Canada commits $362 million to assist cities and provinces in lodging asylum seekers.

In order to support cities and provinces in providing temporary housing for asylum seekers, the federal government is committing an additional $362 million. The statement was made on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller.

Longer-term adjustments are required, he says, but Ottawa recognizes the urgent need to give support that takes into account the impact of refugee petitions across the nation.

Approximately 7,300 housing-insecure asylum seekers were residing in 4,000 hotel rooms across six provinces as of last week.

A “significant amount” of the additional funds, according to Miller, will go to the city of Toronto.

He contends that although being a temporary solution to the unprecedented volume of asylum petitions, the program is far from ideal.

Given the outside temperature, this initiative is crucial because it provides people with shelter over their heads, according to Miller.

While housing and assistance for asylum seekers fall under the purview of state and local governments, Ottawa has previously provided several top-up payments, such as this one, to lighten the burden.

Since 2017 the system has essentially been a stopgap mechanism to deal with big historic volumes of migration, and I believe we owe it to Canadians to modernize it.”

Approximately 7,300 asylum seekers who were in need of lodging as of last week were residing in 4,000 hotel rooms throughout six regions, according to Miller.

He claimed that $100 million of the extra funding would go to Quebec.

Although he wouldn’t say how the remaining funds will be allocated, he did say Toronto will receive a “significant amount.”

Paul Calandra, the minister of municipal affairs and housing for Ontario, expressed dissatisfaction, saying that even if the entire amount was given, it would still not be sufficient.

In a joint statement with Immigration Minister David Piccini, he stated that it “doesn’t cover the needs of Toronto, let alone all the other municipalities facing the same pressures due to the increased numbers of asylum claimants.”

“The federal government needs to take responsibility for the crisis it created and provide the necessary funding to address it.”

Large cities like Montreal and Toronto, where immigrants frequently start their job hunt and look for pre-existing ethnic communities, are usually where the demand is highest.

The current method is “not perfect,” according to Miller, and it is not a long-term fix.

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