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Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government.

Senator Harder, in July the Government of Ontario requested $200 million from the Trudeau government to cover the cost of the so-called irregular migrants who poured into our province seeking asylum in response to the Prime Minister’s infamous “Welcome to Canada” tweet. I remind you that 40 per cent of the shelters in Toronto are now occupied by people who have illegally entered Canada.

Last week, the Government of Quebec requested $300 million to cover the cost related to its asylum seekers.

Senator Harder, when will the government reimburse the provinces?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. They are not “so-called.” They are, in fact, asylum seekers.

The Government of Canada has, for the last number of months, worked closely with municipalities and provinces to put in place a higher capacity to respond to this situation. Those discussions with provinces and municipalities are well advanced. The government has made a number of announcements. I would be happy to table the list. Further announcements will be made.

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