#asylumseekers, #SolidarityAcrossBorders, #refugeeclaimants, #far-rightgroups, #StormAlliance
Quebec/Ottawa, May 19 Canadian-Media): Two competing protest rallies had been held Saturday at a major Quebec-New York border crossing close to where thousands of asylum seekers had been illegally crossing into Canada in recent months, media reports said.
Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.border was the place were demonstrations took place under police presence to ensure the two sides were kept apart.
Far-right groups, including Storm Alliance, a self-described "ultranationalist" denounced, during the rally, the Liberal government's handling of illegal immigration
"I'm against illegal immigration, I'm against the Trudeau government," said Mike Noble, a construction worker who made the trip from Ottawa for the protest.
Counter-protesters from groups including Solidarity Across Borders staged their own demonstration to show refugee claimants they are welcome in the country.
Solidarity Across Borders. Image credit: Website
Disruptions between the rallies at the border crossing during the busy holiday weekend had resulted in the closing of crossing, for more than two hours Saturday afternoon.
Highway 15 in both directions near the U.S. border was also temporarily blocked by Quebec provincial police.
Earlier also, the border had seen the rallies between these two sides, including last year on Canada Day.
Reportedly more than 7,600 people have entered Canada outside official border crossings so far this year, bulk of those crossed in Quebec at Roxham Road.
Asylum seekers Saturday were shown support by a group of residents gathered at an event close to Roxham Road.
#emergencyreceptioncentreforrefugees, #refugeessurgeinToronto, #influxofrefugeesinQuebec, #JohnTory
Toronto, May 19, (Canadian-Media) Toronto Mayor John Tory said May 18 that Toronto will have to open an emergency reception centre within the next week for refugees arriving in the city, media reports said.
For the second time after a few weeks Toronto urged federal and provincial government on Friday for their assistance to ease the pressure put on the city's shelter system by the increasing number of refugees.
As of Thursday night, the city reportedly has 2,683 refugee claimants in the system accounting for 40 percent of Toronto's shelter spaces.
The city expects the more refugees to arrive in Toronto in the coming months, something that could create more strain on the shelter system.
At the current rate of 10 new refugee claimants per night, refugees reportedly could make up more than half of the shelter population by this fall.
Tory says the city will continue to welcome those people, but warns the city needs more support.
"The people of Toronto are generous, they are understanding and they value our role as Canadians in accommodating people in their time of need," Tory said in a news release.
"But the federal and provincial governments need to honour their values and their commitments to these populations as well."
John Tory. Image credit: Facebook page
The city estimates it's spent some $64 million to provide temporary housing in places like motels.
“Toronto is a city built by immigrants - many who came from around the world as refugees. The people of Toronto are generous, they are understanding and they value our role as Canadians in accommodating people in their time of need,” said Mayor Tory. “But the federal and provincial governments need to honour their values and their commitments to these populations as well.”
Tory's statement says he wants support from the other governments to reimburse the city for that expense, provide staffing support, to help settle the refugees, or the provision of new facilities.
City staff say they believe the rising number of shelter-using refugee claimants is likely tied to the influx of refugees in Quebec, including many who may be travelling to Toronto.
As of late April, more than 5,500 migrants have crossed illegally into Quebec so far this year — a big jump from the 2,000 or so who entered the province by this time in 2017.
Toronto's shelter system continues to operate well beyond the 90 percent capacity target set by councillors.
City statistics show family shelters were 100 percent full, women's shelters were 99 percent full and men's shelters (which have the most spaces) were 95 percent full last night.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Quebecborder, #Canada, #asylumseekers, #RoyalCanadianMountedPolice, #RCMP, #RalphGoodale
Montreal/Ottawa, May 14 (Canadian-Media): Almost 96 percent of asylum seekers who had so far crossed illegally into Canada in 2018 have done so through the Quebec border, media reports said.
Latest figures of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reportedly indicated 7,612 people who had entered Canada outside official ports of entry during the first four months of 2018.
More than 7,300 of them had crossed the Canada-U.S. border into Quebec, while Ontario and British Columbia each had received the remainder, about 150 asylum seekers so far in 2018.
The federal government had been urged by Quebec leaders to help pay costs associated with the overrepresentation of asylum seekers in the province.
The official opposition of Quebec had requested Ottawa to suspend an agreement with the United States to encourage future refugees to enter outside official border crossings.
Earlier this month, Ralph Goodale, Canada's Public Safety Minister, had said his government was exploring with the U.S. to reopen the so-called Safe Third Country Agreement.
Ralph Goodale. Image credit: Facebook
This agreement would reportedly allow both countries to turn back asylum seekers at border crossings except when they enter through an illegal point of entry.
In recent months, the number of new arrivals of asylum seekers has dramatically increased from 2017.