Migrants line up to make asylum claims in QAuebec after crossing illegally into Canada. (Christinne Muschi-Reiters)

Emergency meeting on asylum seekers

House of Commons Immigration Committee to meet today after increasingly tense month on the issue of asylum claimants

Last week a tense meeting between Canada’s federal immigration minister and an Ontario government minister ended in name-calling, an abrupt exit, and demands for an apology.

It was all over the issue of the massive influx of asylum seekers crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. and who has to pay for them.

Earlier this month  a meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and the newly elected Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, began and ended with strong differences of opinion. Prior to that meeting a statement from Ontario was issued saying the massive influx of illegal border crossers was all Ottawa’s fault and the meeting ended with a diplomatically-worded but not too subtle rebuke from Trudeau.

Then on Friday at a meeting of federal and provincial ministers, Ontario’s Community and Social Services Minister Lisa McLeod got into a heated discussion about the issue during which McLeod walked out and later said the Somali-born federal minister called her “un-Canadian”.

Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen also later said the Ontario government was “fear-mongering” and being “divisive”.  McLeod refused to sign the final communique along with a Saskatchewan minister who also said Ottawa has to pay for asylum seekers.

Last week at a federal-provincial meeting on immigration, federal minister Ahmed Hussen said Ontario “had chosen the language of fear and division” (CBC)

In addition to the over 30,000 asylum claimants last year, there have been an estimated 10,000 that have crossed illegally into Canada so far this year.

After the meeting, Ontario’s social services minister, Lisa McLeod says the federal minister labelled her as “un-Canadian” and wants an apology from him.(CBC)

Earlier this year the government of Quebec, the province where the vast majority of illegal entries into Canada occur, said its social services were being overwhelmed and needed over $120 million dollars to cope with what they said was a “federal” responsibility.  Many asylum claimants soon leave the mainly French-speaking Quebec, for Ontario.

With the arrival of the new Ontario government, it too says the asylum problem was a federal responsibility. Ontario and the city of Toronto especially, say they are facing a housing crisis for the migrants and Ottawa must pay.

Ontario says it needs anwhere from $70 to $90 million to cover the various costs. Ottawa says it will provide $11 million to Ontario.

There will be an emergency meeting of the federal House of Commons immigration committee today.

“The refugee determination system is at a crossroads. Once again it is dealing with a surge in claims that it is ill-equipped to manage, running the risk of creating a large backlog that, if not tackled promptly, may take years to bring to final resolution”  (147-page independent immigration review, released June 2018)

The federal opposition parties are now also calling on the government to “undertake a study to review the adequacy of the federal government’s response to the impact of increased asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the United States”.

They want at least two more meetings of the Immigration Committee this summer to hear about the Trudeau government’s plans to deal with the situation.

They are saying federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen should be called to testify along with any provincial ministers and want a federal study completed by August 3.

Many of the asylum claimants in Ontario are currently being housed in university dormitories and Ontario says it will be in a crisis situation when students begin to return to classes in just a few weeks.

The Liberal chairman of the House of Commons committee says he would welcome additional meetings but added that while  he considers it an important issue, he does not see it as a crisis.

Additional information-sources
Categories: Economy, Immigration & Refugees, International, Politics, Society
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


2 comments on “Emergency meeting on asylum seekers
  1. Avatar Esther Martens says:

    Apparently the word “illegal” is not understood anymore. Totally regardless of race. Nothing to do with race. Illegal means illegal.

  2. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    If the Federal Government is responsible for border crossing control. then they should finance and control the distribution of these asylum seekers.