Trenton- Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday defended his government’s handling of thousands of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the United States.
He was reacting to criticism from recently elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who blamed Trudeau for the inundation of more than 3,000 refugees currently living in temporary housing in Toronto. At a meeting with Trudeau on Thursday, Ford wanted to know why Canada had not refused the immigrants entry to the country.
“The premier asked me a question that a lot of people have asked me: ‘Why don’t we just stop them at the border? Why don’t we just prevent them from crossing?’” Trudeau said Friday during an interview on a Toronto radio program. The answer, he said, is the law.
“We have to provide due process for people according (to) Canadian law and values,” Trudeau said.
Without naming Trump, Trudeau said the influx is a result of anti-immigration policies promulgated by some leaders.
“Unfortunately, conservative politicians here and around the world are playing a very dangerous game with something that shouldn’t be fodder for the division,” he said.
The federal government has allocated $50 million for the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec, where more than 7,600 illegal asylum seekers crossed into Canada from the U.S. in the first four months of 2018. Of that, $11 million is earmarked for Ontario.
But Toronto Mayor John Tory has asked for $64 million and he and Ford want the Trudeau government to pay the bill.
“Right now, we are saying we have a problem and we need help,” Tory said. “We have exhausted our available (shelter) sites, our resources and our personnel.”
A statement from Ford’s office said Ottawa was responsible for the influx of asylum seekers.
“This mess was 100 per cent the result of the federal government and the federal government should foot 100 per cent of the bills,” the statement read.
Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein is on record as saying he is concerned about the Toronto situation and Ottawa will help. We will be there for Toronto,” Hussein said.
Source; Anadolu Agency.