Canada Watson asks Trudeau to pay cost of housing asylum seekers

09:55  07 july  2018
09:55  07 july  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Ford blames Ottawa for illegal border crossers

  Ford blames Ottawa for illegal border crossers TORONTO - The Ontario government says Ottawa is to blame for a housing crisis caused by people crossing the border illegally and should pay all the costs. A spokesman for Premier Doug Ford said Thursday the federal government has encouraged people to cross into Canada illegally and continues to usher people across the U.S.-Quebec border into Ontario. "This has resulted in a housing crisis and threats to the services that Ontario families depend on," Simon Jefferies said in a statement."This mess was 100 per cent the result of the federal government, and the federal government should foot 100 per cent of the bills.

a man wearing glasses: Mayor Jim Watson says Ottawa incurred a $5.7 million deficit in its emergency shelter expenses in 2017. © CBC Mayor Jim Watson says Ottawa incurred a $5.7 million deficit in its emergency shelter expenses in 2017.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is asking the federal government to repay the city for providing emergency shelter to asylum seekers.

An influx of asylum seekers from the United States, mostly of whom arrived via Montreal, have put a strain on the city's resources, Watson wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday.

That led to a $5.7-million deficit in the budget for emergency shelter expenses that the city had to absorb, he wrote.

Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump lifted the temporary protected status given to more than 100,000 mostly Central American citizens living in the United States for humanitarian reasons. That has created fear and uncertainty, and led many to flee to Canada.

Justin Trudeau Says He Had To Explain Canada’s Refugee System To Doug Ford

  Justin Trudeau Says He Had To Explain Canada’s Refugee System To Doug Ford Justin Trudeau Says He Had To Explain Canada’s Refugee System To Doug FordTrudeau met with Ford at Queen's Park in Toronto for the first time since the Ontario election. Shortly before the meeting, the Ontario government blamed Ottawa for creating a "mess" of a housing crisis due to the influx of asylum seekers crossing into Canada.

From Aug. 10, 2017, to June 30, 2018, the city's family shelter received 405 placement requests from asylum seekers arriving in Ottawa from the United States, Watson wrote.

"The City of Ottawa is experiencing unexpected and substantial costs as a consequence of the irregular migration currently taking place," he wrote. "Providing an adequate response to arriving asylum seekers requires expanded and ongoing financial support and resources from other levels of government."

The city wants reimbursement for all shelter expenses, including housing subsidies, related to asylum seekers, retroactive to 2017.

Provinces asking for more money

Watson is one of several politicians to speak with or write to Trudeau about the growing cost of sheltering asylum seekers.

Trudeau meets with Toronto mayor John Tory

  Trudeau meets with Toronto mayor John Tory Toronto Mayor John Tory says municipalities across Ontario have offered to help handle the influx of asylum seekers that has caused a housing crisis in the city. Tory is meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning to discuss the issue as well as Toronto's escalating gun violence.Tory says many mayors in the province have told him they have jobs available for refugee claimants and asylum seekers.Trudeau says he will support Toronto's efforts to help refugees and to combat the gun and gang violence that is currently gripping the city.

The federal government pledged $50 million to Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba to offset some of the costs of handling the influx.

But provinces and cities have said that money falls far short of what they need.

Quebec, which received $36 million, has said its costs are closer to $146 million.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has demanded the federal government pay "100 per cent" of the costs, while Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of children, community and social services, suggested the $11 million the federal government is handing the province may only cover "one-tenth" of the actual cost.

Toronto mayor John Tory has estimated his city has already spent $64 million to handle and house asylum seekers.

In his letter to Trudeau, Watson called the $11 million given to the province "a welcome first step," but said it "is not adequate to address the current and ongoing needs of municipalities in this context."

Ontario minister walks out of immigration meeting .
Ontario's minister responsible for immigration has demanded an apology from federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen for saying the province is promoting fear about asylum seekers. "Maybe the minister should sit down and have a nice cup of tea, calm down a little bit and maybe phone me and apologize for calling me unCanadian," Lisa MacLeod said Friday.

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