Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government says it will send the federal government a $200-million bill to cover the costs of resettling thousands of asylum seekers who illegally cross the Canada-U.S. border.

In the latest escalation of tensions between the province and the federal Liberals, Ontario Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said she will send a letter to Ottawa itemizing the costs of the border crossers. She said the $11-million Ottawa set aside to help Toronto deal with the added costs is a far cry from the $74-million tab the city will rack up this year in shelter costs for asylum seekers.

“What I’m simply asking is that they pay their bills,” Ms. MacLeod said on Tuesday after an emergency meeting of the House of Commons immigration committee in Ottawa. “I would love a cheque.”

Story continues below advertisement

Related: Ontario, federal government battle over resettling migrants

In depth: Wave of asylum seekers floods Toronto’s shelters

Opinion: Liberals and Conservatives must find delicate political balance with asylum seekers problem

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the federal government had not received a request for funding as of Tuesday evening. He underlined the government’s interest in continuing to work with Ontario, despite its decision earlier this month to withdraw the province’s support for the resettlement of asylum seekers who cross the border illegally.

“We will be, of course, ready to continue to provide financial and other supports to provinces moving forward, but we would need to work with them to figure out what those costs are and to also make sure that they’re doing their part,” Mr. Hussen said after the committee meeting.

Border Security Minister Bill Blair told the committee that 800 asylum seekers will be moved from college dormitories in Toronto to hotels in the Greater Toronto Area by Aug. 9 to make room for the arrival of students.

“I’m aware that plans have already been made to move those individuals into quite appropriate housing in hotels around the GTA,” Mr. Blair told the committee.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Hussen later told CBC’s Power and Politics that the hotels are in fact for 540 people, who are expected to be there for two months and then transition to more permanent housing.

Mr. Blair, who visited the main unofficial border crossing at Lacolle, Que., on Monday, told the committee that front-line law enforcement and border services personnel are performing their duties in a professional and “highly effective” manner.

“What I observed was the exact opposite of chaos. It was exceptionally orderly and well-planned,” he said.

The session, which lasted more than six hours, featured nearly two dozen witnesses, including Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who told reporters afterward that he and Mr. Hussen have spoken with U.S. officials to request a review of the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

That agreement requires both countries to refuse entry to asylum seekers who arrive at official border crossings, because each country is considered safe for refugees. However, since the agreement applies only at official ports of entry, asylum seekers can avoid being turned away by crossing between border posts.

“It needs to be revisited to determine if it’s meeting the needs of both countries moving in both directions. And we are waiting for the Americans to indicate whether or not they’re prepared to have that conversation,” Mr. Goodale said.

Story continues below advertisement

He shot down a Conservative proposal to declare the entire 9,000-kilometre border an official port of entry, suggesting it would be impractical for both countries to staff it.

“You need to have corresponding co-operation from the United States on the other side of the border, which they are, I think it’s fair to say, not likely to do,” Mr. Goodale told the committee, although he admitted he has not formally asked.

NDP MP Jenny Kwan echoed refugee advocates in saying the government should suspend the agreement in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“Frankly, the United States, in my view, is not a safe country for asylum seekers. And hence, there is a huge influx coming through,” she said during the meeting.

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said the Liberals failed to present a “sustainable, long-term plan” for the border crossers at the meeting Tuesday.

“What they have done is normalize the status quo. They’ve refused to take a position on the Safe Third Country Agreement and they haven’t put in place any sort of planning or support for what amounts to a major immigration change,” Ms. Rempel said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We spent $22,000 on a committee study today and resulted in zero answers. It was embarrassing.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies