Legault government urges Ottawa to close Roxham Road

In a press conference on Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Quebec claimed to have conveyed this message to Justin Trudeau’s government: One minute it’s not even a question of money, it’s impossible

On Tuesday, we learned of the signing by Quebec of a contract worth nearly $50 million to accommodate future asylum seekers, who will arrive via Roxham Road, in a site whose location has not yet been disclosed.

In addition, Mr. Legault Ottawa for his application an unreasonable processing time for the files of these asylum seekers.

The deadlines for processing a refugee application before the Immigration and Refugee Council are currently 14 months (ie when the refugee application is referred and when the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) makes a decision).

As things stand, Roxham Road should be closedadded Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Francis and Integration, Jean Boulet.

According to him, this passage is located in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle has become a sieve through which too many people can arrive in Quebec and not benefit from a dignified and humane welcome

The sign at the entrance to Roxham Road in the United States

Photo: Radio-Canada / Romain Schué

In Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said it is important to strike a balance in this dossier between defending the rights of refugees and on the other hand the need to protect everyone in Quebec

While announcing tougher measures on arms procurement, Secretary Mendicino said negotiations are underway with the US government to conclude a new agreement aimed at regulating the movement of asylum seekers.

We have a strict system […], we are a country that welcomes immigration because we have a rigorous system. We will continue to work with the partners to resolve the issue.

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, in an impromptu press

The secure agreement with third countries

On Wednesday, the Parti Québécois (PQ) together with Minister Boulet tabled a motion calling on the National Assembly:

  • demands the closure of Roxham Road;
  • urges the passage of migrants through regular channels, i.e. border crossings, throughout Canada;
  • calls on the federal government to suspend the agreement on safe third countries.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement — which the Supreme Court of Canada is considering — Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe havens where people can seek protection. This means that Canada can refuse potential refugees to register at land ports of entry along the Canada-U.S. border on the grounds that they must make their claims in the United States, the country where they first arrived.

An administrative burden

In a press conference, the leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, confirmed that his formation had asked for the suspension of the agreement between safe third countries about five years ago. to enter into Roxham and amend this Agreement, It is the sameaccording to him, because this would result in all asylum seekers being led to the border crossings.

According to the PQ leader, the ten-year lease that Quebec has just signed to house asylum seekers in Montreal illustrates that the government of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) is not real in its request to close Roxham Road. Sign an agreement on the limit for this summer, he argues. [Mais] the government commits itself in ten years.

Mr St-Pierre Plamondon also criticizes Ottawa for imposing Quebec a disorganized and chaotic way

That we encourage illegal crossings only in Quebec and that it reaches tens of thousands of entries a year is to make Quebec bear an administrative burden […] which makes no sense.

A quote from Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

But the PQ’s position is not shared in the opposition.

For Québec Solidaire (QS) Parliamentary Leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, even if Roxham Road is closed, no problem will be solved. Quebec should be able to talk about these things without falling into simplistic solutions and intellectual shortcutshe said.

On the side of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), MP Carlos Leitao believes he would be extremely counterproductive […] to close Roxham Road. We close it and then? We’re just moving the problem elsewhere

What is “a real refugee”?

Marjorie Villefranche, director of the Maison d’Haiti, in Montreal, advises against closing Roxham Road. According to her, this would result in people being placed who will nevertheless try to enter the country in total illegality and in extremely difficult circumstances?

Talking to Afternoon info on Wednesday’s ICI Premiere, Ms Villefranche explained that upon entering this irregular way what is roxham road, these people are directly documented, we know who they are, we give them work permits and they are not illegal. Moreover, their children can go to school

To Prime Minister Legault who keeps it up…a good part Migrants from Roxham Road are not refugeesVillefranche replies that the situation has changed dramatically since the United Nations defined what a refugee was about 40 years ago.

l’époque c’était quelqu’un qui craignait pour sa vie parce qu’il y avait la guerre dans son pays, rappelle-t-elle. Maintenant, qu’est-ce qu’on dit des réfugiés climatiques?”,”text”:”À l’époque c’était quelqu’un qui craignait pour sa vie parce qu’il y avait la guerre dans son pays, rappelle-t-elle. Maintenant, qu’est-ce qu’on dit des réfugiés climatiques?”}}”>At the time, it was someone who feared for his life because there was war in his country, she recalls. What about climate refugees?

As soon as there [aura] a political crisis, an ecological disaster, a natural disaster and a war, we will have refugees. How to determine “he is a real refugee and he is not a real refugee?”

A quote from Marjorie Villefranche, director of the Maison d’Haiti, in Montreal

The director of the Maison d’Haiti says asylum seekers are housed on arrival for almost a month until they find shelter themselves, with support from civil society organisations.

Ms. Villefranche acknowledges that a solution must be found to accommodate them temporarily in Montreal. Many of them subsequently expressed a desire to settle in the region, she notes.

With information from Sébastien Desrosiers

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