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All refugees being temporarily housed in college dorms re-located: Mayor Tory

Last Updated Aug 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm EDT

The City of Toronto says it has relocated all refugee and asylum claimants who were temporarily being housed in two college dormitories.

At its peak about 675 people were staying in the Centennial College and Humber College dorms.

In a release, the city said the refugees have now all been moved to hotels in the Greater Toronto Area or permanent housing.

Thursday marked the moving deadline as students began moving back for the academic year.

“The City of Toronto has worked diligently and compassionately to accommodate the ongoing arrival of refugee and asylum seekers,” said Mayor John Tory.

“With the partnership of other levels of government and surrounding municipalities, we have been able to relocate the dormitory population. However, the City continues to face great pressure on our shelter system that requires long-term action and partnership.”

Last week, Mayor John Tory and Federal Border Security Minister Bill Blair announced that the federal government provided $11 million to help re-location efforts.

“These initial funds have been allocated to help alleviate the immediate pressures being experienced by the City of Toronto,” Blair said. “We continue to work toward longer-term solutions.”

The $11 million earmarked for Toronto was announced in June as part of a $50-million commitment to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to help cover some of the costs they have borne as a result of the ongoing spike in asylum seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border irregularly.

In July, the Ontario provincial government requested $200 million from the federal government to pay the costs of asylum seekers living in Ontario, including other areas in the province such as Ottawa. Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister responsible for immigration, sent a letter demanding the funding after she clashed with the Liberal government over its handling of the asylum-seeker issue.

The city continues to see 15 to 20 new refugee/asylum claimants entering the system each day.

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