April 20, 2018 4:04 pm

Quebec school boards say they’re not ready for new surge of asylum seekers

Quebec schools aren't ready for the surge of asylum seekers.

Global News

Quebec schools are feeling the pressure as asylum-seeking families with young children continue to cross the U.S. border into the province.

READ MORE: ‘All of these measures will lessen the pressure on Montreal’: Ottawa and Quebec reach agreements over asylum seekers

Story continues below

A spokeswoman for one of Montreal’s largest school boards says it has had a record number of new students this past year, including some 700 who are asylum seekers.

READ MORE: Tension grows between Quebec and federal government over asylum seekers

Gina Guillemette of the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board says schools have brought in mobile classrooms to meet the demand, but are in desperate need of more space and specialized teachers.

WATCH BELOW: 400 asylum seekers expected to enter Quebec every day this summer

The president of a union representing teachers and school staff on Montreal’s south shore says the demand for welcome classes has doubled in the last two years.

READ MORE: Quebec says 400 asylum seekers a day could enter province this summer

Eric Gingras says the Quebec government has recently boosted its education spending but that it is not nearly enough to meet the rising demand.

READ MORE: Canada again urged to scrap Safe Third Country Agreement after woman dies trying to cross border

Premier Philippe Couillard said earlier this week that some 2,500 children have been added to the school system since the surge of asylum seekers began — the equivalent of five elementary schools worth.

WATCH BELOW: Influx of asylum seekers resuming at Canadian border

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.