The leader of the Parti québécois (PQ) Jean-François Lisée has suggested Wednesday the installation of a fence in order to close the path Roxham, which is crossed by several irregular migrants. He later qualified his remarks, recalling the importance that Canada should suspend first, the agreement on safe third country.
“It is important to ensure, first, that the people have access to other entry points. If 91 % of the irregular entries were made in Quebec, it is because it’s the path of irregular the most famous in the world. […] Once it was decided that it gives them another way [that is to pass through the border], with the federal government, it is said that this path, which has been built, which is now widened, where there are huts around, we put up a fence, that’s all,” first said Mr. Lisée to journalists.
He wanted to show that the establishment of a fence is, therefore, conditional upon the suspension of the agreement on safe third country, has suggested the head of the parti québecois.
Commenting on the statement by the leader of the PQ, the minister of Immigration, David Heurtel, was considered “simplistic” the solution proposed by Jean-François Lisée. “The real issue, it is the processing time of asylum applications, which should be done in a few weeks,” he said.
After the meeting of his caucus, Mr. Lisée wanted to qualify his remarks and remember that the federal government must first of all suspend the agreement that binds Canada to the United States. “Once that is done and once the asylum-seekers will know they can go elsewhere, that is what we will do in the way Roxham to indicate that it is no longer here it is necessary to pass? Is it necessary to put a panel? A cedar hedge? A police officer? No matter,” said Mr. Lisée.
He had made this statement after his party, the blue Room, has filed a motion seeking the closure of the path Roxham. It has been finally beaten by all the other political formations.
The reception of asylum seekers in Quebec, the number of which may increase in the next few months, has been the subject of several questions from the opposition parties on the occasion of the consideration of the estimates of the department of Immigration, in the late afternoon.
The PQ has once again expressed its concern that the federal government throws herself on Quebec the responsibility to welcome and host the asylum seekers.
“What’s the plan B?” questioned the spokesperson of the PQ, Catherine Fournier, in the event of the situation where the limit on the number of places set by Québec is reached.
“It’s going to be the federal government to find a plan B. It’s going to be the federal government to find solutions beyond our 1850 places of temporary lodging,” replied the minister, David Heurtel. “This is not the government of Quebec to do the work of the federal government” as it relates to emergency accommodation for asylum seekers, he reiterated.
The latter also highlighted the change of attitude of the federal government, which has recognized that Quebec had done its share to accommodate the high number of migrants in the summer of 2017.
For the minister, Ottawa has taken a step forward by offering the direct support of asylum seekers by a triage system, depending on their destination, as well as accelerating the granting of work permits.
Since the month of January, Québec has welcomed a total of 7188 asylum-seekers, of which 6797 are entered the country irregularly, including by the way Roxham. Last year, about an asylum-seeker on the four crossed the border illegally.