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‘Abnormal’: Quebec says there are still too many asylum seekers entering the province

Quebec’s immigration minister says the number of asylum seekers entering the province is “abnormal.”

Christine Fréchette told reporters today that the federal government needs to do more to distribute would-be refugees across the country.

She says that since the closure of Roxham Road — the irregular land border crossing between Quebec and New York state — there are now too many asylum seekers showing up at the province’s airports.

Federal government statistics show that 17,080 people claimed asylum at Quebec airports between January and September of this year, more than double the second-highest province for airport claimants, Ontario.

Fréchette says Quebec has welcomed more asylum seekers so far this year than all other provinces combined, which was also true in 2022.

The minister also says Ottawa is too “loose” with the way it gives travel visas, saying many migrants are taking advantage of that pathway to claim asylum in the country. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press