Atlantic Canada immigration ministers say they are committed to welcoming asylum seekers IG News

IG news Update,

Halifax –

Immigration ministers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador say they are committed to welcoming back asylum seekers who have entered Canada outside official ports of entry, mostly through the Roxham Road crossing in Quebec From.

After a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers in Halifax, federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Friday he was unable to determine the number of asylum seekers in the four Atlantic provinces.

Fraser, who is the MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova, told reporters that “there is no predictable limit on what Atlantic Canada is capable of, because they routinely exceed even my own expectations.”

“I expect we will respond according to the need we see, and we will do our best to ensure that no community is seeing more people than they can adequately handle,” he continued.

Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Jill Balser said the province has so far received 134 asylum seekers who have arrived in Quebec, and New Brunswick Immigration Minister Arlene Dunn said her province has taken in 57.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Immigration Minister Gerry Byrne did not say whether his province had already accepted any of the Roxham Road refugee claimants, but said it was open to receiving asylum seekers in the coming days. is ready.

Byrne said, “I can assure you that they will be welcomed, supported when they arrive and after they arrive. We will meet their needs and look forward to the day when they will contribute to our needs.” “

Fraser said the federal government is working with the provinces to have newcomers fill out a questionnaire on their skills upon arrival “to indicate what talents they have to contribute to the local economy”.

Fraser said all 57 of the asylum seekers sent to New Brunswick have already filled out the skills questionnaire.

Prince Edward Island, which is wrapping up the first week of its provincial election campaign, was not represented at the meeting.

The transfer of asylum seekers comes as the Quebec government has been saying for months that it can no longer handle the influx of migrants entering Canada through an unregulated border crossing on its border with New York state. Thousands of migrants have already been hit by flooding in Ontario cities including Ottawa, Cornwall, Niagara Falls and Windsor.

The federal government has reported that more than 39,000 people claimed asylum in 2022 after entering Canada outside official ports of entry in Quebec, mostly through the Roxham road crossing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 10, 2023.

This story was produced with financial support from META and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.