Jacques Boissinot Archives The Canadian Press This is the second part of the Premier of Quebec's strategy to accentuate pressure on the federal government to act on the file of irregular immigration at Roxham Road.
François Legault attacks his federal counterpart's “good intentions” which have become a “real problem for Quebec and Canada” in a new salvo published Tuesday on the Globe and Mail website.
This is the second part of the Premier of Quebec's strategy to increase pressure on the federal government to take action on the issue of irregular immigration to Roxham Road.
Last year, a record 39,171 asylum seekers were intercepted at Roxham Road, an unofficial entry point located in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Montérégie.
M . Legault has been saying for months that Quebec's reception capacity has been exceeded, that the pressure on public services is untenable, without his interventions having had much impact so far.
On Sunday, he sent an official letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, demanding that all asylum seekers arriving in Canada via Roxham Road be redirected elsewhere in the country.
This request is reiterated and explained in the open letter he sent to the Globe and Mail on Tuesday titled: Time to Close Roxham Road and Enforce Canadian Border
“The number of asylum seekers has exploded”
“Since Mr. Trudeau invited all those fleeing persecution, terror and war to come to Canada in 2017, the number of asylum seekers has exploded,” laments Mr. Legault.
“It was generous of Mr. Trudeau, and we have reason to be proud of our record in welcoming refugees, […] but his good intentions have become a real problem for Quebec and Canada. . »
Mr. Legault says Quebec has taken in a completely disproportionate share of asylum seekers in Canada. “To give you an idea, […] it's as if Canada had to welcome 250,000 last year”, illustrates the head of the Quebec government.
He believes that the situation raises several humanitarian considerations. According to him, it is becoming more and more difficult to welcome asylum seekers with dignity.
These people are struggling to find adequate housing and are more likely to find themselves in a situation of homelessness. Health and education services are also facing “unprecedented increased pressures”.
“It's not just a question of money,” adds François Legault. The manpower available to receive and care for asylum seekers is limited.
“We have therefore asked the federal government to redirect asylum seekers to other provinces capable of welcoming them with dignity, […] until Quebec catches its breath. »
In his open letter, Mr. Legault also reminds the federal government of its responsibilities, especially in granting work permits and processing applications.
“The wave of migration is global and the federal government must adjust sooner or later, he writes. Until then, Mr. Trudeau should send a clear message to irregular immigrants not to take Roxham Road again. »
Mr. Legault is also demanding that Ottawa renegotiate the safe third country agreement with the administration of US President Joe Biden.
This agreement ensures that a potential refugee arriving at an official border crossing Canadian and having first set foot on American soil is turned away since he must pursue his asylum application in the first “place of safety” he arrives at.
Thus, people who still wish to apply seeking asylum in Canada cross the Canada-US border through makeshift crossings, such as Roxham Road. Once they are in Canada, their refugee claim can be processed.