MONTRÉAL, Aug. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Irregular Migration, chaired by federal Minister Marc Garneau met yesterday for the second time to discuss the current surge in asylum seekers at the Canada-United States border. Federal ministers, Member of Parliament Emmanuel Dubourg, along with provincial ministers from Quebec and Ontario, are partnering under this joint task force and working together to address the situation.
Prime Minister Trudeau joined the meeting, where they discussed the in-Canada asylum system, and reviewed the current situation from an operational perspective. Ministers Hussen and Goodale gave an update on the situation and agreed that federal-provincial collaboration with community partners will be key.
Task Force members examined the ongoing challenges, and are exploring strategies being put in place by federal and provincial governments, with the help of local governments and partners, in order to address this situation.
In particular, members agreed to identify ways in which the federal and provincial governments could better collaborate to increase data collection and data sharing, find suitable temporary accommodations for asylum seekers until their claims have been fully processed, and ensure that staff who are working to keep Canada safe are well supported.
Ministers commended the strong collaboration between the federal government and provinces in working together to manage this increased volume of arrivals. They agreed to continue to work together to improve the sharing of information and data, and to coordinate efforts to provide for the basic needs of asylum claimants, while ensuring that Canadian immigration laws and procedures are respected.
The Task Force agreed to reconvene next week.
"Our meeting was very constructive. The Government of Canada, along with Quebec, Ontario and our partners, are committed to continue to work together to address both the immediate and long-term needs of those affected by this situation. Our priorities remain the security of Canadians, while providing assistance to those in need.
– The Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister and Chair of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Irregular Migration
"I am very pleased with this second meeting of the Task Force. We were able to exchange information and come out with a common appreciation regarding the influx of asylum seekers in Canada. I would like to reiterate the importance of this committee. It allows us to ensure effective action on the ground and to adjust our strategies and actions as the situation evolves."
– The Honourable Kathleen Weil, Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness
"Ontario is committed to working with all levels of government and with community partners to respond to the situation as it evolves. With our partners, we will continue to closely monitor the needs of asylum seekers and local communities to coordinate efforts."
– The Honourable Laura Albanese, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- The creation of the Task Force was announced on August 17, 2017, by the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Kathleen Weil.
- The Task Force works on issues related to the recent and sustained increase in asylum seekers entering Canada from the United States.
- The Task Force is composed of key federal ministers including Minister Garneau, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen, and Minister of National Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan; the Member of Parliament for Bourassa, Emmanuel Dubourg; and Québec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Kathleen Weil and Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese.
SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
For further information: For questions related to irregular migration: Media Relations, Communications Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-952-1650, [email protected]; For questions related to the Task Force: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700, [email protected]