Two-thirds call ir­reg­u­lar bor­der cross­ings a ‘cri­sis,’ more trust Scheer to han­dle is­sue than Trudeau

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - AN­GUS REID

Weeks of ques­tions and crit­i­cism from op­po­si­tion politi­cians and pro­vin­cial lead­ers about asy­lum-seek­ers cross­ing the bor­der – an is­sue al­ready the source of height­ened anx­i­ety and con­cern for Cana­di­ans – have taken a fur­ther toll on the Trudeau gov­ern­ment’s per­ceived abil­ity to man­age the sit­u­a­tion.

In the wake of emer­gency meet­ings of the Par­lia­men­tary Im­mi­gra­tion Com­mit­tee, and as On­tario Premier Doug Ford de­mands com­pen­sa­tion from Ot­tawa for the cost of car­ing for those who cross the bor­der ir­reg­u­larly, Cana­di­ans are grow­ing in­creas­ingly con­cerned about the coun­try’s abil­ity to han­dle the flow.

De­spite the re­cent ad­di­tion of Bill Blair to cab­i­net as Min­is­ter of Bor­der Se­cu­rity, the lat­est sur­vey from the An­gus Reid In­sti­tute finds two-thirds of Cana­di­ans (67 per cent) call the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion a “cri­sis”.

Fur­ther, about the same num­ber (65 per cent) are of the view that Canada has re­ceived “too many” ir­reg­u­lar crossers for the coun­try’s au­thor­i­ties and ser­vice providers to han­dle.

These views are held not only by con­ser­va­tive-minded in­di­vid­u­als, but also by more than half of those who voted for the Lib­eral and New Demo­cratic par­ties in 2015, sug­gest­ing that asy­lum-seek­ers and bor­der se­cu­rity are ar­eas of vul­ner­a­bil­ity for the Lib­eral Party – and a po­ten­tial ef­fec­tive wedge for the Con­ser­va­tive Party in next year’s an­tic­i­pated elec­tion.

The poll can be viewed at www.an­gus­reid.org/safethird-coun­try-asy­lum-seek­ers/

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