HALIFAX — The federal minister of immigration objected Monday to the new Ontario Tory government’s references to people claiming refugee status as “illegal border crossers.”
Last week, a spokesman for Premier Doug Ford used the term in a statement sent to the media, saying the recent influx of asylum seekers has resulted in a housing crisis in Toronto and “threats to services that Ontario families depend on.”
On Monday, an emailed statement sent to The Canadian Press from Ford’s office repeated the “illegal border crossers” terminology.
Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, told a news conference Monday he believes Ford’s vocabulary is inaccurate.
These are people who we have a legal obligation to give a fair hearing to.Ahmed Hussen
“I’m very concerned by Premier Ford and (provincial) minister (Lisa) MacLeod really making statements that are difficult to understand when it comes to how they’re describing asylum seekers,” Hussen told reporters in Halifax.
“These are people who we have a legal obligation to give a fair hearing to, and so we’re applying Canadian law, we’re applying international law and that requires all levels of government to work together.”
The act of crossing the border at a point other than an official port of entry is illegal. However, according to the federal Customs Act, those seeking asylum in Canada have that right to do so under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.
Hussen addressed the issue of language as he took questions from reporters about Ontario’s call for additional financial help from Ottawa to deal with asylum seekers in Toronto.
More than 3,000 refugee claimants in Toronto shelters
Between the beginning of January and the end of May 2018, the Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration and Refugees and Citizenship Canada have processed more than 20,000 asylum claimants, according to federal data.
There were 3,304 refugee claimants in the …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music