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Quebec to receive $250M from Ottawa for asylum seekers

The federal government says Quebec has assumed extraordinary costs due to an influx of asylum seekers.
The federal government says Quebec has assumed extraordinary costs due to an influx of asylum seekers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The Canadian government has announced it will provide $250 million to Quebec for costs related to help with resettle and provide support to refugees and asylum seekers.

The federal funding, which was announced on Thursday, comes months after Quebec Premier François Legault said Ottawa owed $300 million in compensation to cover the costs of asylum seekers arriving in Quebec.

“We appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the Government of Quebec which has worked to ensure that vulnerable individuals are provided temporary housing and basic services, shortly after being thoroughly screened at the border,” the federal government said in a statement.

In a statement on Thursday Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barette said it was essential to offset all the expenses incurred by refugee claimants in 2017 and 2018.

The statement also said that the federal government would compensate Quebec’s refugee costs for 2019.

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As of 2017, there has been an influx of asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the United States border.

While the number of migrants entering the province continues to decrease, the federal government says Quebec took in more than 90 per cent of those who came through official ports of entry in 2017 and 2018.

The investment will help cover the “extraordinary costs” covered by the province during that time.

READ MORE: Feds quietly end asylum seeker ‘triage’ program aimed at easing crowded shelters