Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Canada Spent Over $50 Million on Hotels for Illegal Immigrants, Refugees Since 2015, Gov’t Figures Show

Two federal departments have spent over $50 million since 2015 on hotel bookings for migrants illegally crossing the Canadian border and also for lawful refugee applicants, new government figures show.

In an Inquiry of Ministry recently tabled in the House of Commons, the Department of Immigration and Department of Public Works said they have paid a combined $50.6 million since November 2015 on the hotel room bookings, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

The inquiry showed that over 63,700 foreigners stayed in the hotel rooms, with over 26,300 of them being illegal immigrants.

The information was requested by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner.

“How many hotels has the government contracted for housing asylum seekers or refugees?” she asked in the inquiry, while also requesting a breakdown of the hotel bookings “by city or municipality” and for the contracts pertaining to each.

The two departments said they signed contracts with a total of 35 hotel operators in cities across Canada, but most were located in Ontario and Quebec.

The Dev Hotel and Conference Centre in Cornwall, Ont., received the largest contract at $30 million, with the next biggest going to the Quality Hotel & Suites Toronto Airport East for nearly $3 million.

Travelodge Montréal Airport received a contract worth just under $2 million and the Marigold Hotel in Brampton, Ont., received a $1.2 million contract.

Rempel Garner also wanted to know how many of the migrants staying in the hotels had claimed asylum after entering Canada “irregularly” through the unofficial border crossing at Roxham Road in Quebec, but the inquiry did not specify.

Irregular Migration

The total cost to government of illegal immigration into Canada has still not been estimated by any federal office or agency.

However, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimated in 2018 that the figures were likely around $1 billion over every three years—equalling a total average of over $14,300 for every illegal immigrant.

“There has been a recent increase in the number of asylum claimants entering
Canada via its southern border,” said the 2018 report, titled “Costing Irregular Migration across Canada’s Southern Border.”

“For an irregular migrant that entered Canada in 2017-18, the PBO estimates that the cost to the federal government can vary between $9,915 and $33,738.”

The PBO added in the report that it “undertook a sensitivity analysis of future variable costs relating to irregular migration” to project how costs could change in the near future.

Assuming the number of irregular migrants to be higher or lower by 10,000 relative to the number in fiscal year 2017-2018, the PBO projected that the costs would rise steadily year over year and reach over $600 million for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

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