Toronto, Aug 9 (Canadian Media): The City of Toronto has relocated all refugee/asylum claimants housed temporarily in the Centennial College and Humber College dormitories to hotels in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and into permanent housing. media reports said.
"The City of Toronto has worked diligently and compassionately to accommodate the ongoing arrival of refugee and asylum seekers," said Mayor John Tory. "With the partnership of other levels of government and surrounding municipalities, we have been able to relocate the dormitory population. However, the City continues to face great pressure on our shelter system that requires long-term action and partnership.”
The Centennial College and Humber College dormitories opened as temporary shelters in May as part of a contingency plan for Emergency Social Services as the City’s existing hotel/motel program for refugee/asylum claimants reached capacity. At its peak, about 675 people resided in the two college dormitory programs. The dormitories were available until August 9, when students begin returning for the academic year. With support from other levels of government, municipalities and community agencies, alternative accommodations were found for those living in the dormitories.
The City would like to thank the Government of Canada for providing an initial $11 million to help offset the projected $64.5 million in costs associated with the arrivals of refugee/asylum claimants and for arranging and funding hotel accommodation within the GTA as part of efforts to relocate the dormitory population. The City would also like to thank the Government of Ontario for committing up to $3 million in Red Cross staffing costs as part of the anticipated $6.3 million total cost of operating the college dormitory sites. The City would also like to recognize the Red Cross and COSTI for site management and Centennial College and Humber College. The City is also grateful for the work of its community partners in providing information and referral services and fellow GTA municipalities who have taken in many refugee/asylum claimants.
Since November 2016, the City has served a total of 5482 refugee/asylum claimants in the shelter system and has successfully found permanent housing for 2900 during that time period. As of August 8, the total number of refugees in the City's shelter system is 2880, or 42 per cent of all shelter users. This has increased from 11 per cent in early 2016.
The City of Toronto continues to face extreme challenges accommodating new arrivals of refugees and asylum claimants, including 185 arrivals over the last seven days.
The City has requested that the federal and provincial governments take action to manage the inter-provincial flow of irregular migrants and coordinate the placement of new arrivals to locations outside of the City of Toronto’s shelter system. The City eagerly awaits the September opening of a triage centre in Cornwall, Ontario as promised by the Government of Canada.
The City is committed to continue its work with other orders of government, including municipalities, as well as community partners to find appropriate shelter, accommodation and supports for all those who need it.
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.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)