As you have seen on the news, the issue of how the Liberal government is handling the influx of the 30,000 people who have walked across the border to claim asylum, continues to be a major public policy issue.
I am getting many emails and letters from constituents on the matter and I thought it would be a good opportunity to give everyone a chance to get the latest information.
I would like to welcome everyone to an upcoming townhall on the issue with Michelle Rempel, our Conservative Shadow Minister for Immigration. The townhall will be held on Tuesday, August 14th at 7:30PM at the Riverview Curling Club located at 420 Maryland Avenue in Brandon. It will be an opportunity to get a better understanding of what is currently transpiring and the impacts it is having on various other governments.
As a member of the Immigration Committee, we held emergency meetings a couple of weeks ago in Parliament to get an update from the Liberal government. We wanted to see a real plan to deal with this evolving situation and we wanted to know what it is costing taxpayers. Unfortunately, nothing of any substance was provided.
While the Liberal Ministers provided little to no evidence at the Committee meeting on what it is costing, I was able to finally get some answers from a request I made to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. After nearly two years of asking, we have obtained documents that show the situation is costing at least $270 million at the federal level, most of that in 2018 alone. This does not include the costs borne by the provinces and municipalities.
Despite this information, we still have no idea what the projected costs related to deportations, housing, provincial transfers, and social services will be. We know the provinces and municipalities will continue to bear the brunt of these costs until the Liberal government is able to present a fully-costed plan to deal with the situation at our borders. What we do know is that processing backlogs are still growing, and homeless shelter capacity is still shrinking.
If you would like to attend the townhall, please RSVP by emailing me at Larry.Maguire@parl.gc.caor call my Parliamentary office at 613-995-9372.