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GOLDSTEIN: Trudeau a deadbeat when it comes to asylum seekers

July 16th, 2018 | by Richard Paul
GOLDSTEIN: Trudeau a deadbeat when it comes to asylum seekers


Lorrie Goldstein

More from Lorrie Goldstein

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens at a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 7, 2018. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)Patrick Doyle / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to stop acting like a deadbeat parent and provide for the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who have streamed into Canada from the U.S. at unmanned border crossings through ‘irregular migration.’

I’m using the terms preferred by Trudeau and his minions — as opposed to illegal border crossers — because that triggers the Liberals into accusing anyone who uses them of being ‘un-Canadian’ and part of the ‘alt-right,’ which is their predictable, dumb and desperate attempt to dodge the real issue.

Back in the real world, what’s un-Canadian is for Trudeau’s government to admit almost 30,000 asylum seekers into Canada through unmanned border crossings and then dump the responsibility for looking after them onto provinces and cities, which had no say in the process and lack the resources to cope.

The Liberals portray critics of their actions as racists — the same way they portrayed critics of their Islamophobia motion — in order to divert attention from the real issue.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, left, standing in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, advises migrants that they are about to illegally cross from Champlain, N.Y., and will be arrested, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. (Charles Krupa/AP) Charles Krupa / AP

In this case, it’s the Trudeau government shirking its responsibility to help provincial and municipal governments cope with the cost of caring for these asylum seekers as their claims are being adjudicated, which often takes years.


Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, when he isn’t accusing Ontario Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod of fear-mongering and divisiveness, keeps saying he has the backs of cities and provinces having to cope with irregular migration.

Based on Trudeau’s actions so far, that’s utter nonsense.

The feds to date have set aside just $50 million to help house asylum seekers — $36 million for Quebec, $11 million for Ontario (meaning Toronto) and $3 million for Manitoba.

By contrast, Toronto alone says its emergency shelter system is overwhelmed and needs $64.5 million, while MacLeod says the total Ontario tab is $176 million to date. Quebec is asking for $146 million.

What’s un-Canadian is for the Trudeau government to dump the issue on provinces and cities, and then play the race card on those stuck footing the bill.

If Trudeau & Co. care as much about asylum seekers as they claim, why aren’t they providing the necessary funding, which is their responsibility, for basics like shelter and community and social services, so that asylum seekers have the best chance of succeeding in Canada if their claims are approved?

Someone should tell Trudeau that fulfilling his government’s responsibilities to asylum seekers and refugees extends beyond posing for selfies with them.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queens Park in Toronto on Thursday July 5, 2018. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

Instead of lecturing Ontario Premier Doug Ford about how the asylum system works, Trudeau should start listening to employees of the federal Immigration and Refugee Board, who told the Toronto Starlast week they’re frustrated, beleaguered and overwhelmed by “the influx of migrants crossing the border” that “has turned Canada’s asylum system into an assembly line, exacerbating operational problems and prioritizing targets over the needs of vulnerable people.”

Canadians know what’s really going on, even if Trudeau and his minions don’t.

A Dart Insight poll released last week found 70% of Canadians surveyed don’t believe the Trudeau government has a clear plan to deal with asylum seekers streaming into Canada, while 57% say the federal government isn’t providing adequate resources for the impacted communities to deal with them.

Instead of playing the race card, why don’t Trudeau & Co. — for once — just do their jobs?


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