minister of immigration is objecting to language being used by Ontario’s
new Tory government to describe people claiming refugee status.
week a spokesman for Premier Doug Ford issued a statement describing
asylum seekers as “illegal border crossers,” saying the influx has
resulted in a housing crisis in Toronto and “threats to services that
Ontario families depend on.”
Hussen, the federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship,
told a news conference today in Halifax that he’s “very concerned” by
the comments made by Ford and Lisa MacLeod, the provincial cabinet
minister responsible for immigration.
Hussen, himself an immigrant
from Somalia, says Canada has a legal obligation under national and
international law to give a fair hearing to refugee claimants.
The new Ontario government has said it wants additional financial help from Ottawa in handling asylum seekers in Toronto.
Hussen was non-committal about whether additional funding was
forthcoming, saying he’s “perplexed” by the request at a time when the
province hasn’t committed to help Ottawa with a plan to redirect
migrants to temporary shelters outside of Toronto.