December 8, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Asylum seekers forced to sleep on streets: Organizations launch SOS

Asylum seekers forced to sleep on streets: Organizations launch SOS

A dozen organizations are urging three levels of government to “urgently” find housing for dozens of asylum seekers forced to sleep on the streets because of lack of space in Toronto’s shelters.

After her election in late June, Toronto’s new mayor, Olivia Chow, asked the federal government to increase its funding. The city of Toronto, starting June 1, is turning away refugees trying to get a bed in a shelter, asking for $157 million in funding from Ottawa.

The mayor returned to office on Friday following a press conference by the coalition of organizations.

The federal government needs to recognize that this is a crisis and work with the city to find a solution.

On Friday, Bahoz Dara Aziz, a press secretary for Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, said in a statement that asylum seekers are the responsibility of provincial and municipal governments, and that Ottawa has supported the government level through transitional housing assistance. program.

Closing the door on the most vulnerable newcomers will not solve Toronto’s housing crisis.

In the afternoon, following a tripartite meeting, municipal, provincial and federal officials agreed to propose specific measures that could be implemented immediately on the crisis schedule next week.

Act immediately

Toronto’s shelters have been overflowing for weeks. 2,000 beds in 13 refugee shelters are full, and about 1,000 refugees occupy beds in a network of homeless shelters that are also overflowing. City says there is no more room.

Note that the City of Toronto applies regulations Refugees And Asylum seekers Alternately, she did not specify the exact number of asylum seekers in shelters.

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For a coalition of organizations, the situation is further aggravated by the fact that it has lasted for several weeks impact asylum seekers and overexposes them Abuse and exploitation.

We have been working with asylum seekers for over 30 years. We have never seen a housing shortage like this [autant] domesticity. It is a crisis.

Kisito Musabimana of the Center for Rwandan Refugees in Toronto said the three levels of government should find solutions instead of passing the buck.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The founder of the group is Kisido Musabimana Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre (Canadian-Rwandan Healing Centre), says the current situation is not like the welcome he received when he came to Canada as a refugee in 2000.

Everyone passes the buck: the federal government, the city and the province.

Many Africans

A consortium of organizations pointed out that many of the affected asylum seekers are African or from other ethnic communities.

Each night, about 30 or so Africans sleep on sheets of cardboard outside the civic center at 129 Peter Street in downtown Toronto.Note these groups in their press releases.

Emmanuel Melles of the organization Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (Network for the Advancement of Black Communities) Many African and Caribbean groups help asylum seekers but say they lack the resources.


A consortium of organizations calls for transparency rush Reception centers for these asylum seekers.

The central government, in particular, should include these groups and ensure that claimants are allocated shelters along with legal aid and health services.

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They insist on Ottawa Take the lead and increase funding for shelters.

The organizations say all three levels of government should better fund black relief groups so they can provide services Culturally appropriate to the needs of asylum seekers.