Premier Ford and Premier Legault Call for Federal Compensation for the Cost of Illegal Border Crossings by Migrants
Burden of Cost Unacceptable for Provinces
MONTRÉAL — Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Quebec Premier François Legault are calling on the federal government to reimburse their provinces for the cost of supporting illegal migrants coming from the U.S.
Premier Ford and Premier Legault committed to working together on this issue following discussions at the First Ministers' Meeting in Montréal, and to ensuring that the federal government fully compensates the provinces for the costs resulting from this unilateral and political decision.
"The impact on our social services and educational systems are being felt by the most vulnerable in cities and communities across Ontario and Quebec," said Ford. "The federal government made a deliberate decision to encourage illegal border crossers to enter Canada, while leaving the provinces to pick up the bill. It is time that the federal government took full responsibility for its own failed policies and paid its fair share."
According to a report from the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), each migrant costs the federal government more than $14,300, or $340 million total in 2017-18. The PBO is projecting that these costs will increase to over $16,600 per migrant, or $396 million total, in 2019-20. The report does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars already spent by Ontario and Quebec to cover the cost of providing shelter, legal aid, social assistance and educational supports. Both provinces have also called on the federal government to demonstrate that they have a credible plan going forward for managing the border.
"The offer currently on the table from the federal government is not acceptable to us, because it does not take into account the significant costs incurred by Quebec and Ontario in receiving migrants in the current context. The federal government must assume its responsibility and ensure that our two governments are fully reimbursed." said Premier Legault.