she said.

Coun. Andre Rivette felt the city shouldn’t be getting involved in a federal government issue. “The bottom line is, this scenario was created by the federal government. So let the federal government deal with it…to pay for the busing.”

Editor’s note: This story was corrected from an earlier version to show the vote count was 6-4, not 5-4 as earlier reported.

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