Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Minister Christine Fréchette hopes for a new approach of Ottawa to redirect asylum seekers to other provinces.
The Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Christine Fréchette, rejoiced on Tuesday at the fact that almost all of the asylum seekers who crossed Roxham Road last weekend were sent to Ontario.
Among the people who took this irregular passage route on Saturday and Sunday, only 8 of the 380 remained in Quebec, said Ms. Fréchette, in a scrum. “We're very happy with that and hope it holds up over time,” she said.
Recently, “500 additional rooms” were reserved by Ottawa in Ontario to accommodate asylum seekers, she said.
Minister Fréchette maintains that “the reception capacity of the Quebec has been overtaken.” “We are asking that the proportion of asylum seekers who stay in Quebec be equivalent to the political weight of Quebec within Canada,” she added. So we are talking about 22 to 23%. There, we would be in acceptable waters. »
Hundreds of French-speaking asylum seekers transferred to Ontario
Christine Fréchette admits, however, that the issue will be “really settled” by a renegotiation of the Agreement between Canada and the United States on safe third countries. Roxham Road, located south of Montreal, is not subject to the agreement because it is an irregular passageway. 39,171 asylum seekers were intercepted there last year.
Last July, Jean Boulet, then Quebec's Minister of Immigration, welcomed the federal government's decision to redirect to Ontario a hundred asylum seekers who had entered Quebec irregularly.
The office of federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser says it has been adapting since this summer based on Quebec's capacity and needs. “We recognize that in Quebec it's a big burden,” said Devoir Émilie Simard, spokesperson for the minister.
Legault meets with US Ambassador
Earlier Tuesday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said he will continue to pressure his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, to “speed up” negotiations with the United States on the safe third country agreement.
He took advantage of his meeting the same day with the American ambassador to Canada, David Louis Cohen, to deplore the fact that Roxham Road is not included in the Agreement.
Under the agreement, a person must seek asylum where they first arrived, i.e. either in Canada or the United States United States.
Twittering Cohen, Cohen said he was pleased to discuss “U.S. and Canada's goals for clean energy, trade and our shared borders, including including the Prime Minister's plea for the modification of the Safe Third Country Agreement”.
With Alexandre Robillard, Boris Proulx and The Canadian Press