Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Toronto : Refugees flood into our "Sanctuary City"

He told us that 334 more refugee claimants have come into the city since a month ago — an average of 10 new claimants joining Toronto’s shelter system per day.

Flanked by three of the socialist councillors who have perpetuated the shelter crisis — Joe Cressy, Ana Bailao and Joe Mihevc — Mayor John Tory indicated to reporters Friday morning that 40% of the shelter system’s 6,991 beds are currently being used by refugees and if this influx keeps up, it will jump to 50% by November. That compares to 25% last fall.

He also warned that if the province and the feds don’t provide financial and resource help within the next seven days, he will be forced to open an “emergency reception centre” (within a local community centre) to accommodate their arrival. Where that centre will be, Tory refused to say.

The mayor noted that to service these refugees they’ll likely end up with another $22-million shortfall in the shelter, support and housing division — despite having gone at least $10-million over budget last year and adding $20-million already to the shelter budget this year for extra $105-a-night shelter beds.

“This situation is having a serious impact on our city resources,” Tory said, insisting the city desperately needs immediate financial and staff support from their senior government “partners” resettling these refugees to regions outside of the Toronto shelter system.

He said they are in “active discussions” with both levels of government but nothing has been committed — and they don’t have the “facilities” to deal with this.

Tory conceded, after being questioned, that many (of African descent) are finding their way to Toronto after coming across the border (likely illegally) rather than through Pearson airport — all that courtesy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s shoddy handling of the refugee situation (the latter being my words, not Tory’s).

But some of the fault for this crisis must be borne by Tory and his band of leftist councillors who, in a splashy press conference just 18 months ago, reaffirmed Toronto’s status as a sanctuary city — an attempted political slap at President Donald Trump for his immigration policies banning new refugees from seven countries where terrorism is rampant.

NDP Andrea Horwath has also pledged in her platform to make Ontario a Sanctuary Province, for heaven’s sake.

When I suggested that perhaps Tory should have been more careful what he wished for, he got testy with me, insisting that what has created Toronto’s shelter crisis are “unbelievable circumstances way outside the borders of our own country” that all of us can’t imagine.

“We represent part of the solution,” he said.

He added that being a Sanctuary City means when people are here and walk into a shelter as “human beings” asking for services or health care, their paperwork is not examined.

That said, this whole crisis and the steadily rising deficit from shelter services just reinforces what I’ve been predicting for the past year about the fiscal toll Toronto’s open borders to refugees would take on the city’s budgets.

Surely to goodness the Mayor and his merry band of magnanimous councillors weren’t that blind to the fallout.

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