Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Asylum Seeker Support Costs Soar in Mississauga and Brampton

Mississauga and Brampton are facing mounting costs to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees, with expenses projected to surpass $10 million upfront and an annual expenditure of $9.3 million. While Ottawa is expected to provide funding, local authorities may need to cover some of the expenses.

The Region of Peel reports a surge in asylum seekers resorting to shelters upon arrival in Canada, exacerbating the strain on existing facilities already operating at 350% over capacity. Tragically, two African asylum seekers have died recently while sleeping outdoors, underscoring the urgency of addressing the crisis.

To alleviate the burden, the region seeks an annual commitment of $62,000 per asylum seeker from the federal government. With Ontario hosting the highest number of permanent resident refugees in Canada, the need for comprehensive support is undeniable.

While Ottawa has pledged $7 million for a new asylum claimant welcome centre near Toronto Pearson International Airport, this falls short of the required funding. The region demands an additional $10 million upfront and $9.3 million annually to ensure the facility’s operation.

Jessica Kwik of the Peel Newcomers Strategy Group emphasizes the importance of the proposed welcome centre in facilitating the settlement process for newcomers by centralizing essential services under one roof.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown expresses concerns over the city’s significant financial contributions to shelter expenses, with less than half repaid through federal assistance programs. Without sufficient funding, local authorities may be forced to shoulder the financial burden, straining homelessness supports already nearing collapse.

Region of Peel Chair Nando Iannicca stresses the need for a sustainable solution to shift from crisis-level responses to long-term support. However, without adequate federal support, the region may proceed with asylum claimant-focused shelter facilities, placing further strain on local resources.

Commissioner of Human Services Sean Baird emphasizes the urgency of implementing a new model to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees, ensuring collaboration between all levels of government to provide necessary supports for newcomers and those expected to arrive in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Related Post