Que­bec says Ot­tawa owes it $300 mil­lion for costs re­lated to refugee in­flux

Journal Pioneer - - CANADA -

MON­TREAL - Que­bec Premier Fran­cois Le­gault plans to press Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau at Fri­day’s first min­is­ters’ meet­ing for $300 mil­lion in fed­eral com­pen­sa­tion to cover the cost of refugees ar­riv­ing in the prov­ince.

Le­gault said Ot­tawa is so far only of­fer­ing half of what Que­bec is seek­ing, but “there is an open­ing” from Trudeau for more money.

Since 2017, there has been an in­flux of asy­lum seek­ers en­ter­ing Que­bec across the United States bor­der. Le­gault said that on av­er­age, it takes about 18 months for would-be refugees to find out if they can re­main in the coun­try.

In the mean­time, Que­bec pays for their hous­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and health care costs, which have to­talled roughly $300 mil­lion over two years, Le­gault said Fri­day.

“I ex­pect Mr. Trudeau to com­pen­sate us,” he said at a down­town Mon­treal ho­tel be­fore meet­ing the prime min­is­ter and the coun­try’s other pre­miers. “It’s un­ac­cept­able for it to take 18 months be­fore (asy­lum seek­ers) get an an­swer. And in the ma­jor­ity of cases, they are re­fused, be­cause they can­not prove that their life is in dan­ger.”

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