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Citizenship

Canada Is Putting $50 Million Toward Temporary Housing for Asylum Seekers

Canada has seen a sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers crossing the border outside legal checkpoints over the last year, and the government is now addressing that by committing $50 million for temporary housing for asylum claimants.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced the funding in a statement on June 1.

"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," he said in the statement. "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."

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Through this funding, Quebec will receive $36 million, Ontario $11 million, and Manitoba $3 million. The government has also allotted $173.2 million in Budget 2018 to further manage irregular migration.

Last summer saw an unprecedented surge of asylum seekers crossing into Canada through the Quebec border, many of which were of Haitian descent, as US President Donald Trump announced in May 2017 that he would not extend the protection status of Haitians in the US, according to CBC.

Temporary housing was set up in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and the military also set up a camp to accommodate new arrivals, but there has no doubt been pressure to find housing.

Read More: #WelcomeToCanada Tweets Blamed By Some For Surge of Asylum Seekers

In total, the RCMP intercepted 20,593 asylum seekers in 2017 — in comparison to 2,464 in 2016.

"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," Hussen said.

Crossing into Canada doesn’t guarantee asylum seekers will receive refugee status. Newcomers could be deported from Canada if their application is refused.

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