Asylum seekers: Ottawa is responding to the letter of the Quebec

Demandeurs d’asile: Ottawa répond à la lettre du Québec

OTTAWA – The federal minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, has finally responded to the letter of the government of Quebec he had received it almost a month in order to claim a refund of the amounts allocated for the support of asylum seekers.

The one who had shown reluctance in the past month, now seems to leave the door open to negotiation.

In response, The canadian Press has obtained a copy, the minister Hussen said to understand the concerns of Quebec, but noted that he is still waiting for the breakdown of the financial support requested. Quebec calls for $146 million.

“We are currently faced with a significant challenge,” he wrote, while calling for further collaboration with the government of quebec.

He noted that only four accommodation sites for temporary asylum-seekers are currently available in the province, while there were 13 last summer, “which may create delays at the border and lead to a humanitarian situation which is unacceptable”.

Quebec has reached the limit of its capacity and no longer accommodate the surplus from the 24th of April in its centres of temporary accommodation in Montreal.

The quebec minister of Immigration, David Heurtel, must travel to Ottawa on Wednesday to discuss the issue of irregular migrants. It will require the Trudeau government as it becomes more involved in the reception of asylum-seekers from the United States, in particular in order to better distribute them across the country.

Quebec received nearly 25,000 asylum-seekers in 2017, representing half of the total number received in the whole country. The province was previously receiving approximately 3,500 asylum seekers annually.

In his letter, the minister Hussen recalls the measures already put in place by Ottawa to alleviate the financial burden of Quebec, such as reducing the time limit for the granting of work permits from three months to three weeks. It also emphasises that asylum-seekers receive medical coverage, federal and, therefore, that their health care does not cost anything in Quebec.

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