TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s demand that the federal government pay Toronto $72 million to cover housing costs for asylum seekers hasn’t gone over well in Ottawa.
Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office insists Ford’s government needs to stop “playing politics with asylum seekers” and take an active role in helping to find a solution to Toronto’s looming shelter crisis.
“It’s very disappointing to see the Ontario government use this as a way to score political points on the backs of asylum seekers who are seeking our protection,” Hussen’s spokesman Mathieu Genest told HuffPost Canada.
“Our international obligations are not supplemented or limited to the federal government. It’s something that all levels of government have to work together to live up to.”
Watch: Trudeau says he explained asylum-seeking system to Doug Ford
Genest told HuffPost the federal government wants to recreate Quebec’s “well-managed” system of triaging refugees, but headway on that plan requires provincial participation.
Ontario’s legislature resumed Wednesday with a new Progressive Conservative government in power. Ford’s government is expected to bring increased pressure over the federal handling of an influx of irregular migrants crossing into Canada.
Ford echoed Toronto Mayor John Tory’s request for $72 million in federal funds to cover the costs from supporting the increase of asylum seekers entering the city’s crowded shelter system.
“They created this mess and we’re expecting them to pitch in and help,” the premier said in a statement.
Situation ‘urgent’ in Toronto
Toronto Mayor John Tory appealed to the federal government in June for funding to help accommodate the influx of asylum seekers.
Unanticipated costs — related to food, accommodation, and staffing — set Toronto back $64.5 million for 2017 and 2018, according to city data.
We need help. We cannot continue to do this alone.Toronto Mayor John Tory
The city has spent $19.2 million on food in the first quarter of …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music