Toronto

Toronto gets $45M from federal government to help provide temporary housing for asylum claimants

The federal government is helping the city fill a major hole in its budget with the announcement Thursday that it’s giving the city $45 million to address temporary housing shortages.

Funds add to $26M already provided to city since June 2018 for costs incurred in previous years

Toronto is among the communities dealing with the pressures of sheltering an influx of asylum seekers and refugee claimants. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

The federal government is helping the city fill a major hole in its budget with the announcement Thursday that it's giving the city $45 million to address temporary housing shortages.

Toronto is one of the communities that has been dealing with the pressures of sheltering an influx of asylum seekers and refugee claimants. 

The money comes after the government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced it would not provide any financial assistance to the city to deal with influx of what the province calls "illegal border crossers."

Ford's Progressive Conservatives have said it's the Trudeau government's fault asylum seekers are coming to Canada and they have called on Ottawa to bear the financial burden. 

"I am always willing to work with my Ontario counterpart to reach an agreement that will alleviate the housing pressures in our communities, and address the realities of increased global migration," said Bill Blair, the federal minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.

"Toronto continues to be a key partner as we find solutions to help vulnerable individuals in need of shelter, including asylum claimants."

The demand for shelter space this past year has increased due to the impacts of global migration and the number of asylum claimants seeking Canada's protection.

Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed the announcement, saying the funding is a direct result of productive discussions over the last year with the federal government and a willingness to work together.

Toronto Mayor John Tory welcomed the announcement, saying the funding is a direct result of productive discussions over the last year with the federal government and a willingness to work together. (Martin Trainor/CBC News)

He said the 2019 budget included an expectation that the federal government would provide $45 million to cover the ongoing cost to the city of managing newcomer arrivals.

 "I want to thank the Government of Canada for listening to our concerns about these costs and acting on our city's request," Tory said.

"It shows the importance of partnerships between governments and how we can address issues in the spirit of cooperation."

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