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Municipal federation creates task force to respond to Syrian refugee crisis

(Credit: Nikolay Doychinov/Getty Images via CP).

OTTAWA — The mayor of Halifax and a city councillor from Vancouver will lead a task force set up by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to develop a response to the humanitarian crisis facing Syria.

The federation says cities are traditional hubs for immigrants and Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax will be represented on the task force.

It will be led by Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Raymond Louie of Vancouver, who is also the federation's president.

Smaller communities, including St. Albert, Alta., and Aurora, Ont., are represented on the task force as well.

Louie says the scale of the crisis in Syria compels Canadian municipalities to respond in a way that is generous and compassionate.

The federation says the task force will lead Canada's municipal response to the refugee crisis to complement efforts by the federal and provincial governments.

It says the task force gives municipalities a chance to share information and best practices, and provide a way of co-ordinating with their provincial, territorial and federal counterparts to meet resettlement targets.

The task force is scheduled to meet for the first time next week.

The Canadian Press

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