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)