WINNIPEG – The provincial government is pitching in to help support the growing wave of asylum seekers in Manitoba.
14 emergency housing units and $180,000 in funding for support services was announced Thursday morning.
The housing units will be available right away, managed in partnership with the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council and Welcome Place.
The solution is temporary, and Premier Brian Pallister says they will continue to work with the federal government to come up with a permanent solution.
“We will do so in order to address a need that is not likely to go away in short order. We thank communities like Emerson and front-line workers and organizations like Welcome Place. They are ensuring the safety and well-being of both individuals seeking refuge and also of those Manitobans who live in the communities closest to the border.”
$110,000 of the funding goes to Welcome Place to help with services like safe transportation from Emerson to Winnipeg as well as paralegal services.
The other $70,000 will go to the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations, where they will create a refugee response coordinator position. That person will help with efforts related to resettlement.
“We’re all aware of recent actions and in recent weeks, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in refugees crossing our border illegally,” Pallister noted. “But they are choosing Canada, and they are entering our province in search for a welcoming nation. This is a national issue, though certainly we are ready to punch above our weight here in Manitoba.”
Around 130 refugees have hopped the Manitoba-US border seeking asylum since the start of the year.