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B.C. should step up on asylum claims, minister says in response to call for funds

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Marc Miller says British Columbia needs to step up and take on more asylum seekers who come to Canada.

He was responding today to criticism from the B.C. premier, who says he’s frustrated to see Quebec and Ontario “showered” with federal cash to help cope with an influx of asylum seekers and temporary residents.

David Eby says Western provinces deserve a share of the $750-million deal Ottawa recently struck with Quebec to help pay for the services, but Miller says the premier may be confused about what the money was for.

Miller says the federal government will help provinces, but B.C. hasn’t applied for any funds from a program to help asylum seekers access interim housing since 2019.

Government statistics show 65 per cent of asylum claimants arrived in Quebec last year, compared to just under two per cent in B.C.

Miller says he’s open to speaking to premiers about immigration settlement funding, but says Quebec is taking in a far larger share of claimants who need supports.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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