WINNIPEG – Starting to sound like a broken record, the Premier of Manitoba has again asked Ottawa for financial help in dealing with the ongoing refugee issue in Emerson.
Brian Pallister told the Legislature today that he has written another letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stressing that immediate action is necessary.
This comes after Pallister wrote to the prime minister more than a week ago to ask for extra money for housing, health care, language training and other services, but has not heard back.
“Saying you’re going to monitor the situation? Not an acceptable response. We need to respond. These are real people with real needs and a real cost is being incurred. The sharing has to start very, very soon here. This is a consequence of a border between two countries. That’s not a provincial responsibility. We need to have the federal government to accept the consequences of this border being crossed.”
He also wants Trudeau to talk to the Commander-in-Chief south of the border.
“To make him fully aware of what’s going on, to be sure that he understands the circumstances and the dangers of the situation. To fail to address that is to fail to address the root causes of what we are dealing with here.”
Another 17 asylum seekers, including a baby, came across during the storm earlier this week. Pallister asked aloud if it will take a death for Ottawa to react.
“I’m puzzled. Having served Manitobans in Ottawa, I understand from the perspective of some that a situation like this, in a large, complex country like Canada, may not be a big enough problem for attention. I think it is, and I think it needs the attention of the prime minister.”
Pallister did note that Ralph Goodale visited Emerson last weekend, but stressed that the province needs more help than what was offered then.