At the Peace Bridge, there is both security and welcome for refugees
UPDATE: Martha Mason, the Executive Director of the Peace Bridge Newcomer Centre says the funding cut Alisa mentioned has not had a detrimental effect on the core services they offer.
They have reduced their physical space to a more mobile service model in the community.
Mason added there has been little change in the number of asylum seekers entering Canada at Fort Erie.
This year, they came across frozen winter plains in Manitoba. Across hot grassy fields in Quebec.
In all kinds of weather, they arrived at airports in big cities across the country.
In their thousands, the would-be refugees came, in search of a place where they could stop running, be safe, maybe even call home.
The lucky ones, the sponsored refugees, were greeted by private support groups and even prime ministers. They were the headline catchers.
But quietly and steadily, almost under the radar, small groups of refugees have also been making their way across the Peace Bridge — the bridge that spans the Niagara River between Buffalo and the small community of Fort Erie, Ontario.
In Fort Erie, it has been the "year of the refugee" for a very long time — centuries, in fact.
So, in a way it's not surprising that Fort Erie is now the site of a refugee program that's unique in Canada — a program that seeks to combine security and welcome, that pairs Canada Border Services with a special kind of caregiving.
Here's Alisa Siegel's documentary, "At the Bridge."