Jul 18, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
The federal government is pledging $212 million more in funding for interim housing for people claiming asylum in Canada, with about $97 million for Toronto.
Asylum seekers and refugee claimants have been sleeping on sidewalks, unable to get a space in Toronto’s overwhelmed shelter system.
A church in North York is now housing dozens of them temporarily.
Officials say the number of asylum seekers in Toronto’s shelter system grew by 500% in 20 months and the city has had to steer them away from at-capacity shelters toward federal programs.
Toronto’s new Mayor Olivia Chow has asked for Ottawa to cover the $157 million the city is spending for existing refugee shelter spaces, and support with additional housing, shelter space and personnel.
The federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship Sean Fraser announced the new funding Tuesday, saying it will ensure Toronto and other cities can keep a roof over the heads of people fleeing violence, war and persecution.