Refugees arriving in Lethbridge in 2022 will be able to get a free bus pass for six months. A motion brought to city council’s July 5 meeting by Councillor Ryan Parker was carried unanimously, which also includes a report back in October on the initiative.
“I just thought this might be at least a small thing that we can do but there is a cost and it’s not just a matter of giving out some passes,” Parker said. “I didn’t want to just pick Ukrainian refugees even though that’s probably the most talked about refugees right now, but refugees in general and I think we as a council are very inclusive and we want to make sure that no one falls through the cracks.”
Council discussed the financial implications of the free passes and allocated up to $90,000 from council contingencies for the project. According to Darrel Mathews, city treasurer, the money allocated will be transferred to Lethbridge Transit to make up for potential lost revenue and keep the department’s budget in order.