Montreal

Roxham Road residents to split $405K for asylum-seeker related noise, traffic issues

The federal government is compensating 45 homeowners for the noise and increased vehicle traffic associated with the recent influx of asylum seekers.

Federal government is compensating 45 homeowners based on how close they live to the Canada-U.S. border

More than 40,000 people have crossed into Canada at unofficial entry points in the last two years. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

The federal government is compensating 45 homeowners who live on Roxham Road, in southern Quebec, for the noise and increased vehicle traffic associated with the recent influx of asylum seekers.

According to a government document, made public last month, those homeowners will share $405,000, broken down as follows:

  • Eight homeowners who live closest to where Roxham Road ends will receive $25,000.
  • Fifteen homeowners in a zone that dealt with a moderate increase in vehicle traffic will receive $10,000.
  • And 22 homeowners who live farther out and dealt with the traffic but to a lesser extent will receive $2,500.

Susan Heller, who owns of a 200-acre farm about a kilometre from the border is one of the residents who received compensation.

She called the government payout initiative "fantastic," saying that with thousands of people crossing at unofficial entry points, her once-quiet street was quiet no longer.

Susan Heller owns of a 200-acre farm about a kilometre from the border. (CBC)

The influx meant RCMP officers staffing the Roxham entry day and night, which meant transport buses for officers going back and forth past her property up to 10 times a day.

"[There was] a lot of traffic," she said, "they did go very fast."

Heller says she's already put some of the money she received towards an organization that works to help asylum seekers feel more welcome.

More than 40,000 people have crossed into Canada at unofficial entry points over the last two years, and the majority of them crossed at Roxham Road, in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, about 60 kilometres south of Montreal.

The total budget set aside for the compensation was $485,000 — the rest will be used to pay other residents, should they be deemed admissible.

Earlier this year, the federal Liberals announced a plan to spend an extra $114.7 million to help pay for temporary housing for asylum seekers, on top of the $50 million that was already offered to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

With files from CBC's Sarah Leavitt, Radio-Canada's Louis Blouin

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