Ontario formally requests $200-million from feds to deal with asylum seekers

The federal funds have been inadequate

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OTTAWA — The Ontario government has formally requested $200-million from the federal government to pay for the cost of asylum seekers who entered Canada from the United States and who are living in Ontario.

A letter from Ontario immigration minister Lisa MacLeod says the federal government’s approach to dealing with asylum seekers is “now testing the patience and generosity of Ontarians.”

The letter is addressed to Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos.

It says federal support has been “inadequate” to meet the current and future needs posed by this “crisis.”

MacLeod asks Duclos to consider the letter a formal request for “direct and full compensation” for the costs associated with support Ontario and its municipalities are providing to “illegal border crossers.”

MacLeod warned Ottawa earlier this week while appearing before a House of Commons immigration committee that the request would be made.

MacLeod says the $200-million figure breaks down as follows: $74 million for shelter costs for the City of Toronto, $12 million for shelter costs for the City of Ottawa, $90 million for social assistance costs her ministry is footing, $20 million for education and $3 million for the Red Cross.

So far the federal government has offered up $50 million to provinces, which includes $36 million for Quebec, $3 million for Manitoba and $11 million for Ontario.



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