Waves of refugee claimants have arrived in Canada following threats by the U.S. government to oust them. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Toronto seeks “urgent help” with increasing refugee claimant numbers

The City of Toronto wants help from the federal and provincial government to manage the growing numbers of asylum seekers in its shelter system. The city has already worked to expand the number of people it can help with resettlement, but says it has reached its limits.

The mayor said there were 459 refugee claimants in city shelters in 2016, and that has grown to 2,361 by April 2018. At this rate, he projects it will cost the city $64.5 million to provide shelter and housing for them.

The city wants help placing new arrivals outside the shelter system and staff to co-ordinate that and other services for them.

More than 25,000 refugee claimants crossed into the province of Quebec in 2017. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Quebec wants help too

The Toronto request follows one from the province of Quebec made in March 2018. It sent a bill to the federal government for $146 million saying that was what it cost to accommodate thousands of asylum seekers who crossed illegally into that province from the U.S.

More than 25,000 made that trip in 2017 and Quebec expects the number will increase in 2018. The influx began after the U.S. government announced it would end the temporary residency permit program for Haitians and take other steps to expel residents without official status.

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