As the temperatures are rising, Canada is ready to receive a higher influx of asylum seekers crossing the US – Canada border into Quebec. Even during the summers, temperatures aren’t as high and Canadian government doesn’t want asylum seekers to freeze at night in the cold. And therefore, the Canadian government has decided to build the temporary residence for 520 people at Quebec border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. The opposition party isn’t happy with Canadian government’s decision and feel that Trudeau administration is simply building a refugee camp at the country’s border.
Michelle Rempel, immigration critic, the Opposition party, said that she is sure no Canadian thinks it is an acceptable response. There is a frustrating lack of information flow from the government about needs and makeup of asylum seekers. She questioned the Canadian government that how can they direct money towards building temporary residence when they don’t know what their needs are. Public Works and the Canada Border Services Agency, who will be taking care of the construction, said that housing will be heated, ventilated and illuminated canvas shelters and will be used for three seasons and will include areas for sleeping, warehousing, security, and reception.
The Canadian government will also be building toilets and showers, drinking water and drainage systems, and quarantine space. Last year in August 2017, the government has set many tents at the Lacolle crossing, but many of them were dismantled because the flow of asylum seekers decreased.
Increase in asylum seekers
Mike MacDonald, a senior official, Immigration Department, announced in front of House of Commons immigration committee that more than 2,500 asylum seekers crossed into Quebec from the United States in April 2018. The total is three times more than the number of crossings in April 2017. Last year, thousands of Haitians crossed into Canada after their US canceled temporary protected status, leaving them with no choice but cross over to another country.