Ottawa gives Toronto initial $11-million to deal with asylum seekers

Toronto Mayor John Tory says 11-million dollars received from Ottawa to help deal with an influx of asylum seekers is an important step forward. It can be recalled that the Ontario provincial government had recently requested $200 million from the Federal Government to pay the costs of asylum seekers living in Ontario, including other areas in the province such as Ottawa.

After meeting with Mayor John Tory at City Hall, Border Security Minister Bill Blair said Ottawa will pay for hotel rooms for those displaced asylum seekers until September 30 in order to find a more permanent option.

The City of Toronto now has $11 million in its coffers from the federal government to pay down some costs it has incurred dealing with an influx of irregular border crossers.

Bill Blair, federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction, says talks will continue between the city and federal officials on longer-term solutions that could include further financial support for temporary housing for asylum seekers.

The money was announced in June as part of a $50-million commitment to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to help cover some of the costs they have borne as a result of the ongoing spike in asylum seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border irregularly.

The Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in June the money was meant as a first instalment to the provinces. In total, $36 million was promised to Quebec, $11 million to Ontario and $3 million to Manitoba. Blair made the comments this morning after a meeting with Toronto Mayor John Tory, who has raised the alarm about the strain asylum seekers have been putting on the city’s shelter system.

Plus by that time, a long-promised triage centre, that’ll redirect them from cities like Toronto and Montreal, is expected to be up and running in Cornwall.

At a news conference with Tory this morning, federal Border Security Minister Bill Blair announced the city has received the funding to help pay down some of the costs it has incurred in dealing with the irregular border crossers.

Blair says talks will continue on longer-term solutions that could include further financial support for temporary housing for the refugee claimants.

He says Ottawa has booked hotel rooms for asylum seekers needing to leave college dormitories in Toroto until a triage system is in place aimed at diverting refugee claimants to other communities. Blair says only 272 are still occupying the dorms.

The Trudeau government’s given the city of Toronto $11-million to help with asylum seeker costs.

In addition, Ottawa’s also agreed to pay for hotel rooms for the hundreds who have been staying in student residences at Humber and Centennial colleges since May.

At one time, there nearly 800 in those facilities but that’s down to less than 300 ahead of an August 9 deadline to make way for the return of students.

The rest, who’d been staying in the dorms have found permanent housing elsewhere in the region.