July 9, 2018 9:40 pm
Updated: July 9, 2018 11:25 pm

Doug Ford, John Tory discuss asylum seekers, gun violence in first meeting

WATCH ABOVE: Tory, Ford focus on asylum seekers in first meeting


Doug Ford and John Tory are no strangers to squaring off in the political ring, having gone head-to-head for the job as mayor of Toronto in 2014. But the two tried to find common ground in their first official meeting in their current roles on Monday afternoon.

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Both politicians decided to give a considerable amount of limelight to the issue of accommodating asylum seekers during the roughly one-hour meeting.

“The… border crossers, that burden that has been put on the backs of the city of Toronto and we need funding and we need help from the federal government,” said newly-minted Ontario premier Doug Ford.

“They created this mess and we expect them to pitch in.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he hopes to “discuss some of the pressures we’re facing in our shelter system as a result of the refugee and asylum claimants,” before the meeting began.

WATCH: Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford met for about an hour at Queen’s Park to discuss some of their most pressing issues

“I’m absolutely confident that we can work together on all these issues because it’s in our mutual interest to do so and it’s in the interest of the people we both serve.”

Both politicians are referring to the asylum seekers who have entered Canada from the United States since U.S. President Donald Trump implemented his crackdown on migrants. Both Tory and Ford say the issue has put a major strain on their resources, leaving many asylum seekers packed into student residences.

WATCH: Trudeau says federal government has responsibility over asylum seekers

“The mayor is [in] a very tough, tough spot,” said Ford. “I know they’ve spent a fortune as well, so we have the province and the city spending a fortune. The person that created this mess, we haven’t seen any funding.”

The federal government has announced that it has $50 million earmarked to ease the burden of the costs associated with housing asylum seekers. Ontario is slated to get $11 million of that money.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said on Monday he was “very concerned” over Ford’s comments.

“If Ontario chooses not to be part of the process, it means we will not have an orderly system in place,” said Hussen.

“I’m also perplexed by the notion that Ontario is saying, ‘We need you to help us, we need you to help Toronto, we need you to give us money, but we won’t be a partner in that effort.’ That doesn’t make sense to me.”

WATCH: Canada’s immigration minister ‘very concerned’ over comments made by Doug Ford on immigration

After the meeting, Tory released a statement adding that both parties also extensively discussed the city’s gun violence issue.

“We share a commitment to stopping the gun and gang violence so all people feel safe in their neighbourhoods,” said the statement issued by Tory. “We also share a determination to get transit and affordable housing built and I look forward to working together to the common benefit of our residents.”

Both Tory and Ford failed to add how they specifically plan to tackle the issue of gun violence and did not allow the media to ask questions during the photo-op.

Both Tory and Ford met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week to discuss receiving more resources to aid with the influx of asylum seekers.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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