Quebec preparing to dole out welfare cheques to asylum seekers

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A spokesman for Quebec’s employment minister says the provincial government will hand out welfare cheques to several thousand asylum seekers next week.

Simon Laboissonniere says an estimated 4,000 people will get money for the month of September.

READ MORE: Quebec prepares schools for influx of asylum seekers entering education system

The minimum basic monthly payment will be $623, while there will be an additional sum depending on the recipient’s family status.

The three-day operation will take place at Montreal’s Palais des congres convention centre, beginning next Wednesday. Laboissonniere said it is easier to hand out the cheques in one

READ MORE: Andrew Scheer says Canadians ‘rightly concerned’ about asylum-seeker benefits

Once they have received the cheques, the asylum seekers will be asked to leave their temporary shelters and seek permanent accommodation.

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WATCH BELOW: Asylum seekers in Quebec

Nearly 10,000 people have been apprehended at the border since the start of the year as they’ve sought to enter Canada in order to claim refugee status – almost equivalent to the total number of claims filed for all of 2013.

READ MORE: Task force to review next steps for asylum seekers

Of those who have arrived this year, nearly 7,000 have arrived just since July, the vast majority at an unofficial crossing point between Quebec and New York.

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