Fiasco at our Border

June 7, 2018

Canadians are welcoming, compassionate and fair, and our immigration system should be a reflection of these values. Each year, thousands of people from all over the world want to immigrate to our country and become our neighbours. These individuals apply for their chance to become a part of the best country in the world. We welcome them with open arms. However, the Prime Minister has damaged the integrity of our immigration system with his irresponsible actions.

Last year, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted #welcometoCanada, and since then over 20,000 asylum seekers have illegally crossed into Canada. The estimate from CBSA is that upwards of 400 individuals will cross into Canada every day through unofficial entry points during the summer months. In no way is this fair to the tens of thousands who have followed the rules and are applying through proper channels.

These individuals are taking advantage of a loophole in our system. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, individuals seeking asylum must do so in the country where they first arrived. This means that people should not be coming from the United States to seek asylum in Canada. Our Conservative team has repeatedly called on the Liberal government to close this loophole to protect our immigration system, but the government has simply done nothing.

In the end, our provinces and municipalities end up paying the costs of this large influx of asylum seekers. The City of Toronto has called on the federal government to provide additional funds to provide shelter space for asylum seekers. Toronto’s shelter system has been strained by this sudden increase in demand for space. The problem lies with the Prime Minister’s refusal to create an actual solution to solve the problem. Social services across several provinces and cities are stretched beyond their means due to the government’s failure to manage our immigration system.

Furthermore, summer is the busiest travel season at Canadian airports. In May, it was reported that the government would be hiring a record number of students this summer to work at Canadian airports, as border and custom officers were being diverted to Quebec to help with the influx of asylum seekers. This will cause major delays at airports leading to more travel headaches for Canadians. Once again, this is the result of a lack of a clear plan from the Liberal government.

The lack of a clear plan to address the situation damages the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. When Canada welcomes the world’s most vulnerable, we should be able to provide access to the resources and resettlement services that are necessary to integrate them into our social and economic fabric. But instead, the Prime Minister has spent money on short-term solutions that will not address this problem. He has moved immigration officers to help process the influx of illegal crossers, which sets off a chain reaction as fewer officers are available to work on cases for family reunification or the thousands of privately-sponsored refugees that are left in refugee camps.

Join me and call on the Prime Minister to take action and manage this serious situation.