The provincial government is seeking assistance from the federal government to deal with the increase of asylum seekers crossing over into Quebec.
According to CBC, Quebec Immigration Minister David Heurtal told reporters at a news conference this morning that the provincial government was reaching the point of “saturation” in trying to help asylum seekers.
— David Heurtel (@Heurtel) April 16, 2018
As of April 24, the provincial government said that once 85% of the 1850 spots available at temporary housing centres are filled, it will no longer take asylum seekers who did not enter the province through a legal border checkpoint.
According to the Government of Canada’s 2017 Asylum claim report, a total of 18,836 asylum claims and interceptions were made in Quebec.
In 2018, Quebec has already seen the most asylum claims out of all other provinces, as a total of 2,944 claims were made in January and February alone.
The increase in Quebec – which spiked in August 2017 – was due to a surge in Haitian asylum seekers from the US. Many of them feared they would be deported from the US after President Trump threatened to remove their protective status granted to them by former President Obama following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium opened as a temporary shelter to house the influx of asylum seekers.
In September 2017, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal announced that the temporary housing at the stadium would be closed.