Trudeau government gives Ottawa $7 million to house asylum seekers
The city of Ottawa will receive roughly $7 million dollars to help with housing asylum seekers.
“This funding for Ottawa and the recent funding provided to Toronto assist our key partners in securing temporary housing for those in need, including asylum claimants,” Border Security Minister Bill Blair said in a news release.
The large round of funding follows a letter sent last year by the city’s mayor, requesting aid after the city had incurred more than $5 million in debt housing potential asylum seekers.
Like Toronto, Ottawa has also come to rely on motels in order to house many of the potential asylum seekers as social housing slots rapidly run dry.
In towns such as Toronto, social housing for singles has hit 99% multiple nights in a row.
Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson noted, “over the last year, Ottawa has seen a significant and sustained increase in the number of asylum claimants seeking temporary housing in Ottawa. This increase has put a strain on our emergency shelter system and has resulted in an increase in the use of hotels/motels to fill the temporary housing capacity gap.”
This sustained increase in asylum seekers, alongside a steep reduction from the United States has now placed Canada as the world destination for refugees from the United Nations Refugee Program, taking in more than the European Union and the United States.
As a response to the rather large increases in refugees and border crossers, Ontario’s government has requested a total of $45 million in aid.
The federal government has not committed to that number as of yet, but has after multiple years moved to re-draft the controversial Canada–United States Safe Third Country Agreement. A loophole within that document has allowed large-scale border crossings into Canada at Roxham Road, drastically increasing the number of asylum claims made in Canada.
What do you think about the recent aid announcement and our current system? Join the conversation by commenting below!
After a viral video of world leaders making fun of President Donald Trump surfaced, Trump got in a few digs of his own according to The Daily Beast. With several ambassadors over to the White House, he shot back against Justin Trudeau as well as France’s President Macron.
Trudeau had mocked Trump during a “hot mic” moment, and the video circulated widely on social media. In it, the leaders of allied nations gossiped about Trump liking to do lengthy press conferences. “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau said, referring to Trump apparently keeping him waiting. “You just watch his team’s jaws drop to the floor.” Trump responded to the video the next day by calling Trudeau “two-faced”.
Trump said that Trudeau had “no smarts,” “zero toughness”, and that he was “all fluff”, according to a source present who spoke to The Daily Beast. Trump clearly doesn’t like Trudeau, who he sees as phony, and referred to him as “such a child” and a “total baby”.
Many allied leaders purportedly don’t like Trump. When he spoke about Trudeau and Macron, ambassadors to those nations were reportedly “visibly uncomfortable”. Trump was undeterred in his commentary, but senior White House officials reiterated the friendship between allied nations.
At least two U.S. churches are making a statement with their nativity scenes this year. One of them is the Claremont United Methodist Church in California and the other is St. Susanna Parish in Massachusetts. The Claremont church seems to be alluding to Trump’s immigration policies, while St. Susanna Parish is taking a stance on climate change.
In a tweet by American journalist, Anthony Breznican, you can see members of the holy family inside chain-link cages. Baby Jesus is in a cage of his own while Joseph and Mary stand on either side of him, also in cages.
The scene does not specifically include any mention of Trump, though many think that the message is implied.
The church has a congregation of about 300 members and there are mixed responses about the church taking a political stance. One Twitter user said, “This is sacrilegious and blasphemous. Politicizing a nativity scene for the of social justice should list high in a book ‘you just don’t do it.’ The priest that okayed this should be stripped of his title and disgraced.”
Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, of the church noted, “This is a sacred family to us. We hold this family dear. And part of our vision is that they’re standing in for all the nameless others. For us, this is theological, this is not political.”
St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, Massachusetts has also included a theme in their nativity scene. The theme they chose to touch on is climate change. The scene shows everybody standing knee-deep in trash-filled water while some surrounding animals are fully submerged. A baby Jesus can be seen floating amidst everyone. The scene is accompanied by a banner saying “God so loved the world… will we?”
Some controversy has arisen out of the nativity scene. Father Stephen Josoma, the church’s pastor, says he’s not sure adding the climate change theme is politicizing the scene.
Father Stephen told WCVB, “We’re just painting an accurate picture of what the world is like this day.”
He told Boston 25 News, “It’s not a future event that may or may not happen,” also noting, “I think we have to kind of gather people’s awareness to bring about a change of mind and heart.”
The response has been mixed for parishioners, including Pat Ferrone who said, “Jesus was born into the circumstances of his time,” he went on to say, “You can’t pick up the paper or magazine or whatever without learning something dire.”
Some people were for the statement, such as Maureen Adams who wrote in a Facebook post, “Good for them for taking an ethical stand for humanity and the state of the world. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?”
Another Facebook user disagreed posting, “Trying to make a point, each year, with the Nativity is horrible. Hopefully one day it will be realized that this is offensive to some. Trying to gain publicity over something so sacred is blasphemous.”
One woman who told WCVB that she has stopped attending the church due to the views held by the pastor. She said, “I think he’s a snowflake. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to go in that church anymore because they’re tired of hearing liberal views.”
This isn’t the first time Josoma has tried to send a message with his nativity scene. Last year the church-based their theme on the migrant crisis, showing Jesus and his family in cages. The year before, they displayed mass-shooting victims alongside the family.
Another community member, Mike Looby, told Boston 25 News, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix those two topics together. It’s in bad taste.”
A Conservative motion to create a Canada-China relations committee to study the current relationship between the two states has passed, with the help of every party but the Liberals.
The Conservative call to action interestingly came on the one year anniversary of the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in torture-like conditions in China.
While the defeat at the combined hands of the NDP, some Greens, the Bloc, and Conservatives will not cause a defeat, as it is not a vote of confidence, it will likely send signals that there could be troubles when it comes to the negotiations needed to keep a minority government lasting.
With the vote passed, there will be a formation of a special House of Commons committee with a mandate to hold hearings on Canada-China relationship, “including, but not limited to consular, economic, legal, security and diplomatic relations.”
The committee will include 12 members, of which six will be liberal and six opposition.
The committee will have all the powers of a normal House committee.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
The Social took the opportunity last week to get behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he was caught making fun of US President Donald Trump to other world leaders, framing it as Trudeau facing “a bully”, and that we, as Canadians like to “play clean”.
“Sometimes you have to face a bully with a squad,” said Melissa Grelo on the show. She referenced French President Macron’s attempts to push back against Trump’s comments on Isis fighters.
Do Canadians believe that Trudeau’s jokes about Trump were part of a meeting of leaders, coming together to face off against an unfair adversary?
It’s hard to paint talking behind someone’s back as the act of confronting a bully. On the flip side, it isn’t hard to imagine President Trump as a schoolyard bully while watching him troll French President Macron about Isis fighters. Just watching their body language provokes the image of one kid trying to get a rise out of another.
Self-described gossip expert and The Social co-host Lainey Lui commented that “what they were doing was exchanging information… gossiping is a form of communication… I’m so tired of gossip being given this bad name.” While it would be easy to dismiss this as nonsense, gossip does, in fact, create bonding among the people who share in it. Creating an “us” and a “them” brings the “us” closer together. Trudeau’s little schoolyard circle of gossip may very well have strengthened relations between Trudeau and the foreign leaders he shared it with.
Of course–there’s a reason why gossip has a bad name. It’s risky, in that it will damage the relationship with the person being gossiped about, if it is found out–as Trudeau has discovered. As far as strategy goes–it’s probably not a good idea to take any risks with our single largest trading partner.
Then there is the high road–the refusal to take part in gossip. If you’ve ever met someone with this level of character, you’ll know that there isn’t the easy bonding that comes from sharing cheap shots on someone who isn’t there to defend themselves. But, when it’s clear that you both have the same frustrations with that other person, it’s not hard to develop a deep respect for those who abstain from gossiping. After all, with that comes a trust that they won’t be talking behind your back, when you’re not around.
Hence Trump’s comment about Trudeau being “two-faced”.
At the end of the day, all world leaders need to be strategic in their relations with one another. They each need to behave in whatever way best serves the interests of their countries. Whether they choose trolling or gossiping or stately reverence, what matters is managing relationships in a way that enables them to get the job done.
But aside from all that–what was even said? I think Melissa Grelo summed up the whole issue best when she said, “this is not particularly salacious stuff–although when videos like this leak out, it sure becomes salacious.”
Perhaps it was the giddy tone in which Trudeau talked about Trump behind his back that caught the attention of top Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign team so much so that they decided to use it in an attack ad. It also probably didn’t help Canada’s relations with the US that Saturday Night Live–which Trump claims he doesn’t watch, but feels the need to trash on Twitter from time to time for its routine lampooning of him–did a whole opening sketch on Trudeau (Jimmy Fallon), French President Emmanuel Macron (Paul Rudd) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (James Corden) belittling Trump (Alec Baldwin) in a high school cafeteria.