Trudeau, Tory meet as gun violence, refugee costs heat up

Trudeau suggests Ford doesn't fully understand Canada's refugee system

Toronto officials have said that the city has no place to house an estimated 800 asylum seekers and economic migrants, including about 200 children, who are now housed in two college dorms that must be vacated by August 9.

The province has already committed $3 million to the Red Cross and offered up the 800 spaces that these people now occupy in college dorms, which students will need come next month.

"We're there for people in challenging situations and we know that we have to continue to demonstrate that our immigration system is strong and applies while staying true to our values", Mr. Trudeau said.

Though the PC government has categorized asylum seekers as "illegal border crossers", they are not actually breaking any laws provided that they cross the border at a valid port of entry and declare asylum.

All smiles for the cameras as Prime Minister Trudeau travelled to Toronto to meet the newly installed Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

In a radio interview before the meeting, the prime minister condemned leaders who engage in anti-migrant rhetoric.

Tory has said that the cost of providing shelter and social supports to the refugee claimants will reach $64.5 million by the end of 2018 and has called on Ottawa to reimburse the city for that money.

A memo posted on the government website Friday - the day Doug Ford was sworn in as premier - says pending pay adjustments for managers, executives and staff not covered by collective bargaining will be on hold "until the new government can put in place an expenditure management strategy".

"Those college dormitories are for students who are returning in the fall", MacLeod said.

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Earlier, federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told Metro Morning that he is concerned about the pressure an influx of refugees is putting on Toronto. "We are ready to recreate this model in Ontario, and we need the collaboration of the provincial government".

Monica Boyd, a University of Toronto sociology professor who studies immigration, said the issue has always been a point of conflict between the federal government and the provinces and this is just the latest example.

"Unfortunately, conservative politicians here and around the world are playing a very risky game with something that shouldn't be fodder for division", he said.

Ford spokesman Simon Jefferies said the premier is making good on a promise of his own made during the spring provincial election campaign.

"Canadians are supportive of immigration and accepting refugees".

"He is going to be worth every penny", she said. "They need to be reassured, as they can be, that we have a system in place that is going through all the processes".

Under the deal, Ontario agreed to resettle a share of refugees "recognizing the need for flexibility in responding to emerging humanitarian needs", while Ottawa agreed to take into account the potential financial impact on the province and consider the need for additional supports.

NDP MPP France Gelinas said the solution to the province's hallway medicine crisis is to hire more frontline staff like nurses and to add more hospital beds to the system.

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