Ontario’s Attorney General, Doug Downey, has laid the blame at Justin Trudeau’s feet for the growing refugee and asylum seeker influx the province has been facing.
According to Downey, the province has seen a 160 percent increase in refugee claims since 2013.
“Ontario welcomes more immigrants and refugees than any other province in Canada. Yet, Ontario receives the least federal funding to help cover the costs of claims in your federal tribunal and courts,” wrote Downey in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“This frustrating imbalance is unfair to newcomers arriving in Ontario and it suggests that your government is putting politics over people.”
The province is seeking further financial compensation from the federal government at the tune of $25 million to fill an alleged “funding gap”.
“The $27.7 million total budget line your government announced this year across all provinces combined would not even cover two-thirds of what Legal Aid Ontario spent last year to manage the impact of your federal decisions and pay for immigration and refugee claims at the federal tribunal and courts,” writes Downey.
Immigration, refugee, and asylum services are properly the responsibility of the federal government claims Downey.
Part of the funding is meant to help refugees receive legal aid in their application process.
“I have on simple ask: instruct your Ministers to reply to Ontario’s earlier requests for proper federal funding of legal aid support for immigration and refugee claimants,” said Downey.