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tv   Canadian Government Officials on Illegal Border Crossings Part 2  CSPAN  August 27, 2018 10:30am-12:32pm EDT

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violate the customs act. ultimately, we are talking about irpa. what i was saying in english early was that we could resolve this problem by having people cross lakes or bodies of water so that they could arrive at a customs station. i don't think that -- >> sorry, mr. edelmann. we will need to stop there. we will be continuing later. we will be a 30 minute break. so that we can have our lunch and then will move on to the second meeting of the day. thank you. ♪ ♪ >> calling this meeting to order. this is the 118th meeting of
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the senate committee on citizenship and immigration where they are considering consideration for a study on impact of irregular crossing of canada's southern border. we thank you mr. fogg and mr. macarthur for joining us today. this is our second meeting on this topic and we have about one hour. we may not need the four -- the full hour and a part of the witnesses an in the second hour arrived early we may terminate this a little bit ahead of the hour. that will take more time for a larger panel. we invite you now mr. von for about ten minutes to present your thoughts. >> thanks very much and thanks for the opportunity to talk about the situations not just in toronto, the writings i haven't represent fine here of course my capacity as sector for housing and urban affairs but also the situation confronting a lot of minutes villas and provinces across the country as we do with a surge of shelter users. the situation as it relates to
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the province and the city of toronto but this is not different radically from québec and a large cities like montréal, is for several months we want to thank seeds for the hard work they've been doing in the last few months as we fixed me a surge of shelter users and people seeking support komsomolets event driven of course by the situation at the borders but is also part of a larger picture of challenges facing us as a country run housing. we want to think this part is because we know cities on the following are doing the heavy lifting and bob is quite often are the organizations that provide immediate response as federal programs to compute the situation confronting toronto is not a crisis in the refugee system. the situation facing toronto is a housing prices and her has been housing crisis in toronto since the mid-'90s. and if you take a look at the recent statistics, what has happened is yes, there has been a surge in a particular population with the city shelter system has been running at past
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90% capacity for the last decade. edifact the crisis would identify pentagram fake breaking report that shows that there is a significant and a dangerous trend in housing dynamics across this country which shows that cities can no longer rely on shelter systems to provide housing. and so our government did not wait for situation at the border to actor it did not wait for a call from the community to respond. and our first budget we double the money going for homes, in particular get people out of shelters and it is supportive housing and provide more support for prevention. we tripled the dollars for 40 housing funds and those investments are paying off with additional resources on the street and it's why the shelters in the cities have not reached capacity but the challenge is that we need a sinister dresses and a fundamental way so we have surge capacity and emergency
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housing sector and the challenge is to depopulate our shoulders combat soviet built more and more shelters. the $40 billion investment in the national housing synergy which is already being spent into minutes from coast to coast to coast, from pc to st. john to the north this year cutting ribbons on projects is our response to this present challenge and we have to take a look at exactly what kind of house and we need and work with our provincial and territorial partners as well as indigenous governments and municipalities to make sure those dollars rollout as quickly as possible. in terms of the situation that has garnered the most attention which is the situation in toronto with regards to its shelter system, it has been a long-standing challenge in toronto at half the people in shelter system our children. this is true for long-term canadian populations and long multi generational can you do them as it is for immigrant refugee families. half the children since 1999
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have been children. when you take a look and we done site visits with the motels and the shelter system that is current housing some of the new refugee asylum claimants and migrants and immigrants, when you go up to those centers what you see our buildings full of children. this image and this stereotype of a single person crossing the border, what we saw on social media, is just false. it's just not the experience of toronto and not the experience of the numbers we're seeing. what we need to do is figure a strategy out that houses families effectively. we're working very hard with trayvon and others across ontario as well as the province of québec to establish a system that triage is appointed into whether it's a regular point of entry or a regular boarding crossing and to move families in particular into housing and shelters and to support them with the dollars that are part of the federal government investment into a formal housing
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and homelessness. this is the strategy and the plan that is been put in place since day one this government took office. the issue as a set and i will state it again is we have housing crisis in major cities in this country and that's in part because people flock to major cities when they are in housing the because he received both the to be employment and housing resources in those communities. unfortunately at this point tomorrow having sustained a 90% plus surge in its shelter system is that it . now it needs a network of support around it to redistribute some of the sums up with them in place of where thy will try and contribute to the own life of the community there in. the model we want use an ontario we felt we were on the way to using the model put in place in québec, the trieste system that point of entry identifies the composition of the family, the composition of the groups seeking asylum. it maps eventual housing system across the entire province, maps with over financial resources
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aren't like would support for different groups because they present to the board tivoli. it redistribute the pressures and no one city carries the hold up and affect the entire system is taken to place and the federal supports that of their are added to the next to make sure that they get the support any but also the people seeking asylum get the support they are entitled to and required to be provided with so that the system is effectively works. in the absence of the provincial system being available to us in the provincial government has suggested this uniquely a federal responsibility, in the absence of that system which the federal government funds on a day-to-day basis, on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis, the social transfer, in absence of that system being that we had to reach out to partners across the province and remap the system was currently is already in place and working with other yumminess goes across and jerry to redistribute on the
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pressure and in the people into good, strong housing communities with the right supports and that is being mitigated and being worked on. but at the end of the day, quite frankly, if this country is not prepared to move children out of shelters regardless of immigration status, regardless of -- this country is not prepared to put it into the practice of children and emergency shelters, this problem will persist. and the fear we have quite frankly as it relates to emergency housing is as a watch the forest fires and northern ontario and see what happened at fort mcmurray with 80,000 people being displays come as a watch the floods in new brunswick or manitoba and still to be addressed into the new permit housing, what we know, what nursing is significant volatile and sudden and large population displacements, part of the new normal. where did he come from across the border or inside your province or from across the border of jurisdictions, the reality is is that we can no
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longer sustain an emergency housing system at 90% capacity. it it is not sustainable. if we're going to take care of canadians when you to create a different kind of housing system. system. if we're going to make sure we have capacity going forward into the next century we will have to build a housing system that utilizes emergency housing that 90% capacity rate. it's that simple and i'm very proud to be part of a government which recognizes this, data from day one taking office, almost threthree years ago. as i said double the amount of money going to homes for support for across the country, tripled the transfers, sustained the social transfers to provinces and is currently signing -- already with ontario. so the resources are there if the system is being rebuilt. the focus on children regards other status out of the shelters is underway, and the plan from our perspective with the enhanced for participation but
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it is not the first time that a provincial government has shirked its responsibilities. if you go to the report from 19919and in and you take a lookt the recommendations that were contained in the report which the first significant response to homelessness in toronto, that was produced, what it talks about is provincial federal gridlock. at the time the provinces demanded total control of the housing sector and announce the federal government to get up there at the time the provincial government and ontario said that they were responsible for housing and not the federal government. what has changed out is that now we're the provincial government which is the federal health and good uses the federal government is there to help them. but this jurisdictional gridlock is what assistant housing crisis in ontario and toronto and its or other provinces just as much and it's time for every level of government, all orders of government to pull together and solve this problem because it is my? today it will be people from a forest fire to mark or people
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from a flood the day after that. we need to build a strong housing system in this country that means step up as the federal government. one of the reasons i'm here today is when i was reporter covering this issue back in the late 90s and early 2000s i happened to come to ottawa and the question what stephen harper about this. stephen harpers response was go read the constitution. his reference to read the constitution has explicit instructions were the housing was not the responsibility and his government wouldn't participate. what is make housing crisis worse since that report was the previous ten years of government which effectively cuts supports on the cisco cuts support for construction repairs and a limited the federal presence on subsidies right across the country. if we did not come to the last decade with we can housing resources, the city of toronto and montréal, vancouver and others across this country would not be in a position to be frustrated and the response to we have a robust system, would have emergency happen be
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maintained and instead went exact opposite. one last note. the first act, the very first act of the provincial government in ontario was to eliminate $800 $800 million in committed funds for repairs to committee housing. it will lose one year of housing per day for the new building. that will only make the situation worse. we need partnership on this and looking forward to ontario stepping up regardless of the citizen status of children. >> thank you, mr. vaughan. [speaking french] >> translator: thank you, sure. thank you, chipper like to thank eyewitnesses for being here today. -- chair. i'd like to thank our witnesses for being here today. i think would be interesting to highlight what you say, mr. vaughan of participation, governments participation in this situation, which has become more striking perhaps than 2016,
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but as you said this is not a recent situation. however, when it comes to the crossings at the recent, new issue. and significant number of people have crossed there. i do appreciate you raised the collaboration of the government of québec, and if we were to extrapolate from the success of the agreement between the federal government and the québec government, i believe that merits repeating. centers collaborate with the rcmp and the cbsa have been created. they are also many ngos that are supporting the work being done by both the federal and the québec government. there's a typo regionalization of the entire issue -- type of
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-- of asylum claimants. so i'd like to further ask you if you and what is been done in québec and how we might be able to reproduce that elsewhere, particularly in ontario? because with respect to housing montréal is 140% which means that the agreements with the québec government is going well. thank you. >> a good one and it's starting to prove, it has the capacity to manage the situation that is present in particular because of the ways in which the border crossing manifests itself with the united states and québec. the system effectively, personal, québec residence and shoulder systems considered 5% capacity not set. when you get these innovative surges in any population of homeless individuals in this capacity to manage and also to shift resources and models around the population of homeless people as opposed to
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meaningful capacity and not having the flexibility. that in large part because the province of québec have been in this is a strategic and heavily in provincial strategy but also from housing and supportive housing was when the best ways to do with depopulating shelters. the system we think is one that would be easily replicated and ontario because it's the same basic funding relationship between the province and the federal government and municipalities is a federal triage system that has access to provincial mapping of emergency but also vacant housing across the entire province. it then models people into where the vacancies exist. it redistributes the price from major centers into other sectors. it then steps up with additional resources around language, immigrant resettlement services, everything right down to how the hearings are managed and mapped across the entire system. this triage system takes advantage of the existing provincial social service
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network but simply has it mapped a real sense when people arrive in real time they can be triaged into the process. the other thing that is critical is to think the one, the number seven quite reached 2008 numbers. i don't know what stephen harper twittered in 2008 to get to the numbers they got in terms of border crossings but something happened back in 2008 and that surge capacity was also matters with the provincial systems. the system is we have a province that doesn't want to participate. they don't want to use their system to help create a triage system and a significant area pressure. what is happening is the system that spilled in québec has the capacity to mention this. does require additional federal resource at it as one of $50 million is initial payment came forward to help with those challenges but it allows you to map the system can migrate the people into the system in an orderly structured way with resources and then processed in an orderly way and make sure
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that canadians are kept safe and also migrants are kept safe from the immigrants and refugees are kept secret that system we think we know we can replicate because with the verge of doing with the province of ontario before the election. we think with cooperation to get there, if we can't continue to provide the services we need to make sure in particular children are kept in a safe environment, services the record. we won't be doing things like pulling refugee health care with the people and really loading on provinces extort a cost but also extraordinary risk to the health care system. those approaches to immigration regular or irregular, legal or illegal unacceptable and discovered as a result has restored that and will continue to engage with provinces and possibly to be proactive but to create a systemic response when it is clearly an irregular search but nonetheless we need to build systems to manage it. [speaking french] >> translator: thank you very
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much. now i think with regard to québec, lessons we've learned over the last 30 years pick as i said earlier, well, going to date myself but i been working intensively, i worked intensively in immigration for over 15 years and we've seen various waves of immigration in québec and we've learned from those surges. when a particular that struck me when i started working in a resettlement organization for refugees and immigrants when i started working there, the surge and refugees and claimants that we had in montréal at the time was the romanians that arrived in containers. we heard absolutely horrifying stories including people who had perished during the trip and they arrived in a terrible state. so displaced an immediate and
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heavy burden on the health system, not just physical health but also the psychosocial health system since this individual has suffered severe trauma does, québec had to adjust it were talking the '80s and '90s, because we were experiencing this large, this arrival of people. so i'm proud to see that the province has conceived maintain and even increased its capacity. that today yes, with the federal government but the québec government has negotiated with the federal government and i think that's the answer to all sit down together and negotiate to find the best possible solutions. thank you. unfortunately, your time is up. we will now move on. >> i spent eight years come just for eight years. >> look at a study done by the institute, an organization formerly headed by your liberal in its minister, and it shows
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that the increased cost of housing in toronto due to municipal regulation and rake it is $168,000. in other words, redtape that you helped impose in the city of toronto increases the cost of each single house by $168,000. when they found out, mr. vaughan, you were here to testify about housing, i assumed that you're coming to apologize to all of the people who lost out on the opportunity to live near where the jobs and the opportunities are because of all of the red tape that you impose in increasing the cost of housing. and so now on the issue at hand, you said -- usage of the system of triaging illegal border crossers after the entry into canada. how much money has been spent by the government on busing illegal
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border crossers from one place to another? >> i will defer to the department that has spent those dollars but in terms of the issue you're raising speedy the question is how much has been spent on busing? >> the issue of transportation of people from point of entry and to save housing is not part of the ministry that i work for. >> you are responsible for the housing, are you not what your site busing to give housing and start to responsibility. you don't have any knowledge of how much the cost? >> it's not a budget line that appears in everything. >> so you don't because it's not in your briefing notes. next question. you said that earlier today regard about 800 illegal border crossers are staying in dormitories on campuses. students will soon return to school and those illegal border crossers will be evicted from those dormitories and we learned this morning they will be moved to hotels.
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that is governments plan to house these illegal border crossings. how much will it cost to house illegal border crossers in hotels in the coming year? >> that is a decision made by shelter services and in a place like to run ever take it with those. but hotels speedy who pays for it? >> it will be paid by all three levels of government. >> how much will it cost? >> currently right now the city of toronto claim is there's a $65 million price tag to the search that is being experienced this year. >> right but my question -- with respect -- by time is limited. hillary response for housing. you hereto tessera on illegal border crossers. your government has made the decision to house these border crossers in hotels when -- [talking over each other] >> how much will it cost? >> the city of toronto said the cost they are facing is in. safety $5 million but would have done is broken that coun down ao
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come and individuals. it is found was that of being housed in the student shelters, the student residences. the use of hotels is to about 20 years down that road. those costs have been folded into the social service transfer, the dollars, the $23 million speedy how much will it cost? >> the trouble is the breakdown on the population includes all families seeking shelter inch water, not just immigrant and refugee -- >> so you don't how much this will cost? >> this is why you need more statistics which the city has not shared with the province. what we said is we assume and weeks that there is a federal responsibility. we have a $40 billion housing program. the goal is not simply to us people in hotels. it's to move people into proper housing. >> and sorry, back to -- you already gave her speech. >> on answering your question. >> you're not answering my question. [talking over each other]
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>> speak one at a time. it would be helpful. >> that i shows how much would it cost to house people in hotels. the witness has now said he does not have an answer to that question. i want to move on to another question didn't come if he cannot answer that one. >> that i will answer that one. >> busing people from the border to the next location. he does not know what cost will be. >> you are putting words in my mouth and i -- [talking over each other] >> my question then is how many illegal border crossers are entered into this country since your government took office? >> again you're asking delivered questions that are outside the area speedy do you know the answer. >> was your asking questions -- >> so you don't -- [talking over each other] >> my questions are very narrowly focused on the facts. as the member who is speedy they
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are not -- >> speak up half of the largest organ government of canada, employment and social development. he is responsible for all the housing programs from the social services that are related to the entry of illegal border crossers into this country. i asked him what would be the expenditure cost to put people in hotels ask what would be the cost to bust them around? i'm asking if he the knows how many illegal border crossers have arrived since his government has taken office, and so far he has not been able to enter a single one of these questions. so you -- when asked another question. [talking over each other] >> how much to date have all levels of government had to spend on illegal border crossers since your government took office? >> i'm responsible for the housing part of the equation, and on the housing part of the equation there is a mixed model in terms of the delivery of the
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system. so, for example, if you're given a work permit and your mood -- your stay in hotels last three months. if you move into private present and pay all rent with the java does appear as speedy how much? >> the situation is the city -- >> how much? >> he doesn't know. >> the city of toronto and the province of ontario receive funny with a population of the shelter system and that funding currently in terms of hbs dollars is $23 million. sorry, we've spent $20 $200 miln a year on hbs services across the country. i can't write that in his damage of those dollars on a day by day basis. >> mr. chair, the wages has said that is not responsible and i agree. thank you. >> that's not what i said. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. and thank you to our witnesses. on the housing issue is like to first establish the fact. the housing crisis as
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mr. vaughan had indicated really begin since the mid-1990s, and, of course, mr. vaughan will know that in 1983 the federal level government canceled the national affordable housing program, and that was under the liberal government. and as a result of that this country lost more than half 1 million units of affordable housing that was otherwise would've been built across this country. so imagine what our country would look like today if we had had an additional half a million units of affordable or co-op housing, right? so hence, the housing prices were in, that was in part of a result of the liberal government action. so that said, we do have a situation and i would argue that the need for affordable housing is across the board. and i see in my commute in british columbia, in east africa but i see it across the country
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as well. this situation of course is challenged because of the asylum-seekers coming over. and so mr. vaughan talked about a national affordable housing the company established this fact as well. it's good that the book of as come back to the table. i will say that. however, 90% of the funding for the national affordable housing plan will not flow until after the next election, and that is a bit of a challenge as well if you need to housing right now and as you know, as we all know if you don't -- get with housing in the nonprofit sector and i used to practice his life, where you build housing, it takes over years at best to get a project off the ground and especially if you have zoning in folder it takes sometimes five years, secures contenders to get a project off the ground. now, so we have housing crisis. i would ask this question. when the city of troy to projects seek if i'm going to in
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to do with the housing aspect with the asylum-seekers irregular asylum-seekers, and so a large portion of which is going into hotels instead of actually putting that money into a hotel which will be gone after people leave, why don't we invest that money into a permanent building? so redirect that money come purchase the building and make that available for asylum-seekers when the influx is here and when they are not here you can make that available for local people in terms of a transition into brown housing or even regularize the refugee program as we've seen with the syrian refugees when you first game. many of them were put in hotels. instead of doing that, get a permanent building or series of public buildings to which then you can house speech i couldn't agree with you more. >> is that something then --
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>> i been trying to persuade particular members from -- >> sorry, mr. vaughan. mr. vaughan -- my question to you is this because of something that you are advancing within your own government? if so, have you offered that solution in purchasing a permanent, permanent building for in length asylum-seekers. >> was yesterday the national housing starts a comedies that and to correct the record, the national housing strategy, the tripling of the -- the problems are in the first budget so it's a 12 year spent a and we are north of $4 billion already. ..
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do you have how much you will be contributing towards that? quick we immediately transferred 11 million of the 60 million and we are reviewing the request. we need to see how it is being spent. also understand the support for the problems and where it's being spent. >> i'll have seven minutes don't waste my time. >> i did not realize. >> of the $65 million you do
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not know how much is going to be directed towards that. how much have you actually offer on the table to the provinces to purchase buildings for the purposes of asylum-seekers? >> the national housing tripled size is there for that. it is there to address pressures on emergency housing system to create systemic responses to underserved populations. >> your situation going on at this moment. how much of the dollars is being offered on the table to the problem to those -- [multiple speakers] for the asylum-seekers? with that money into hotels? if the city would rather purchase buildings than to rent buildings, it is their choice to make that flexibility for program to do that emplacement appear. >> how much of you offer them? >> the first $50 million was an initial emergency response with a commitment to sit down and facilitate on a per capita -- >> racing $11 million?
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>> as a first installment. >> what is next installment coming in? >> only sit down and work out a system. >> have you -- do you have a date planned for this? >> i can assure you that the commitment has been made to the mayor. with all ministers involved in this. to sit down and continue to work with -- >> what is next meeting planned? >> i'm not attending that meeting for the exact date but we made a commitment with the mayor's office. city
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i want to apologize for the tone and the tenor of what's happening today. getting back to this for toronto, for scarborough. we have had several, if i may just continue without interruption. i think -- >> you may. >> i want to make a point that this is -- [multiple speakers]
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>> i think a quorum is required. unfortunately, one of the floor and i'm discussing i extend courtesy to the opposition when they were going on. i think that is courtesy needs to be extended to me when i am questioning the witness. >> thank you i would remind all members that were dangerously close to me gobbling the corm on the last questioner. i will ask all members to please, use appropriate parliamentary decorum. >> mr. chair, i've been on many occasions told to act nice and be nicer and watch my tone. frankly, i -- in defense of my female college here i am really glad she took the tone that she did. >> point of order is not debatable. if you would like to continue. >> thank you. and as member of parliament for toronto, i know there has been a number of opportunities where
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i have met with some asylum-seekers as have you. can you indicate to us the specifics from toronto and what our federal response has been and what the other levels of government have or have not done? >> specific response was $65 million to do with identified housing pressures. given immediately $11 million as we move towards understanding what federal dollars, commission dollars and city dolls have and haven't reached. we are in touch with the city virtually on a day-to-day basis. we were at shelters last week. i was with shelter workers yesterday and in a different shelter in the afternoon to talk about the surge and make sure subpopulations are being served. for example, the lgbtq community as part of this. we need to make sure shelter capacity and all sectors are there but we touched and
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specific to the point just made, we are in touch with the city on a day-to-day basis. we do not schedule meetings. we meet and we meet and engage and make sure dollars and support is there and flowing. the continue as well to talk to the problem and continue as well to talk to shelter providers and other municipalities. i was talking with a member of the housing authority who has shelter space and housing space in north bay and making sure the immigration department knew about that. as well as that we tied them into the rehousing strategy. we are working on this every single day because quite frankly it is intolerable that children are in a shelter. they need to be a home near schools and be supported. that work we are doing day by day does not require a 10:00 meeting in a telephone schedule that can be presented to a committee. it requires constant effort, attention and investment in those areas. we are sure the city of toronto they will not be left hanging as they have in the last 10 years by a government that did not commit dollars to
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homelessness, shelter, housing. the final point i would like to make is that one of the big losses in the last 10 years was that with the last budget which negotiate additional housing dollars against the budget and denied close to $200 million a year to go into the housing system. all parties have failed on this. all parties have.we have all to look ourselves in the mirror and understand the housing crisis which is at the root of the issue we are dealing with in toronto right now something which emerged over the last 30 years. it starts with 1988. it was not helped when they made repairs of social hasn't started the backlog and housing. all parties, all policies have contributed to this the question is what will we do to get out of it? >> was hindering our ability as the federal government to be able to resettle or move some of the folks from toronto particularly those that are -- into -- >> my collagen bridge club you identify it's hard to build a house and quickly and to make sure it is in a place where we necessarily need it. housing systems have to be
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sustained. they cannot be sparked quickly per that's why the investments were made before started as soon as we took office. to get the housing sector building again. we had great success in some communities. we are struggling others. toronto being one of them. the victoria with $90 million investment, municipalities, the province and federal government at the table will be reduced homelessness to functional zero within two years prior when all three levels of government work together with the federal dollars that are there and the commitment that a strong right now in d.c. and with minister polities leading and fine-tuning the process, we started to see great results in calgary, london, hamilton. but there are certain jurisdictions that are magnets for a whole series of housing pressures and have housing markets that are very hot and in those areas, there is a stubbornness in the housing crisis but i can assure you that if we can get the numbers down, to the shelter population that we see and get back we have 75 percent capacity, the pressure would come off the housing system in toronto. the resettlement and orderly way particularly children and
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we would be talking about a much different thing today. >> thank you. i would like to pass the rest of my time. >> thank you, mr. chair. i was a bit surprised earlier with the cynicism insinuating somehow that asylum-seekers are responsible for their need to be in hotels or that somehow anybody wants asylum-seekers to go into hotels or somehow that previous governments are responsible for that housing need. and -- who is here it reminded community members that policy should not be scapegoating asylum-seekers. for political gain by blaming them for pre-existing problems. then of course, -- went along the same lines again trying to insinuate somehow tying asylum-seekers to the lack of housing support and shelters. they've described ready for us some of the legacy that all parties are responsible for housing shortage. but i would like to understand how we are working with cities
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like toronto to great affordable housing to meet the needs of society? include specifically asylum-seekers both in shelters but also into actual housing and then had his own national housing strategy for the country as a whole take asylum-seekers and migrants into account? >> in 40 seconds. [laughter] >> the $40 billion investment into the countries housing system has already been parceled out in terms of the ten-year response in ontario and ontario and toronto will figure out how that both of those dollars are spent in the city of toronto. there are three main pressures in the city of toronto to be addressed. the backlog which $2.6 billion right now in the city of toronto. there is a 100,000 person waitlist being held steady and they're fast tracking the approval of housing. i was on counsel to that. additionally we have to move with much more flexibility on
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the homelessness strategy to prevent homelessness and also mitigate homelessness by -- in terms of those, the city toronto use hotels to house families for the better part of 15 years now closer to 20. the system, the average family stays 3.1 months. those numbers search when there is an influx of families. as there currently is peer but that system goes back and returns very quickly. >> thank you. [multiple speakers] >> five minutes. >> mr. chair. my questions relate to the system that has been put in place to bus people have crossed and claimed asylum. this is a system that the government is referring to the triage system. earlier in testimony today, we heard that the government does not want to close the loophole on one third country agreement. then we have my colleague use the word, the new normal in terms of particular situation that is happening. my question relates to the budgetary efficacy of the
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government system. how many people is the government projecting lacrosse for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019 that will subsequently be bused and require temporary shelter? >> so, i will refer those questions to the department that manages the questions. and the answer, the normal i refer to is displacing the population not the situation. >> i am assuming you are here as prodigy secretary because your spouse be talking about the efficacy of your quote - triage system. >> as it relates to housing. >> yet how many people you're expecting to have to triage in the next year. is that correct? >> what we are seeing is that numbers crossing the border at that particular point has dropped not to below 40.
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[multiple speakers] >> it has increased year-over-year. the graph is going like that. >> factually that is incorrect. >> you can't tell us how many people are going to cross the border. how can you project how many hotel rooms will be needed? >> that is the challenge of having an emergency shelter system which is beyond surge capacity. so the no normal rule requires us not to operate shelters at 90 percent capacity in normal times because a new normal places populations -- >> he said there will be more installment payments and these installments are not part of the budgetary process. and as parliamentarian our role is to question expenditures and efficacy. how many more hotels are the estimated will be required and over what time period. >> the shelter population and homeless population is currently.[multiple speakers] i will give you an expiration. currently the shelter capacity and state toronto is about 6400 people.
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have our children. that number has been holding steady at about 5000 for the last seven years. the way to create shelter capacity in the system is to get those people out of the shelters. [multiple speakers] >> we are not getting the numbers that we need here. the reality is your government is coming out and making announcements and announcements on funding with no numbers attached to it. how many people for how long? we cannot assess.even though i may not agree with my college here on how, we need to be able to assess the assistance the most compassionate way to deal with people entering the country here now that as you said, this is the new normal. >> that is not what i said. what i said is that. [multiple speakers] relics if you come to the meeting without figures and i don't understand why you are here. i would ask given the amount of commentary that was colorful that you had around the
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government who is been in office for two weeks, he planning to run for leadership of the ontario local party? >> answer to the question that i think you're trying to ask is, how do we get to a system whereby the emergency housing system which is the most expensive and least humane way to deal with any individual, let alone immigration status, had to be put that into a more robust housing program? [multiple speakers] >> how much is going to cost -- to my colleagues question, if this is the best way to do it people coming into the country this way and whether or not canada has the capacity to successfully integrate the amount of people that you have a lot to come into the -- [multiple speakers] you have provided no context, no answers and no statistics for us. you're going to be coming out
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and he said you have more installment payments. parliamentarians here outside of the budgetary process have less information than we did before. the prime minister hired a minister who did not know what his job is. are you reporting to him? >> i report to the minister of social development and the question you. [multiple speakers] >> is the second time that a colleague has wavered from the focus of the meeting. [multiple speakers] >> actually because the point of the response outside of my time. the prime minister has appointed a minister to be in charge of this issue. and this morning, mr. chair, he says i don't know what my job is. there we have a palm entry secretary sitting here says i don't know how many people are coming in. you have to ask the department of immigration. this morning the minister says they do not report to me. what we are seeing here is completely relevant to the issue at hand. if there is no plan to not answer the situation but there's no plan for the
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adequacy of whether or not these budgetary expenses are adequate, compassionate into what production they are being made on? that is the data we are trying to get here today and we have had minister after palm entry secretary, woefully underprepared to provide the data. i will continue these questions because it is in scope. >> thank you. >> mr. vaughn, how many people do you project will need housing after crossing for the next 18 months? >> what we're seeing is decline in numbers. therefore, we believe and hope that. [multiple speakers] >> we now go to mr. fergus for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for being here today. i would like to continue on the same line of questions as my
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colleague. regarding quibec. i will follow up. regarding the triage system in order to work with the claimants, so with that in mind, i think it gives us a chance to tell us more about what we should do and whether quibec might be a model for other policies. ontario for example. in order to better manage the system. mr. vaughn, could you tell us a little about the quibec system, please? >> it maps out the entire social service and housing that was across the province and brings relevant stakeholders together on ongoing basis in a proactive way to manage homelessness, shelter use and people in courthouse and other social dynamics.
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this network of very effective network, includes medical services well which is a critical part of what we are dealing with. it allows the pressure points to be redistributed across a provincial network with federal support and municipal local delivery models. it has worked as a triage system answer the question asked about how much does the bus because it depends where they're going. on a case-by-case basis. we do is we look at what the costs are that are incurred and we support the province to medicate those costs. but what we rely on with quibec is not the funding model we are relying on the systemic response we provide sources for. this has proven to be exceptionally good at sustaining a population based in the shelter system below full capacity. currently canadair 14,000 emergency shelter beds on any given night across the country. they are not always in the right city for the right pressure points. and part of what the system has
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to do is try to get people to move to places where there is better housing to support them as we build the new national housing strategy and further reduce the numbers and dependency. that is the systemic approach we are taking. those are numbers we are dealing with and that is the investment we made as a federal government. >> in that same line of thought, mr. chair. i recall a few months ago in the spring, the quibec government publicly complained that they had not reached an agreement with the federal government. in order to meet the needs of the increase in cost. how long did it take the federal government to sit down with quibec to negotiate an agreement? >> that is for the $50 million, that's where it came from. the cities in the province of purchase. but the first installment down and then we said show us the ongoing cost as this problem most of the system and changes day to day at the border and we will match our support to the data you provide us. the good news quibec is providing the data allowing us
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to have a good conversation with providing the support and fit that into the larger context which is eliminating the housing crisis in the country which will give us the surge capacity where from time to time whether it is from a forest fire or border issue, we need emergency housing. >> with the new government in ontario have the need to request federal government? >> negotiation to set up the same system, the current government has said they will not have that conversation with the federal government. they said their federal response billy put a contract with the former permanent minister and what they said. they have to work together to deliver results pray that as a result we are seeing in british columbia. we've got all levels of government working together to effectively build the right kind of support of housing, to depopulate the shelter and give municipalities the capacity they require when natural
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disasters are in canada or circumstances outside canada create surge and demand for emergency housing. we've got to get away from having emergency housing at hundred percent. it is not effective or humane or cost-effective way to deal with issues. the province of quibec has been very focused long before there was a border issue. the homeless count in montrial and quibec are significantly lower than in other cities. why? because a provincial government has made it a priority to hold emergency housing in reserve instead of using as full-time capacity. and that surge capacity now with federal resources is starting to even out and return to a more manageable set of levels. hopefully, there isn't another significant population displacement. if doctor bid a forest fire happen in the province of quibec, there will be a whole lot of people looking for emergency housing. >> thank you for that. >> what is the plan of the government to house asylum-seekers in the future?
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>> the plan is that, and this has been true that there was emergency housing provided among immediate port of entry. and then for example, when i was at the shelter in toronto, doing my due diligence meeting with city officials on the issue last week, will be so were housing workers locating housing spots in the private and public sector market and housing people with a party of children. >> you are relying on municipalities? >> we are working in partnership with all orders of government and private sector to provide housing. it is a shared responsibility. >> estate toronto is predicting illegal border crossings will be taking up 53 percent of the cities november. i guess my question is, what does the federal government to were planning on doing to rectify the situation? they say the city of toronto says they do not have the
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funding. >> what they don't have is the housing. >> they don't have the funding. >> it doesn't matter how much money you have if there's not a house. we are doing is working with others -- >> apples and oranges. they say they can't do it. is it are you going to do is sit down? do you have plans? >> here is the plan. we working with neighboring municipalities identifying housing resources that are not being used. >> which minister polities? quickly of conversations with virtually everyone.had conversations with northbay and the housing authority has 400 current shelter space available. >> is that where they are going to go? >> we go to map out a housing system over a larger geographic region and we will redistribute the problem with resources and support to make sure people are properly house. hotels in emergency shelters are no place for children.
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we are not called to stand by and let that happen. >> it's a good argument. >> i'm glad you agree. >> you repeated it about a dozen times. >> that is the focus. >> the question is what are you going to do about it? and so far you have said nothing. >> we have sourced new housing sites outside of the city of toronto. we provided rent, support and -- >> who is going to play for that -- pay for that? how much money will the federal government provide? >> you have to map out. >> he said you've done that. >> we sat down with partners to get the information and data and then we model the funding to support the city. >> the city of toronto has said that the housing problems -- >> your government might cut a check for hundred million dollars and hope they spend it properly. but we do this in real time, we sit down, we meet the responsibilities based on the data. >> the city of toronto -- [multiple speakers] >> mayor watson of ottawa has
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expressed concern about asylum claimants being brought to ottawa. my own mayor, has explained concerns that about the possibility that our town could be a destination. there does not seem to be a lot of foresight going on by the federal government with respect to this. so, is the government or does the government have a plan to deal with the housing and this part of the problem? because i understand you're saying that you are responsible for housing. will you table that plan with the government with the committee? click the plant is not just simply a question of how we house immigrants or refugees. it is how we how's all canadians. the national housing strategy has been tabled. >> what was that created? >> that was created in terms of the actual policies and funding, it is been the first budget, second budget and third is a investment over the next 10 years to build housing. >> a long time ago.
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this problem is a serious crisis with all of these municipalities. questing it will be housing crisis with or without the refugees. >> we know you having a great time interrupting us while we were asking questions. i would appreciate if you would let us vanish asking the question before you start going on and on. the question is, do you have a plan and will you table it with the committee? >> i can leave that -- >> what was a national housing thomas hazlett. >> last november peer. >> what about this year?>> this year had additional dollars put in in the last budget to facilitate and accelerate construction of rental housing across the country. the national housing strategy addresses the issues that the emergency housing has as a whole and that is our plan. >>. >> for about three minutes or so we have left. >> thank you very much. you mentioned that the housing crisis goes at least to the
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1990s. i'm curious with what we've seen how much can be contributed to asylum-seekers if at all? >> back in 1999, 50 percent of all refugees, not just claimants, did not receive any support when had the first interview and were allowed to apply for homelessness. at that point close to 77 percent of homeless people in toronto were refugees. that number in the last year has surged. has surged across southern ontario, londa, hamilton, different jurisdictions i've been in contact with have also experience the arrival of people almost overnight. sometimes by taxi. in terms of arriving, looking for emergency shelter. but the housing crisis not generated by any one single population. to scapegoat one were to highlight a different one or to
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point fingers at some populations is to not trust the fundamental issue. we are not as a country and have not for a generation investor properly into the housing continuum and provide support in the -- >> given the range of possibilities may be contributing to the housing crisis, why is it there seems to be an obstacle with asylum-seekers when it seems to region common ground on making investments in housing for the federal government? >> because the family housing is the hardest to build quickly, sourced quickly and move people into. it is the most expensive form of housing in particular areas but that is where the number of children in the emergency housing system, shelton system is continuing to grow even though singles and subpopulations are shrieking. the challenge we had as children in the country. housing families properly. >> very quickly to conclude, you mentioned the answer you got when you put the question to harper and he said read the
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constitution. it is important that the federal government is contributing to investments in the housing as part of the housing -- >> there is a habit of collecting out west in particular. the posters that show what a family was seeking refuge in all parts of europe in the last 100 years, the granting of the federal system would grant them land. they had sticks at headstones, clay to build housing and settle instruct businesses. that is how the west was settled there was a federal policy. across the globe attracting canadians from around the world. that's what built the country for the federal government -- the canadian housing responsibility, there's a responsibility to be engaged. i agree with the numbers. the mistakes were made in the early 90s. they've devastated people in this country. have created the national housing crisis.
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policies of the last 10 years made it worse. we stepped up with a significant 10 year plan already spending dollars making sure the news release, from british colombia we are spending dollars selling the poles per the challenge we have emerged shelter system and certain large cities is running at full capacity. we can't handle the search. we have to address that we have a responsibility. >> we need to end there.we'll have a very brief suspension of the meeting. so we can continue with the next. i asked members to take two minutes as we get the teleconference and witnesses. >> we continue with our study of the impact of irregular crossing of the canada southern border. we welcome and thank our witnesses for attending. i'm going to begin with minister mcleod first seven minutes. then we go to the mayor on
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teleconference and -- >> thank you, very much chair. i welcome the opportunity to appear before the committee. i am -- owner government like most are voluntary recognize the value and importance of immigration to our economic prosperity. until i received more than any other province in the country. we also receive more refugees than any other province. we are proud of our ability and capacity to welcome, sediment-- settle immigrants. ontarians no immigration enhances all of our prosperity. immigration brings investment and opportunity to our province. ontarians also want to know that there is integrity in the refugee system. today i am appearing for the
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committee to highlight instance of systemic integrity that have arisen as a result of federal decisions. now ontario is receiving an unprecedented number of illegal border crossers who after crossing, or making a claim of refugee status using a loophole in the canada united states third country agreement to claim asylum. these crossings are an entirely different matter. it is taking advantage of ontarians generosity. our position on the issue has been crystal clear. since the new government formed on june 29. owner government believes that managing the influx of crossers is the federal governments responsibility. the federal government must also fund the services required to support them in full. ontario can only do so much. since january 2016 where received and welcomed over 36,000 refugee claimants. 5500 claimants reported moving to ontario since january 2017.
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and communities across apartments are straining to support the high number of crossers. in the city of toronto about 45 percent are refugees. our new government have stepped up to facilitate use of approximately 800 residences for shelter space during the summer. in addition, funds have been set aside for red cross support services in the college residential spaces being used as shelters. after more than a year of consistent pressure the federal government announced a future date they will provide ontario with $11 million. we estimate however, that ontarians cost to support the crossers is now approximately $200 million. that is $90 million in cost, 74 million shelter cost for the city of toronto by the year end. $12 million and growing in shelter cost for the city of
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ottawa. $3 million to the red cross to assist with temporary shelters. $20 million in education cost for the children of the crossers. also a strain on legal aid system. in addition the city of london is reporting strains in their shelter system. the problems seem to be spreading without any light at the end of the tunnel. this is our greater lengthy delays in the federal government refugee determination system. here is that should be completed within 60 days are not taking approximately two years to be held. with no improvement in sight. the two years of delays families in limbo, two years is far too long for people to await a decision. two years is far too long for people in ontario to -- the federal government must regain control of the processing timetable so that failed claimants leave more quickly and those accepted as refugees are able to move ahead and integrate into ontario' society. it is in everyone's interest to have refugee claims, process quickly and efficiently.the
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federal government must also address border patrol issues. including the gap in the canada united states agreement that contributes to the high number of regular border crossers. it is the federal governments responsibility to identify and fully fund a solution to the crisis caused by the handling of the crossers pay that includes working with the city of toronto and the city of ottawa and other municipalities to address the housing situation by providing full funding to the municipal shelter system and identifying federal facilities that could be used to house individuals and families currently staying in college dorms and who will be homeless after august 9 when they are expected to move out. ontario also expect the federal government to adjust the cost associated with crossers, access to welfare and legal aid as well as education. ontario said into the federal government to uphold responsibility to actively manage the influx of border crossers and provide full financial support to cover the cost incurred pete ontarians
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are pro-immigration. but the current crisis has casted their patients. i say this to the federal government, take responsibility for your choices. stand behind them and fully fund them rather than passing the cost on to hard-pressed ontario municipalities. thank you. >> thank you very much. we're going to continue now with the mayor, thank you. >> thank you very much for the opportunity to speak for the committee today. first of all i want to put in perspective because some may not know where this actually exists. we are the most southern part of canada in ontario. and our community is 2400 square kilometers. most of that is prime agricultural land. and advanced manufacturing is one. i appreciate the opportunity today because welcoming newcomers to chatham is nothing we haven't heard of before.
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whether be the underground railroad system with uncle tom's tavern or the immigrants that come from europe in the 20th century to our community. whether it is refugees under the second world war located themselves in our community. this was also named to the first welcome communities in canada for the syrian refugees in 2016. today we have 75 syrian refugees that have located in our community and are productive members of society. on 2011 we have seen the census shown between 2011 and 2016 our population decline. and i don't think we're different than any other rural community. we see people transferring cells to larger communities and small commuters are faced with school closures, decreasing population, and we have 43 people per square kilometer and
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our basic assessment that we get supports the infrastructure that we have in our community. the minister talked about a number of things and i complement the minister for remarks talking about making sure that financial responsibility and those issues that the federal government are working on are there to support communities such as ours to make sure they have the financial resources to support. the refugees are significantly important. when you look at the refugees and whether it is the syrians or the current situation, that i had the pleasure of talking with the mayor of toronto about, how can we help. we're talking about people here. a lot of the communities we still need a labor force that is going to be required. it is important that we identify those skills that the individuals may have because they can be a major asset to our communities. a lot of our employers are looking for certain skill sets. francis, and i know in a community of tilbury had a job
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fair looking for 200 vacant positions required for people to get employment opportunities. understanding this refugee crisis that people are talking about, most importantly is, there are enough skills to say that these individuals can be transferred into employment opportunities. and if they like being here, may taking a continuous residence without community. we've done a lot of work in our communities. we want to make sure that those who come here have the support services that are there. we have received government funding to make sure certain programs are available. making sure that translation english as a second language and a number of things are there to support them. we also support our community college and our elementary school system to deal with foreign students coming to the community. we have schools that are being designated as closures. because of student population and decrease of population in our communities. we see this as an opportunity
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for our community to rally behind each other and support each other. to make sure we are bringing people and giving them gainful employment opportunities putting them into a community that is safe. most importantly, to make sure that they feel welcomed and the community they are coming to. do we believe that the federal government has a responsibility? you are the gatekeeper. whether talk about refugees or asylum-seekers, or whether i talk about the nominee program which i truly believe needs to be more point systems given to rural communities across ontario, and i will speak about this where points you to be so investments are made in rural communities where infrastructure is already there and is sustainable to take more people on. where it will increase tax base as they become productive members buying homes in living in apartments or whatever it may be. and making sure people feel
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safe. the key i'm trying to get across to the community and i look forward to the questions, i listened to a little bit before. we can all point fingers who failed what on social housing. i too have a social housing waiting list. when emergency shelters, they should be in true definition as emergency shelters. no more than that. and we should be making sure that we have affordable housing available for people. we need to make sure that the jobs they are seeking our gainful employment opportunities that are long-term and that they have the opportunity to build a life. the minister was absolutely right. two years is a long wait for anybody to go through a process whether it be in the provincial nominee program or be refugee or asylum-seekers. two years is a long time. if you want them to buy a home, settle their roots, make sure the children are placed in a proper schooling system, then expediting, i would not use the word expedited. making sure the due diligence is properly done in order to make sure the residents get
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timely fashion that they need in order to become part of this canadian society. i know we welcome, i know the employers in my community welcome the prayer we believe there is huge opportunity for them to be part of our contributing society, to be part of a community and to make sure they can actually be a spokesperson for newcomers that can be looking at canada as an opportunity. looking at ontario for a place to live, work and invest. that they will be a spokesperson to say you should go because it is a great place to work. i'm going to stop there because i think it's really important to work with the community. because we are talking about humans here. we talked about human beings with children and we want to make sure that we as government, it does not matter whether we are the federal or municipal government view we need to put our best foot
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forward and treat people humanely dignity they deserve. and that we work with them to become members of a contributing society that i believe will shape this country even to be better. we were never afraid of welcoming people and we need to continue to do that. >> thank you and now we move on. because of thomas hazlett. >> committee, i am the national president of the customs and immigration union. a union of 10,000 members represent canada frontline customs and immigration officers investigations intelligence and trade customs officers, immigration, enforcement and hearing officers as well as support staff who work at the canada border services agency.
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i'm an officer myself with over 18 years of experience on the front line. over the years, i have seen the government organizational structure in our workers job involvement. the ci you as long history of involvement on border security and immigration enforcement issues on behalf of its members. we seek to offer members operational insight to identified areas of concerns and where possible, to improve those. thank you for the opportunity to appeared for you today. the regular crossing of the border. the issue is of great importance and needs an informed review. in recent years, the greatest number of regular crossings has taken place between the state of new york and quibec. yesterday i met with members who share their observation and recommendations with me.
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i can confirm that the situation in quibec is having an impact across canada as officers are reassigned from their existent positions. and airports to deal with people entering between ports of entry. they created a pool of volunteer officers who are prepared to deploy when needed. yesterday, there were six or seven officers from other provinces who were providing assistance. if that number climbs as we expect it will, it will be a negative impact as it is creating pressure on those work locations. this may cause delay from crossing the border -- the staffing situation is made worse by the fact that there is already severe shortage of
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approximately 1100 frontline officers. the shortage is a result of the former government, 2011, reduction action plan which was intended to cut unproductive administrative and supervisor positions while maintaining operational capacities. unfortunately, the cut included frontline personnel at primary, secondary, export clearance, domestic intel, foreign intel, screening and immigration enforcement.the situation continues to worsen as the cbsa rate is higher than the rate it is hiring. pursuant to both of the customs and immigration and refugee protection act, it is illegal for a person to enter canada between designated ports of entry.
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however, the same persons have the legal right to make a refugee claim once they have entered the country. since january 2018, the number of asylum-seekers averaged around 30 or 40 per day. exceptionally on some days, the number would reach 80. that is the number are officers who are expected to clear yesterday. beginning of the easter weekend from march 30 through april 2, the numbers climb to 150 to 160 per day and the numbers remain higher than usual between 100 and 160 until early may. in early 2018, we have served a large number of those entering canada illegally or irregularly were not persons his temporary protection status in the u.s. was having work was facing revocation. rather, they were mainly from nigeria having lawful entered
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the usa through a visa from express purpose entering canada between ports of entry. for the last two months, the numbers have stabilized and approximately 40 per day. we believe the drop is likely due to canadian government intervention, the u.s. is no longer ensuring these nigerian nationals who merely wish to transit for u.s. in order to enter canada. it is important that appropriate screening takes place wherever visa are issued and i would urge the committee to confirm with the government that appropriate steps have been taken in that regard. while nigerian phenomenon as unexpected as these asylum-seekers were not facing revocation in us, they are now well over 200,000 individuals home to have tps and are
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expected they will be required to leave the u.s. in 2019. as stated earlier, those crossing have legal rights to make refugee claims once they have entered the country. if the interviewing officer concluded the person making it refute the claim is admissible the process is suspended until the issue is resolved. although we welcome we also need to ensure that this is not being done to the detriment of the security. last month, cbsa issued an operational bulletin which direct all officers including those with the situation in quibec to restrict the u.s. national crime information center database which is equivalent to our canadian police and formation center
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database. cbsa informed us the directive came from united states. i can tell you this directive raised significant concern to our members. they are reiterated their concerns to me yesterday when i was there and i would recommend the committee seek an explanation from this directive issuance from the cbsa president. the ciu always after all officers mobility will be increased so that they are able to monitor activity in between ports of entry. this can be done in partnership with the rcmp. the government -- >> i have to ask you to close. christ the government has just appointed a new minister from the border security and organized crime reduction. while this exact mandate is unclear, rightly improving our
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mobility enforcement capacity, between ports of entry should be a priority. i want to thank the committee for having me here. >> thank you very much. >> mr. boldt for seven minutes to request just a brief background. before i got involved in immigration over the commercial banker in united kingdom. i began as manager and founder of the provincial nominee program for the business side in manitoba. i later became assistant deputy minister of immigration. after my own immigration company in 2008. i would also like to state my family came as refugees in 1929 escaping the soviet union. as level of asylum-seekers grow from both his cross the border regularly and those who apply when they come as visitors and students, the visa officers as was talked about, have ordinary human reactions. the increase refusal rates for all other categories that are coming in temporarily. it's very important for people to understand.
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offices of the gatekeepers to canada. they see their job as protecting our country from those wanting to enter and make asylum claims for they believe they are good process for applying as refugees are broad and coming to canada as visitors are walking across a noncontrolled border crossing or not some of them. if an officer believes an applicant for a temporary visa has even the slightest intention of applying for asylum, they will be refused. for a visitor visa student visa or work permit. i work with many visas post around the world and officers have made this abundantly clear to me. also, the greater number of asylum-seekers being approved in canada, the greater number of refusals they will be for temporary visas outside of canada. students, visitors and workers. according to the ministers own report, those coming as international students and visitors contribute $32 billion annually to the canadian economy and 2017. any increase in refusal rates cost our country billions of dollars a year.
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the number of student visa refusals has skyrocketed under the current federal government. nearly doubling in many provinces. in fact in most provinces it has nearly doubled. the refusal rates have gone from the mid-20s three years ago to over 50 percent in the last three years. our local association wrote to the minister about this. the response was completely logical. he simply took down the statistics from the website and refused to provide any statistics. this is at the same time when manitoba and most other provinces are looking international students is a growing source of skilled labor for economic needs. it is recently been well-documented that visitor visa refusals have also risen dramatically. it is now 26 percent. this vastly underestimates the issue. by the way also sit on the board one of the largest travel agencies under canadian director. and i can talk with assurance
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about this. in places like india, getting a u.s. visa is relatively simple. alternatively people know that the majority of indians cannot get a visitor visa to canada so they simply do not apply. there are millions more visitors that would like to come to canada. but we know that the visas will be refused. so they don't try. the reason why they will be refused? the officers fear they will make them asylum claim. we started the nominee program in 1997, the processing time for many years was about six months. over the last 18 years, and slowly grew to about 11 months. that is the federal processing time. since the new government took over it has quickly grown to 18 month period and a place that relies on this the increase in processing time cost our little province tens of millions a year per plus there is for
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those making asylum claims in canada. in my view this is likely the smallest cause associated. the other costco missed opportunities of students and visitors. companies and communities deem skilled workers are larger and more critical. they asked the problem at your budget office to examine the cost associated with asylum-seekers. i would like to ask this committee to change and demand the requests of the cost associated with refused visitors and students and economic immigrants added to the cost associated with claims. there is only one department not two. they allocate resources as they see fit. they brought -- this is the same time it has taken 11 years to screen some family members sponsored by their children. 11 years. but that is a stunning number. these resource allocations made by the government. they are not two departments but they keep reporting but as
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one goes faster the other go slower. this is irrefutable. it is also irrefutable that asylum-seekers approvals numbers grow, the refusal of other temporary categories goes up. substantially. the approval rate of asylum-seekers in the united states under the obama administration was 18 percent. in the uk it is 28 percent. in france it is 32 percent. in canada under this government it is 70 percent and rising. even this rate is dramatically understated. of the 30 percent refused, there are several raised remaining of course they can repeal. contrary to what mr. vaughn said the majority in fact the vast majority of those crossing regularly are settlement. many simply get married and remain spouses while others are not able to be removed due to lack of travel documents or pre-removal. there is also humanitarian grounds and some qualify as federal skilled worker.
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to the best of my knowledge has never been statistics released on the actual number of asylum-seekers allowed to remain in canada. anecdotally these claim that half of those initially refused are allowed to stay for various reasons. for a total of 85 percent approval. i am not aware of any other developed country which allows 85 percent of asylum-seekers to remain. in canada, regardless of what party you in or support, we passionately believe in fairness to all of us do. yet, when it comes to asylum-seekers it is hyperbole, correctness and lack of any economic data or analysis that seems to rule. there should be one door into canada and that is the front door. thank you. >> thank you to all of the witnesses. seven minutes. >> thank you, chair. thank you witnesses. minister, you mentioned the number of estimates at the beginning. on costs. i wonder if you could table that to the committee along
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with an explanation of how those figures were worked out? >> thank you. also i want to say thank you for holding hearings i think it was enlightening for me. we will do that. we will be sending a letter off to my 45 ministerial counterparts. ...
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to the tune of almost $200 million. we are asking for support not only in children cost but in education costs and social welfare. >> i would submit to you there are other words they could be used. i worry the situation with all due respect that inflames the situation. we had an incident you might've seen that went viral online. this is, these which great of certain perception of what are almost always very desperate people playing desperate circumstances. you spoke in your presentation, you used as a matter fact the word in your presentation. today we heard from lawyers and experts in refugee law that the federal government is, in fact, legally obligated, legally obligated to ensure that asylum claimants get a hearing to determine if you meet the definition of a refugee. so you can call it a choice but a legal obligation is a certain
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kind of choice. i wonder as the minister responsible for ontario are you familiar with the 1985 decision of the supreme court and do you recognize this binding implications? >> ontario receives were immigrants than any other -- >> stick to the question. >> we spend more than $110 million annually to welcome and settle and emigrate refugees. in addition to that we -- >> i appreciate that i don't mean to interrupt you but there is limited time. i guess the answer to that question is no. do you recognize the 1951 u.n. convention on refugees and the implications for federal and provincial governments? for the more the fact provincial governments must recognize and ensure respect for customary international law and convention example of international law? >> we have $200 million -- [talking over each other]
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>> i must say this. just because they put the paper for because it means you -- >> no, i come up with my own questions. >> if you want to talk constructively like bill blair the we have conversations about the cost bill that emma city of ottawa and the city of toronto in addition with welfare costs are for my ministry. >> you're ignoring the question. that's why i'm engaging in the way i am. as for international law goes, yes, the federal government does sign things like, it is a signatory to the convention. that's the primary responsibility of the federal government but it does confer certain obligation on the part of the provinces, namely the recognition and the showing of respect to customary international law. again the u.n. convention is an example. i only have a few minutes left out of what to speak to the manner as will appear with my final question to you, you have attributed the rise and asylum claimants coming into canada to twitter, in fact.
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50,000 asylum claimants came to canada in 2017. if that is twitter i wonder social media holds water with respect to what's happened in france. in 2017, 100,000 individuals claimed asylum in that country, and in 2017 begin 220,000 individuals claimed asylum in germany. is twitter responsible for the asylum, the number of asylum claims in those two countries, or is it the usual factors, more conflict and poverty? i think it's important, at least on the issue let's be on the same page. because if twitter is causing these things i think we live in a very alternative universe possibly. >> so let me just be clear. i'm not finished responsible for immigration friends. i'm response for immigration policy and speedy but you said things -- [talking over each other] it is the responsibility to
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fully fund. what i'm doing today's leading out that is causing my ministry about $200 million at the time where we need to deploy these, this precious little money that we have two issues like children facing speakers i look forward to tabling the document and will take a look at that. this is a challenge and not a crisis. let's also put that on the record as well. mayor, thank you very much for appearing via video conference but i know you're busy man. i know that your economy is firing on all cylinders, 2008, 15.8% unemployment if i'm not mistaken, not down to 5.60 5.7%. for me the way you. for me the way you describe this challenge, it's an opportunity for you. that's what i'm hearing. you have a number of gaps as far as employment goes. you are looking for individuals to fill skill shortages in the community of chatham kent. could you speak to that and the opportunity that that exist from
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the point of view? >> the opportunity, we see this crisis that if he refers to as an opportunity for my community. you're right, to the number of london, we have had huge unemployment rate. we've been successful in generating new investments with supporting companies, with government federal support of helping these companies grow. now we're into a situation where our unemployment when you have little unemployment rate and your companies that want to expand we don't have people. people is a key resources. when i talked to the mayors and i say one of important piece of information we need is the skill sets because like i said, i showed you we're showing about the job opportunities that are available. if we understood the skill sets of individuals and show the skill sets to employers, we got almost probably do preinterview process is what we can put people the gainful employment.
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>> i appreciate the way you approach this issue. >> there will be a need for the transferring, okay, so supporting toronto as a indicator to is that we have short, only 43 people per square kilometer with fiscal tax bases are shorter what we need assistance during the timeframe that if we can get these individuals into gainful employment with support from a local employers which gives him a talent base and ever had. i've seen some of the talent base that is being displayed -- >> i'm afraid i need to cut you off. sorry about that. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. chair, while i have the floor i'd switch put on the record because mccauley looked -- because my colleague looked surprised. at our committee meeting in march he said i've used the word illegal use the word a regular think both are accurate. i will look forced to reading
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some of his comments and that is made and then applying them in that context. i digress. minister mcleod, here we are. the reality is when we look at immigration i don't think there's a single person in the room, and that's a thing about canada, the reality is that when we accept humanitarian immigration is not just about processing them at a border. it's not just about accepting them or sign off on the selection process from the united states. it's about a long-term commitment for the well-being and their integration into the social and economic fabric of canada. that cost money and it takes planning. the reality is that provinces bear the burden of a lot of this work because of the scope of jurisdiction in terms of provision of education, healthcare, subsidize housing. heart of the difficulty that we that as the committee is getting information from the government
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to understand the needs of this. we really don't have a sense of who's coming in. has the government giving you any projections for information on what to expect in the next year and the need associate with how language training, long-term integration come social welfare payments, do you have any of that information? >> no. the government has not provided us with indication of how many refugees, claimants will you will be receiving over the next 18 months but we do know from the federal government effigy claimant data from january 2017-may 2018 ontario received 5585 claimants have made the claim in québec and moved to ontario. between january and may of 2018, 21.4% or 1675 of all rescue claims were children under the age of 15. we have asked and would like the federal government to be more specific on the information. the profile claimants, this data
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can support cost in terms of language training as well as other initiatives. it says would look at this. i have a large ministry. one of the concerns we have as the bills start to pile up as we take that money from. i'm responsible for women who are escaping trafficking or domestic violence. the youth justice system as you know social system is also ontario disability. that's what keeps you up at night and that's what i think given the situation and we could go down rabbit holes on terms and get into semantics but don't think that's the debate we should be having. we should be having a debate on how we can help the fellow, fully fund the situation so we can make ontario home. >> in terms of your planning, you alluded to the fact government hasn't made a decision at this point of time not to seek to apply the agreements to the entire canadian border. i would assert that is signaled a policy change and
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parliamentary secretary just stated this is the new normal. ontario is an is in a severe det situation now. you just talked about choices. what do those choices look like? >> our government, new government announced last week of doing audits because there's been a major dispute between the previous administration as with the financial accountability officer and auditor general. we could be facing a deficit anywhere between 12 billion-$21 and even more. in the next few months will figure that out. running one of the largest government departments in the province of ontario we will have to make choices. when we look at our budget and the fact we are in a significant deficit situation, our priorities are for children in my ministry your suffering from autism, for example, and the
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children's aids in care and custody. these are areas that we will -- >> i'm just going to ask my colleague touchett somewhat on this. look, i mean, we don't want to talk about choices. those are tough things to talk about because there are finite resources and it's incumbent upon all of us to discuss how we prioritize and the choices and also treat people with dignity and compassion. we have been asking for information for this for sometime and the government to come up with a plan. what has concern is that rather than focusing on the how and the data we need to get to the how, the last couple of weeks we've seen a lot of name-calling specifically to you. i mean i've heard the term alt-right used. it's not a laughing matter. very briefly, in just a minute, how does, i mean, how does that come is that going to help?
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we might have different political stripes here, but you don't have to like someone to work with them. has that actually helped prevent your relationships in planning for the 800 people that are about to be evicted from a homeless shelter? >> we have an emerging issue, prices of where we're going to have those -- house 800 people in toronto but let me say this. i grew up in a small town. we had a saying, you don't necessarily have to accept but you must respect other peoples points of view. i think what shocks me as a new minister a week into the jump was the escalation of some rhetoric. but i will say this and i was very pleased to have the opportunity on the two occasions last week to speak with minister bill blair and i'm looking for a collaborative relationship with them and change in tone and sell. >> thank you. if we can find out what his job is, minister. still working on that.
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we are on the hunt. we will keep you apprised of our effort. mr. chair, with the time i have left, i would move that in relation to the committee's study on the impact of an regular border crossing that the committee report its financial pursuit to stand on wednesday night that government table comprehensive response. mr. chair, we haven't clarified the result of these meetings, and given that there are some fairly significant points of that come up over the last several hours of testimony including that the government intends to provide additional payment, we don't how much or when or what that is projected on, i think it's important for us to summarize the findings, especially tabling the motion on the cost. so i would ask mr. cheer that this committee action report, put together a formal report
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based on the testimony we've heard. because i actually, i think the role of this committee should be, even if we can't agree on how, point up to the government there are some gaps in information that are preventing the public, members of the media, are provincial counterpart from coming up with policy and planning. i would argue and assert it is our role as parliamentarians to help define and discuss with not government expenditures are appropriate. i don't think we are there yet, but i would be very surprised with my liberal colleagues without support the tabling of a report in the house. to meet a vote against this is really a vote against having a plan, and i would really, really like our committee to support tabling a plan in the house of commons and asking the government to report its findings to the house as soon as
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possible. >> so there is a motion now on the floor in relation to the committee's study on impact of irregular crossing of canada's southern border. and that the committee report its findings or is that a fair summary? mr. whalen. [inaudible] >> the chair is motion to share debate on that motion. it is not debatable. all in favor. opposed? there's only three votes on the conservative side just to remind, one of you can't vote. you decide but that notion is passed, so we adjourn debate on that motion. [inaudible] >> you have 12 seconds. >> thank you. which of like to sing the committee provide a report on
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this particular issue after appearing here entering all of these participants and the testimony? >> the witnesses have been outstanding. i would look forward to seeing that as soon as available. >> it's unfortunate. thank you. >> my speakers list. ms. kwan. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. i think they minister at all the witnesses about here before us. i think it was unfortunate for the liberal members to adjourn their debate on simply calling for the committee after this study to take a report and get a response that the government. we are in the situation having a summer session, emergency city on this issue here because the liberals on five occasions last year voted to adjourn my motion to call for a study on this very issue. had we done that we might be having this conversation today. we might have a real plan in
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place. habitant we might not be saddled with the challenge we are faced with two discrete that we are. i do think it's unfortunate, hiding yourself, sticking your head in the senate will not solve the issue. and simply reading from your talking point to say you have a plan doesn't mean you actually have a plan. and so i do think it's unfortunate that would have supported that motion, but adjournment of debate on that very motion was made prior to even my getting on the floor to speak to and i think that's too bad. now, i do want to turn to this issue with you, minister mcleod. you mentioned your simply using the word illegal because the minister of immigration used that word. and you are correct, the minister of immigration on marcd illegal to describe what asylum seekers. in fact, he says both words are
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accurate and he uses those terms illegal and irregular interchangeably. and, in fact, the prime minister himself in his questions on april 25 use the word illegal as well. i think they are wrong. the immigration and refugee immigration act states when a a person clearly crossed the border directly or indirectly for the purposes of seeking asylum, they are not committed a crime effect. the act speaks of a clue. so question to you, miss macleod, as of this, if the minister of immigration admits that he was wrong, will you also stop using those words and admit you're wrong is a? >> thanks very much for the questions are also thank you for your leadership along with others to make sure these committee hearings are taking place and i have the opportunity to come here and speak on behalf of ontario look. many people use many different terms. the minister just irregular, illegal. the new minister for border
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services use unlawful the other day on metro morning but i'm not going to get into a debate on semantics and what we're calling them. we can agree and disagree on language but i think we all must agree on is what the first ministers came out with on friday which is the federal can has created -- >> thank you. i'm going to pause here because time is of the essence. it's not just semantics. it is the law. the law actually stays when the person comes to canada under immigration for the purposes of immigration, under irpa, when the cross over to canada in an irregular point of entry, are not committing an offense but that is the law. it's not just semantics. it's very important to get the language right and correct. i'm clinic every effort to get the minister of immigration to admit that is wrong so we can set the record straight once and for all and stop passing the kind of subversion -- -- by
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calling them illegal. i'm going to move on to another question here. with respect to a plaintiff we've been talking about plans and one of the issues of course is the need to admit that a safer country occurred as causing people to cross over a regularly in substantial numbers and that's created i think this order, if you will at some border communities. so it we need to incorporate an actual expected that and that would be in the agreement. the immigration levels plan has a string for protected persons, and the targets for 2010 is 16,000. that number has been exceeded of course, and so my question to you, is this. for the purpose, terms of planning for staff or irb staff, and doing the work that your members do, each and every day would it not be better for the
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government to establish a plan by adjusting the immigration levels number two more accurately reflect the reality of what we are faced with today? if we knew i think that since january of 2017, since the trump administration for office these numbers are goin going to incree physical. we knew it then and we know it now. what you support the call for the government to adjust the immigration levels for protected person stream to increase the number, to double that number two more accurately reflect reality that we are faced with today? >> part of the plan that the government has put in place, and that's what we do disagree, i would say more the cbsa, is they are having to create an amount of officers who volunteer to be deployed to help with that situation. the problem is the volunteers
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are coming from the offices which is all there, very tight with the resources. so will create, if tomorrow morning, to answer your question verdirectly, we would triple tht amount of asylum-seekers, across, we would be in trouble and that's the way we voice our concern, with a level of resourcing that we're having right now. >> so precisely if you just the levels planned target and anticipating a greater number, then that would mean you would have to adjust resources quarterly, not while peter paintball but rather to increase the staffing for cbsa, increase the staffing for others and equally important to increase the resources at the irb of these cases can be processed expeditiously and so that we can get on with the with the issue effectively. with that not be required part of the plan? >> yes, that would be required and right now as i said, it is
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being contained. the problem is we're forecasting over 200,000 people in the united states who are on those tps permits which to be ending with two choices, either to leave back to the country or try to come to canada and we suspect they will be taking the other, the second option. >> it remains to be seen what will happen but right now people are coming through and there are pressures created for the border communities. if the government adjust the numbers to reflect what we've seen last year by doubling the protected person numbers i think we would be more equipped to deal with the situation and, of course, we had a chronic problem with the irb of underfunding from the conservative to the liberals, this is been a chronic problem and continue to persist. so if we actually funded them properly we may not be faced with the kind of challenges that we are faced with today. minister mcleod, you also mention -- >> i'm afraid i do need to
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interview there. you got an extra 30 seconds. very good. if there's unanimous consent to a true but mr. fraser, a couple of minutes and you can close. >> actually. thank you very much. in the limited time i have, congratulations on your appointment. it's a pleasure to see you here today. one of the things i want to touch on, this as much a plea as it is question. you've described i think and and in some way the terms of illegal as being semantics. the fact is as ms. kwan point out this metaphor but it important to recognize words very much to matter. when we party people as illegals or jumpers, will talk about there being a crisis when evidence we hear is there's a well-managed response to this challenge, what it does is it creates a site classic in beings living within her borders today and that is not something i'm okay with. one of the things we ar have toe
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fairly careful about is the warning received that said this language could be populist rhetoric and that it can be, dehumanize asylum-seekers. i don't think you do this uses language maliciously as is that i think it's innocently held one of things i think we would have to be careful about is that we need not -- >> i seek unanimous consent to table from the march 19th meeting where the immigration minister under the federal government said that his use the term interchangeably and illegally. >> unanimous consent to present. i believe, the blues no longer exist after -- >> i will clarify. the record speed in the minutes the meeting where blues disappeared, did not? >> yes. the record of proceedings. >> which are public documents. >> yes. they might be helpful.
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>> unanimous consent to -- >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> may i continue? >> you may continue. >> regardless of what specifics we're using a different context of real point of how to make as it's not asylum-seekers at a crossing borders that when you do. it's the ideas at the potential for discrimination that invading our politics that i'm most concerned about. i want to take this chance having been -- you may appreciate there's a very inspirational story about a newcomer family that were making chocolate. my friend posted no longer go on facebook, i'm so sad how untrue government is acting against real canadian values of openness and welcome i spreading hatred that impacts directly the most older group of asylum-seekers to know when was born to immigrate but if they're forced to leave their home let us show them some kind is. hashtag kindest minister this is, in fact, intended or not that some of the language being used not just by you i feel
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across the political spectrum are you think it would need to be careful. my request for you is when you get back to queensbury to have a conversation with your colleagues and don't undertake to do the same with mine, with the careful choice of language because words matter and it's causing an impact for the people to live and work. >> so i don't agree with the characterization whatsoever. i do look forward to going there next week from a 25 your high school unit and and to give a speech to the county chamber of commerce, and the real values that i grew up on the extent it will answer the extremely well in the nation's capital since the last five elections were he served with the minister, former minister, which is what the most diverse writings and all of ontario which welcomes natalie immigrants from around the world, in particular from china and from india, but has welcomed a number of syrian refugees.
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and so i really disagree with your characterization. in fact, i think when you do this and you suggest this, you're actually contributing to more of the negative tone in this debate. this is a very emotional debate for many people. i'm simply acted as a minister responsible for a number of different, former ministries in the province of ontario. i have a $200 million price tag that a need you guys to pay fo. and you would rather have a debate on words. i would have debate on making sure that i can find my ministry and the programs i'm responsible for, and that his children and youth, children enter, children and the justice system, children with autism. it is the ontario disability support for it is ontario work, women escaping trafficking, women escaping domestic violence. violence. it is a plan to eradicate poverty in the province. so that is who i'm stand up for for all of the people in this province and the province of
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ontario who rely on my ministry for the services that my ministry delivers. and so i am here today indicating that there is a $200 million price tag that the government needs to pick up. and that's why i accepted the invitation. that's what i am here. i'm very happy to back nation's capital. i did 20 minutes away, but i have issues with the federal government making policy choices and then expecting the province of ontario to pay for those. so i would just encourage all of you to understand that our savior constraint on the province of ontario and were simply asking to be made whole. you can have debate on the dictionary of the thesaurus and it be happy to let you do that. i have a job to do and i've thought very vulnerable people to like me to do that job. >> i support the cause you were doing. i'm what you guys come to the table to overcome this problem because as we learned the earlier pam's this is what is
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your jurisdiction over looking for partner and hope and trust we could work with you. >> i will continue to do -- >> we have five minutes. we're going to adjourn. 20 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> i'm calling to order this, the 119th meeting of the committee on immigration. as pursuant to standing order 182, studied the impact of a regular crossing of canada's southern border. it's our third meeting on this study, and thank you to the witnesses for your agreein


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