OTTAWA, June 1, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:
"The federal government recognizes that an increase in irregular border crossers has placed new pressures on some provinces to find temporary housing for asylum claimants.
"On behalf of my colleagues, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and in response to our provincial partners, I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada will make an initial $50 million available to the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, who have borne the majority of costs associated with temporary housing.
"We recognize the hard work that provinces and municipalities have undertaken in the area of housing in particular, and want to commend them for their partnership. As a demonstration of our Government's desire to collaborate, we are allocating these funds to help alleviate immediate pressures and will continue to work with our partners to further address this issue.
"These initial funds are aimed at providing immediate assistance towards the ongoing provision of temporary housing in these provinces. Quebec will receive $36 million, Ontario $11 million and Manitoba $3 million to offset their housing costs.
"Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba and their large municipalities, in particular Toronto and Montreal, have made extraordinary efforts in this area, and this work has resulted in a well-managed response to the increase of irregular asylum seekers that started last year. We look forward to continued collaboration with the provinces and the municipalities to address temporary housing as needed in the short term.
"The continued influx of asylum seekers entering Canada between ports of entry has increased pressure on provinces to provide shelter and social services to a growing number of asylum seekers. We appreciate the pressures Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba are facing and will continue discussions with provinces towards longer term solutions, including further financial support for temporary housing.
"Because of these pressures, our Government has also invested $173.2 million through Budget 2018 towards managing irregular migration. This funding will be used to support the intake of new asylum claims, front-end security screening procedures, eligibility processing, reviews and interventions at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), removal of unsuccessful claimants, and detention and removal of those who pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians.
"We also recognize that when asylum seekers can work and support themselves financially, they do not put pressure on provincial social services while they await their hearing. That is why we have expedited the issuance of work permits for all asylum claimants across Canada, with a 30-day service standard."
SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
For further information: (media only), please contact: Mathieu Genest, Minister's Office, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-954-1064; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-952-1650, [email protected]