Toronto, Aug 4 (Canadian-Media): Details about the Canada’s response to the ongoing arrival of refugee/asylum claimants in the City of Toronto’s shelter system were discussed with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Bill Blair, Ontario Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, media reports said.
A deadline of August 9 had been enforced on the City to relocate temporarily housed refugee/asylum claimants in Centennial and Humber College dormitories,
as the colleges require the space for the upcoming school year.
Due to lack of resources or the space, the City of Toronto would reportedly relocate this population to other locations within the City's shelter system.
The Government of Canada is helping the City of Toronto by providing it with an initial $11 million in federal funding to help offset the costs associated with the influx of refugee/asylum seekers.
In addition, Canada has also booked hotel accommodation within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for the refugee/asylum claimants currently housed in the two dormitories. T
The costs of transporting this population to new facilities will be covered by City of Toronto.
The City's request to Canada to better manage flow of irregular migrants and coordinate the placement of new arrivals to other locations outside of the City of Toronto's shelter system, through the introduction of a new triage centre in Cornwall has also been responded.
"Toronto has stepped up to help in any way we can, but there is a limit to what we can do on our own," said Mayor Tory. "The City thanks the federal government for this initial funding and their collaborative efforts to find housing for those living in Toronto college dormitories. We will continue to work with all levels of government, including our municipal partners, to establish a coordinated, regional response to the ongoing pressures of irregular migration."
At its peak, there were about 675 people in the two college dormitory programs. Outside the dormitory program, there are over 1,750 refugee/asylum claimants currently in the City of Toronto hotel program on a nightly basis. The City continues to see 15 to 20 new refugee/asylum claimants entering the system each day.
From November 2016 to date, the City has served a total of 5,315 unique refugee clients in the shelter system, and moved 2,636 refugee/asylum claimants from shelters into permanent housing during that time period, including 31 families from the dormitory program.
Over the coming months, the City will continue to proactively work with other orders of government, including other municipalities and community partners, to find appropriate shelter, accommodation and supports for refugees/asylum claimants.
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Ottawa, Jul 17 (Canadian-Media): Three cabinet ministers would be called to explain the Liberal government’s plan to manage the surge in asylum seekers along the Canada-U.S. border by the House of Commons immigration committee which will return in Ottawa this summer for a series of emergency meetings, media reports said.
The committee members met Monday and decided to hold at least two emergency meetings before Aug. 3 to study the government’s response to the thousands of illegal asylum seekers who have entered Canada from the United States.
The committee meetings would try to resolve the mounting tensions between the federal Liberals and Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) government over the approach to resettling the border crossers.
Asylum Seekers/Courtesy of Canadian Press
The Liberals amended the original motion Monday -- tabled by Conservative MP and immigration critic Michelle Rempel who called on Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to testify -- to add Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Ontario's support for the resettlement of asylum seekers who cross the border illegally had been withdrew earlier this month by Ontario Premier Doug Ford who said that the problem was created by federal government and it should fix it.
The resettlement of asylum seekers has cost Toronto $72-million, while the province has spent a further $60-million on social assistance and legal aid.
However, the federal government has only set aside $11-million to help Toronto deal with the added costs – money that will flow to the city in the coming weeks.
The $11-million is part of a $50-million federal commitment to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to help them pay for some of the extra costs incurred from the influx of asylum seekers.
The federal government said more support was on the way, as officials face an Aug. 9 deadline.
“Regardless about how you feel about this decision, on if it’s right or not, it has been made and Canadians now need information on how much this will cost them and how people will be integrated into Canada,” Rempel said.
Emergency meetings are necessary, said NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan to determine if United States is still a safe country for refugees under President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“The President put in a policy and then acted on it by ripping [migrant] children away from their parents – throwing them in cages, locking up the parents. Under what planet is that a safe country for anyone?” Kwan said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)