The Department of Immigration transferred a total of $372 million to provincial and municipal governments to cover the costs provinces and cities have incurred because of illegal migration, a department official said earlier this month.
Originally reported on by Blacklock’s Reporter, the official’s number comes from various announcements made over the past couple years, with housing being among the biggest expense.
“Canada is experiencing a rise in the number of people claiming asylum,” said department spokeswomen Shannon Ker.
“Temporary housing has been a key challenge.”
Housing this influx of people crossing from the United States has been a monumental challenge for communities across Canada. Early this year border crossers pushed the shelter system in Toronto to capacity, leading to millions in emergency spending by the federal government.
“The government is committed to orderly migration,” Ker added.
True North has been tracking the funding given to provinces and cities since Justin Trudeau invited the world’s migrants to Canada.
The most recent announcement was $250 million going to Quebec as compensation for the cost of handling illegal border crossers. Around 90% of all border crossings occurred in Quebec over the past three years.
Multiple cities also received various cash injections to help them manage supporting irregular migrants. Toronto has received $88 million total from multiple announcements, Ottawa has received $17 million, Peel received $2.2 million and Hamilton received $220,000.
The province of Ontario is also looking for $199 million in compensation; it is unclear if this request will be fulfilled.
While providing other layers of government funding for the cost of illegal migrants have cost the taxpayer $372 million, when counting the amount spent by the federal government on their own programs the total cost to taxpayers becomes much higher.
The 2019 federal budget allocated $283 million to cover the healthcare costs of illegal border crossers, and $1.18 billion for a new border strategy processing up to 58,000 asylum claims a year.
Overall, the Parliamentary Budget Officer concludes that the act of processing asylum claims will take at least $1.1 billion this year, not including everything else required to support the 58,000 people that have illegally enter Canada.
The Immigration and Refugee Board has seen a 56% increase in funding since 2017, partly due to the massive influx to claims the board has to process.
As illegal border crossing remains a big issue for border security into the foreseeable future, the costs of dealing with the ongoing crisis at our border are expected to continue to rise.