December 31, 2014 2:50 pm

An estimated 176 people turned away from Canada after Ebola-related travel ban

In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, a healthcare worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

AP Photo/Michael Duff
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OTTAWA – Newly-released figures show an estimated 176 people were turned away from Canada after the imposition of a partial travel ban from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

The federal government put the controversial measures in place at the end of October, barring people from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from receiving visas to come to Canada.

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At the same time, the government announced it would also stop processing visa and visitor applications in the queue.

In newly-published information, the immigration department says an estimated 176 applications have been affected, resulting in a return of approximately $20,000 in fees.

The World Health Organization had asked countries not to close their borders due to the Ebola outbreak and Canada’s move drew widespread condemnation.

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But the government said the ban was only partial as it did not apply to Canadians coming from the affected region nor people who already had visas, and thus did not contravene international health regulations.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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