Conservative MPs Ted Falk and Michelle Rempel were in Emerson, Man., on Friday morning to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit the front lines of the surge in asylum seekers entering Canada.
“We are here today to invite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tour the area with us, to see for himself what’s happening, to speak to the residents of Emerson-Franklin and come here and share their concerns, which are not only concerns for the folks of Emerson-Franklin but [are] concerns shared by millions across Canada,” said Falk, standing on a road hundreds of asylum seekers have travelled after entering Canada.
The border town of Emerson, about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, has become one of three main places where asylum seekers bypass official ports of entry to come into Canada.
In the first two months of 2017, 195 people crossed into Manitoba that way, say figures from the federal government, compared to 575 in all of 2016. In March, 170 people were intercepted crossing into Manitoba, Citizenship and Immigration Canada said.
Falk, the MP for the Manitoba riding Provencher, said the numbers continue to increase, putting pressures on local communities, the province and the country’s refugee system.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has asked Ottawa for more funding to handle the influx of asylum seekers.
Pallister said in March that the province will spend more than $20 million this year on refugees, and it will not be enough to accommodate the roughly 1,200 asylum seekers his government predicts will cross over from the United States into Manitoba.
Falk has been a vocal critic of Trudeau’s response to the growth in the number of asylum seekers, calling on the federal Liberals to close a loophole that allows people who walk across the border to claim refugee status despite the Safe Third…