OTTAWA, Aug. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement following a visit to the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, which is providing accommodations and food services for asylum seekers, and a meeting with Cornwall elected representatives:
"Canada is part of a global community that is facing pressures related to migration and asylum seekers. We will continue to work together closely to respond to these pressures in accordance with the law, and in keeping with our values as an open and welcoming nation. Canadian authorities are diligent in protecting the integrity of our border and the safety of our country, while applying our rules and procedures to provide refuge for those in need of our protection.
Today, I was pleased to meet with NAV Centre and government employees who are supporting the needs of the asylum seekers temporarily residing there while they await interviews with immigration officials to determine their eligibility for an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing. I witnessed firsthand, at both the NAV Centre and Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle earlier this week, that asylum seekers are being treated professionally and with compassion, and that the safety and security of Canadians are being protected. I would like to thank the staff at the NAV Centre, a not-for-profit organization, who have once again stepped up to house people in their time of need, after also housing citizens impacted by Ontario flooding earlier this year.
I met with Cornwall Mayor, Leslie O'Shaughnessy, a number of local Councillors and Member of Parliament Guy Lauzon to answer their questions about possible local impacts. I would like to thank the community of Cornwall for being understanding and welcoming to the guests in their town.
The Government Operations Centre in the Public Safety portfolio has been activated to ensure the ongoing coordination of the Government of Canada's response to the increased numbers of asylum seekers. Its officials are working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces on the situation, and they are in constant contact with the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as with other government and non-government organizations, to ensure that it is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible."
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For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
NOTE: Due to privacy concerns, on-camera and other interviews are not being granted with asylum seekers.
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, (613) 991-0657