Refugees: Quebec to receive $ 250 million from the federal government
Quebec will receive $ 250 million from the federal government to offset the costs of the influx of refugees who have entered the country illegally in the past two years.
The Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion of Quebec, Simon Jolin-Barrette, welcomed the conclusion of this agreement, which represents the “full refund” of the province’s expenditures for the wave asylum seekers welcomed in 2017 and 2018.
Quebec had welcomed more than 90 per cent of those who crossed the Canada-US border irregularly on Roxham Road in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, particularly during this period.
Shortly after coming to power, Quebec Premier François Legault claimed $ 300 million from his federal counterpart Justin Trudeau.
A government source told La Presse canadienne that Quebec’s request was based on projections of costs incurred in 2017 and 2018 which amounted to $ 294 million.
The Trudeau government first proposed $ 136 million for two years and then increased its offer to $ 250 million. After reviewing his calculations, it would be the actual cost of Quebec’s expenditures for refugees.
Ottawa has also committed to offsetting the actual cost of refugees in 2019 when the number of refugee claimants will be known for this year.
In a press release, the federal government did not fail to praise the “extraordinary efforts made by the Government of Quebec”, which ensured that refugees were entitled to housing and basic services “shortly after subject to rigorous border control “.
“The increase in the last two years in the number of irregular migrants entering Canada by Quebec has imposed particular and unprecedented pressures on the Quebec government. We appreciate his collaboration in managing this issue, “said Minister Bill Morneau, who handled the issue while his colleague Dominic LeBlanc, who is suffering from cancer, was recovering.
Minister Jolin-Barrette speaks of a “major advance” that “confirms Quebec’s role in immigration”. Her colleague in charge of Canadian Relations, Sonia LeBel, believes that the conclusion of this agreement is “proof” that communication between the two levels of government is essential.
Quebec and Ottawa are continuing their negotiations to put in place an allocation mechanism to allow refugee claimants to be directed to their destination province upon arrival at the Canadian border.
In 2017, more than 18,800 asylum seekers were intercepted while crossing irregularly. The number has slightly decreased in 2018, with some 18,500 interceptions. This year, the number is around 8300 interceptions.