Montreal Sets Up Temporary Shelters To Handle Influx Of Asylum Seekers


The soldiers from Joint Task Force East will set up modular tents equipped with lighting and heating on a privately owned site leased by the government in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.

Asylum seekers wait to be processed at the Canada Border Services Agency office in Lacolle, Que., Friday, August 4, 2017.

"A demand has been made to open other locations", he said.

The Canadian military said in a statement Wednesday that the soldiers will help the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency at the site.

Earlier in the day, in nearby Hemmingford, some 40 asylum seekers sat under white tents at an impromptu reception centre that has sprung up on the Canadian side of a popular illegal border crossing. Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

Upon completing setup of the site, the majority of the soldiers will return to their base, with the exception of a few who will remain to maintain CAF equipment.

"The Canadian Armed Forces is aware of the hard situation that is requiring significant resources of Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other partners in the area of St-Bernard-de-Lacolle", said Koronewski.

"There is an enormous amount of fake information circulating saying that it is easy to come to Canada", said Marjorie Villefranche, general manager of Maison d'Haiti, a Montreal community center that assists Haitian immigrants.

Almost 100 soldiers will be in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, across the border from Champlain, New York, on Wednesday to set up the tents and add to temporary facilities already organized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Border Services Agency. The province has opened its Olympic Stadium to house the people.

As many as 900 refugee claimants have been given beds in the Olympic Stadium. The RCMP has already set up a tent at the crossing to deal with the arrivals.

In the United States, the Trump administration is considering ending a program that granted Haitians so-called "temporary protected status" following the massive quake that struck their homeland in 2010.

It was granted after the 2010 natural disaster, but now the Department of Homeland Security considers Haiti to be a safe country.