Government of Canada Allocates $7 Million to Address Growing Asylum Claimant Challenges
The world is grappling with an unprecedented surge in global displacement, and Canada is no exception. Asylum claims in Canada have been on the rise, intensifying the pressure on Canada’s shelter systems. As winter approaches, the urgency to address the challenges faced by asylum claimants becomes even more critical. In response to these challenges, the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Persons with Disabilities, announced on behalf of the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, that the Government of Canada will allocate $7 million to the Region of Peel. This funding aims to establish a new reception centre that will offer streamlined services and additional shelter to asylum claimants.
Khera emphasized, “As winter approaches, and with a global migration crisis, it is even more important to ensure people are kept safe. This new reception centre will save lives and alleviate pressure on the Region of Peel. There is no simple answer, but we are confident that with full engagement from all levels of government, we can implement real long-term, sustainable, and compassionate measures to ensure that the most vulnerable newcomers to Canada have a roof over their heads.”
Government Commitment to Collaboration
Addressing the needs of asylum claimants necessitates collaboration across all levels of government. The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to working together on effective solutions. The challenges faced by provinces and municipalities, such as the Peel Region, are recognized, and concerted efforts are underway to alleviate the pressures caused by the increasing number of asylum claims.
Minister Marc Miller noted, “We understand the significant challenges that provinces and municipalities like the Peel Region are facing with the rise in asylum claims, and we are going to continue to work closely with them to find solutions. Everyone deserves the basic right to a safe place to stay, and this funding is going to significantly help alleviate the pressures in this region. We are confident that with full engagement from all levels of government, we can develop longer-term options for interim housing outside of the current situation.”
The Role of the New Reception Centre
The $7 million allocation will facilitate the establishment of a reception centre that serves a dual purpose—providing streamlined services to asylum claimants and offering temporary shelter. The centre will be operated in partnership with community organizations possessing the necessary experience, skills, and capacity to cater to the needs of this vulnerable population. This collaboration aims to ensure that the most effective and compassionate measures are implemented for the well-being of newcomers to Canada.
In response to the announcement, Nando Iannicca, Regional Chair, Peel Region, expressed pride in Peel Region’s diversity and openness to people from all walks of life. While acknowledging the strain on shelter resources, he praised the announcement and extended gratitude to the Canadian government for supporting the new reception centre, emphasizing its importance in easing capacity burdens on emergency shelters.
Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton, thanked the federal government for its response to the crisis and underscored the life-saving impact of the partnership with the Region of Peel. Brown commended Minister Miller’s hands-on approach to addressing the asylum claimant crisis. Chris Fonseca, Acting Mayor for the City of Mississauga, thanked the federal government and local MPs for their collaborative efforts in developing long-term solutions. With winter approaching, Fonseca highlighted the critical timing of the announcement, ensuring a safe and warm roof for those in need.
The federal government, through the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP), has provided nearly $700 million to provinces and municipalities since 2017. This funding addresses extraordinary housing pressures related to the increased volume of asylum claimants. Earlier this year, an additional $212 million was announced for the IHAP extension. Temporary accommodations have also been procured across Canada, with nearly 3,800 rooms providing housing for over 7,000 asylum claimants based on local needs and demands.