Liberals plan hotel purchases to manage refugee surge 

Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that he might start buying up hotels to house the surge of refugee claimants.

Liberals plan hotel purchases to manage refugee surge 

Miller said the move would reduce costs associated with long-term hotel bookings, which is one of the government’s current strategies.

Currently, Ottawa is funding approximately 4,000 hotel rooms for 7,300 asylum seekers, many transferred from provincial shelters and churches, as reported in the Globe and Mail.

“Despite efforts to stabilize the number of asylum claimants, these numbers aren’t going down drastically anytime soon,” Miller said. 

The Immigration Minister further said the Liberals’ latest strategy to buy up hotels could include federal and provincial officials to provide services on-site.

From February 2023 to February 2024, over $100 million was spent putting up refugee claimants in Niagara Falls hotels alone.

Refugee claimants have spiked in Canada ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau infamously flung open the doors for them in 2017, tweeting that everyone is welcome in Canada.

Since then, provinces continue to sound alarm bells over the influx of asylum seekers.

Provinces at a breaking point

Quebec Premier François Legault told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his province has reached a “breaking point” in January, as an overwhelming number of asylum seekers continue to show up in Quebec’s airports. 

Legault requested Trudeau consider busing the asylum seekers across Canada to make for an “equitable” distribution across the provinces.

Legault also asked Trudeau to tighten the federal policies Canada has for permitting visas to asylum shoppers — many of whom come from Mexico. From January to November 2023, Quebec was hit with almost 60,000 new refugee claimants, putting significant pressure on services.

But last month, members of the Finance Committee voted against measures in the government’s omnibus budget bill that would have expedited the processing of refugee claims and strengthened Canada’s asylum laws.

Since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister, more than half of individuals given deportation orders remain in Canada.

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