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The federal government is committed to working with Quebec to deal with the “significant number” of asylum seekers the province receives, says Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

LeBlanc made his comment on social media platform X today after the release of a letter Quebec Premier François Legault wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We are very close to the breaking point due to the excessive number of asylum seekers arriving in Quebec month after month. The situation has become unsustainable,” the Premier wrote in the letter obtained by The Canadian Press.

Legault said Quebec took in more asylum seekers in 2022 than the rest of the country combined.

In his postings, LeBlanc acknowledged Quebec’s concerns.

“Over the past few years, Quebec has generously welcomed tens of thousands of asylum seekers. In fact, our government has recognized on more than one occasion that Quebec has done more than its share in welcoming and integrating people who seek refuge in Canada,” said the minister.

In addition to asking Trudeau to tighten his government’s policies around granting visas, Legault also wants Ottawa to reimburse Quebec the $470-million it spent on taking in asylum seekers in 2021 and 2022, and to do the same for subsequent years.

In response, LeBlanc said the federal government is taking Quebec’s financial request very seriously.

“We are committed to working with the government of Quebec to find solutions to the challenges posed by the significant number of asylum seekers that Quebec receives,” he wrote.

Also, the minister said the government is evaluating all possible measures to allow asylum seekers to travel to other provinces if they wish to do so.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Nunavut for signing on transfer of powers: “What a historic day this is. Today marks the finalization of an agreement that will see the largest land transfer in the history of Canada,” Trudeau said this afternoon ahead of a signing ceremony. Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok says the agreement means it is taking one more historic step “toward the vision of a self-reliant” territory.

Israeli envoy joins calls for Canada to clarify stand on South Africa’s genocide case: Iddo Moed says Canada should “leave no room for misinterpretation” on its stand, noting that many of Canada’s allies and peers have stated a clear position on the case.

Former cabinet minister named interim leader of Manitoba Tories: Wayne Ewasko is leading the opposition party until a leadership convention expected in the fall. Former leader Heather Stefanson has stepped down, effective Monday. The party was defeated Oct. 3 in a provincial election.

Mayors of Montreal and Quebec City ‘incompetent,’ says Pierre Poilievre: The federal Conservative Leader criticized Justin Trudeau’s government, in a posting on X, for paying “billions” to Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante despite what he described as a “massive drop in construction in Quebec.”

Immigration Minister urged to crack down on international student ‘no shows’ at colleges: Marc Miller’s spokesperson says “some provinces have allowed this issue to balloon despite repeated conversations,” adding, “The integrity of our international students program is of the utmost importance.”

MPs probing misconduct related to federal contracts express concern about contradictory testimony: The latest source of MPs’ concern was a two-hour appearance by an Ottawa-based consultant who told The Globe and Mail last year that he “fibbed” to business colleagues in text messages about having political connections inside the offices of senior Liberal cabinet ministers.

Mayors ask Ottawa for help combatting extortions targeting South Asians across Canada: Patrick Brown, of Brampton, Ont., and counterpart Brenda Locke, of Surrey, B.C., want Ottawa to offer help, including connecting with police forces in other countries, such as India, so that Canadian investigators can track the source of these extortions.

Ontario moves ahead with expansion of private clinics to address surgical backlogs: The province’s health minister has announced that her government would start the process of licensing new facilities where it intends to allow more outpatient procedures and tests to address lingering backlogs.

N.B. Premier in Western Canada to raise money for his party: Blaine Higgs travelled to British Columbia and Alberta for meet-and-greet events, inviting participants to donate to the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party, and has scheduled a meeting for Toronto’s Albany Club in February, CBC reports. Steve Outhouse, the campaign manager for the New Brunswick PCs, responds to the situation.

Jean Charest leaves law firm McCarthy Tétrault to join Quebec-based Therrien Couture Joli-Coeur: McCarthy Tétrault issued a statement wishing Mr. Charest well. “We respect his decision to pursue another chapter in his professional life, and we are grateful for his numerous contributions,” the statement said.

Trudeau Liberal party fundraiser drew fewer than 90 supporters to Vancouver hotel: The Prime Minister’s appearance in mid-December was the last Liberal fundraiser during a year in which both opinion polls and fundraising heavily favoured the Pierre Poilievre-led Conservative Party, North Shore News notes.


Erskine-Smith to exit: Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith says he will not seek re-election, ending a run in federal politics that began with his election in the Toronto riding of Beaches-East York in 2015. Erskine-Smith’s bid to win the leadership of the Ontario Liberals fell short last year, with Bonnie Crombie winning that job. In an interview today, he said he wants to spend more time with his wife and his children – he has a seven year old and a four year old – and that his decision is not linked to the current challenges the federal Liberals are facing, given the popularity of the federal Conservatives. Erskine-Smith, who has worked as a lawyer in commercial litigation, said he is not sure if he will seek a seat in the Ontario legislature, joining Crombie’s effort to rebuild the provincial party. “It would depend on the opportunity to make a difference. I wouldn’t foreclose the possibility,” he said. “It’s not in my current plans.”

Issa joins CPAC: Award-winning journalist Omayra Issa is joining the Cable Public Affairs Channel as an anchor in Ottawa. She starts her new role at CPAC on Jan. 29. Issa is a former CBC News national reporter and a co-creator of the Black on the Prairies series, which garnered several RTDNA Canada and Digital Publishing Awards.

Commons and Senate on a break: The House of Commons is on a break until Jan. 29. The Senate sits again on Feb. 6.

Deputy Prime Minister’s day: Chrystia Freeland, in Davos, Switzerland, attending the World Economic Forum, participated in a panel discussion called No Recovery without Trade and Investment, and was scheduled to hold meetings with business leaders and other forum participants.

Ministers on the road: Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault, in Kahnawake, Que., was scheduled to announce funding to the First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec for their project, Global Strategy for Indigenous Employability. International Trade Minister Mary Ng, in Saskatoon, visited the Ukrainian Museum of Canada and then met with local business and community leaders. Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, in Iqaluit, attended the Nunavut Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement signing ceremony, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok and other officials. Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in Prince George, B.C., delivered a keynote address at the BC Natural Resources Forum.


Justin Trudeau, in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit, participated in the Nunavut Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement signing ceremony, with Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal present. Later in the afternoon, Trudeau held a news conference, accompanied by Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, and the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Aluki Kotierk. In the evening, Trudeau was to attend a community celebration.


Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, in Victoria, was scheduled to attend an evening performance of the Ukrainian play A Dictionary of Emotions in War Time at the Langham Court Theatre.

NDP Jagmeet Singh, in Burnaby, B.C., played host to a roundtable on the cost of rent and was also expected to attend the annual meeting at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House.

No schedules provided for other party leaders.


On today’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Globe economics reporter Matt Lundy explains why Canada’s policies have led to a ‘population trap’ and why Canada’s immigration rates have soared. The Decibel is here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on how the Liberals’ half measures won’t fix a broken immigration system: “After months of pressure, the Trudeau Liberals are finally attempting to slow down the runaway growth in study permits for international students. The system has “gotten out of control,” Immigration Minister Marc Miller said over the weekend. That is an accurate description, although Mr. Miller neglected to mention who, precisely, might have been so negligent as to let things get quite so out of hand.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how no rules were broken in the making of these Liberal mistakes: “Carolyn Bennett is among the kindest, most well-meaning politicians to serve in Parliament in recent years. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should not be appointing her as the next ambassador to Denmark.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on how Alberta’s electricity crisis has ramped up already-high tensions with the feds on energy: “However, the electricity pinch this month is first and foremost a message to the province that it must get its own house in order. Even before Ottawa has any chance to implement its Clean Electricity Regulations – the federal policy which has become beef No. 1 for Alberta Premier Danielle Smith – the province is having problems in the here and now.”

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on how China’s looming decline could be a threat to the world: “The Communist Party’s incompetence has worsened a continuing demographic catastrophe in China, undermining hopes for its future. The world faces a threat, not from a rising, powerful China, but from a China that is disaffected and in inevitable decline.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how the next battle for Quebec could be between the Bloc and the Tories: “The NDP has since returned to its previous irrelevant status in Quebec and the Bloc again dominates the province outside of Montreal. The Liberals currently hold 16 of Montreal’s 18 ridings. The Bloc and NDP hold one each. Not much is expected to change in the next election. There could be plenty of surprises outside of Montreal, however. “

Leslie Shiell and Jay Batu (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how carbon pricing needs a makeover: “While the federal government deserves credit for the design and implementation of the carbon tax and rebate system, it is also to blame for failure to adequately explain it to Canadians.”

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