Windsor to accept more asylum seekers, but renews calls for federal support
As asylum seekers pour across the border between New York and Quebec at near-record numbers, the city is being asked to accommodate even more at area hotels.
Windsor city council unanimously voted to tell Ottawa the city is near capacity and doesn’t have the resources to take in additional asylum claimants beyond the people they’ve already greeted.
Since January, the city has welcomed more than 1,100 refugees who came to Canada via the Roxham Road passage in Quebec. When the refugees enter Canada, the federal government puts the claimants on buses, which have gone to a number of host cities across Canada, including Windsor.
The federal government then leases hotel rooms and places asylum seekers in temporary lodging while they go through the process of getting work permits and processing refugee claims. There are currently 439 rooms leased at three Windsor hotels for these claimants. City staff indicate about 250 of those 1,100 refugees have left Windsor and about 850 remain at area hotels.
According to mayor Drew Dilkens, who has recently held conversations with IRCC minister Sean Fraser, that number could grow even higher.
“The federal government has indicated to us that our peak here in Windsor would be 500 hotel rooms. They don’t anticipate it will go any higher than that,” said Dilkens.
“We're definitely expecting more, though hotels are almost at capacity,” said Windsor’s commissioner of health and human services, Andrew Daher. “But as individuals leave, then, you know, it opens up a little bit more capacity. So it will probably be seen more in the next couple months.”
The quick influx of refugee claimants is starting to put a strain on city resources, according to Daher. The city is responsible for Ontario Works, which is assisting with applications and getting work permits in the hands of refugees so they can legally get a job in Canada.
Dilkens also advised Monday evening that the feds are looking elsewhere in Canada, including the Maritimes, Prairies and other Ontario cities like London to place recent refugee claimants.
“They’re looking across Canada to distribute folks so as not to put any undue pressure, any more undue pressure, on communities,” Dilkens said.
In the meantime, Dilkens said the city is trying to find the “silver lining” of taking in so many refugee claimants at once by assessing their skills and fast-tracking the process to get them work permits.
“How do we how do we find the silver lining and try and match these folks to open positions? We know we have a skilled labor shortage,” said Dilkens, who also noted as the Spring and Summer tourism seasons approach, the federal government is “alive” to the issue that Windsor will need hotel capacity.
“We have businesses that rely on it, there are a whole host of expectations, especially this year, as we're sort of out of the worst of COVID that things will resume, become more normal now that we're in a different place,” he said. “And so really, I get the sense that the federal government is really alive to the issue, and has made the commitment that 500 rooms would be our cap here in Windsor.”
The city also renewed calls to the federal and provincial governments to make the city whole for all of the additional services and resources it’s putting into accepting such a high volume of asylum-seekers.
“We want to welcome them with open arms. But we just want to say to the federal provincial governments that we need additional funding in order to do this. And we just can't keep doing this with the resources that we have right now,” said Daher.
“The city of Windsor is a very welcoming and diverse community. And we will continue to welcome anyone into our community because we value their contributions.”
Windsor Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Wildfire battles continue under heat, air quality alerts over most of Canada
The battle against hundreds of wildfires continues, as almost every jurisdiction in Canada remains under either heat or air quality warnings from the federal government. The day after what was supposed to be national Clean Air Day, dozens of alerts remain in place for unseasonable heat or smoky air quality.
Can face masks help protect you from wildfire smoke? Health expert explains
An official recommendation to wear a mask to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is being echoed by health experts as plumes of smoke make their way across parts of Canada, causing poor air quality.
Supporters focus on freeing Canadian held in China amid geopolitical 'ups and downs'
A leader of the fight to secure freedom for a Canadian human-rights activist detained in China for 17 years is taking the latest diplomatic deep-freeze between Ottawa and Beijing in stride.
Documents reveal what happened inside the discord at Canada's drug-price regulator
Internal emails from the agency tasked with regulating the price of patented drugs in Canada shows discord and division was sparked by a letter from the health minister, culminating in an indefinite pause on major drug-price reforms and several resignations.
Experts worry about Canadian water bomber expertise with rising demand, aging fleets
Aviation experts say Canada is losing expertise in the manufacturing of water bombers -- just as demand for them is increasing. The Canadair CL-415, a purpose-built water bomber, was last produced in 2015.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
RBC Canadian Open teeing off amid controversy in golf world
Some of the world's top players are teeing off at the RBC Canadian Open today amid the hotly debated LIV Golf-PGA Tour controversy that shook the golf world this week.
5 things to know for Thursday, June 8, 2023
Heat or air quality warnings countrywide, new Nanos polling shows most Canadians support an inquiry into foreign interference, and the Bank of Canada hikes rates again.
UNICEF says 300 trapped children rescued from a Sudanese orphanage after 71 others died
About 300 infants, toddlers and older children have been rescued from an orphanage in Sudan's capital after being trapped there while fighting raged outside, aid officials said Thursday. The evacuation came after 71 children died from hunger and illness in the facility since mid-April.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
There's high levels of air pollution in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Jamal Murray scores 34 points in NBA Finals as Kitchener cheers him on
Kitchener is hosting a series of watch parties to cheer on basketball star Jamal Murray as his Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
Air quality statement in effect, thunderstorms possible this afternoon
According to CTV News London’s Meteorologist Julie Atchison, a large area of low pressure over the Canadian Maritimes and a blocking ridge over central North America is allowing a steady flow of northerly air to usher in smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec.
VIDEO | 'Hate and discrimination have no place in any TVDSB schools': Investigation underway after pride flag torn down
Students at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ont. are being investigated after a video was posted online showing students tearing down a LGBTQ2S+ pride flag.
City pitches new parking garage and extended free parking to aid downtown London, Ont.’s recovery
Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honk Mobile Parking App has offered two hours of free municipal parking in London’s core area business districts.
Winds expected to push smoke plumes into Barrie & surrounding areas
The shifting winds late Thursday morning are predicted to push high levels of air pollution over the City of Barrie and surrounding areas from smoke emanating from wildfires in Quebec and northeastern Ontario.
Traffic stop in Cookstown leads to arrest of banned driver with hidden Alabama plates
A 57-year-old man faces charges after a traffic stop uncovered he was banned from driving and had multiple licence plates on the vehicle.
Barrie councillors hear grim reality of housing affordability crisis
Barrie city councillors got a shocking but not surprising reality check into the affordability challenges facing many residents looking to put a roof over their heads.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
Toronto woman 'horrified' after losing $95,000 to romance scam
Romance scams have always been around, but they got worse during the pandemic, and fraudsters continue to use social media and dating sites to find victims.
Air quality in Ottawa improves briefly, haze expected to return Friday
The air quality in the capital has significantly improved, but the smoky, hazy conditions could return on Friday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Year-over-year home sales in Ottawa up 6 per cent in May
The Ottawa Real Estate Board says home sales were up six per cent in May 2023 compared to a year prior, marking the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since early last year.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" Wednesday morning. Conditions improved in the afternoon.
Smoky conditions in Toronto expected to get worse today before improving this weekend
The smoky air in Toronto is set to get worse before it gets better as hazy conditions continue on Thursday.
Ontario to boost early childhood educator wages in bid to ease staff shortage
Ontario is set to increase the wages of early childhood educators in a bid to boost recruitment and retention amid a staff shortage that advocates warn could hamper the growth of the national $10-a-day child-care program.
Advance voting begins in the Toronto mayoral byelection today; Here's what you need to know
After weeks of hearing dozens of candidates make their pitches for why they think they should become Toronto’s next mayor, voters will finally have a chance to walk into a polling station and cast their ballots starting today.
Dr. Horacio Arruda returns as new assistant deputy health minister
The man in the spotlight during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has been appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Hundreds of American firefighters arrive in Canada to help battle wildfires
Hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada to help battle wildfires and more are on the way, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
'This is not helping': Frustrated evacuees say official communication lacking in wildfire recovery
Frustration is building among some people from neighbourhoods hardest-hit by the fires near Halifax. CTV's Heidi Petracek reports.
Irving Oil weighing its options, including the possible sale of its assets
Irving Oil says it’s undertaking a “strategic review” with an eye to its future. In a release Wednesday, the company says it’s looking at a number of options, including the sale of its assets.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Trustee suspended over posts targeting LGBTQ2S+ community, division says
A Manitoba school trustee has been suspended over social media posts the division says targeted the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Continued closure of Fort Gibraltar causing changes for soon to be married couples
The closure of Fort Gibraltar following the collapse of an elevated walkway that sent 16 students and one teacher to hospital has left some couples scrambling to find a place to get married.
Exotic butterflies escape biome in The Leaf, prompting closure
The escape of some exotic butterflies in The Leaf has prompted the temporary closure of the butterfly biome.
Council reconsiders decision to reject recommendations on affordability crisis
Calgary city council has reconsidered its decision to vote against recommendations made by an expert panel to address the city’s housing affordability crisis.
Man on mobility scooter hit by truck in northeast Calgary intersection
Police say a man on a mobility scooter has life-altering injuries after he was struck by a vehicle in a northeast Calgary intersection on Wednesday evening.
Hot, dry weather comes with cautions and a few benefits
Calgary was under a heat warning Wednesday with forecast high of 29C.
Albertans asked to conserve electricity Wednesday evening due to hot temperatures
Hot temperatures across Alberta prompted a grid alert Wednesday afternoon.
'A long time coming': Edmonton Catholics commit $3.2M to Indigenous reconciliation fund
The Archdiocese of Edmonton will spend $3.2 million on reconciliation initiatives with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in the Alberta capital region.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
Out-of-control wildfire on Lower Mainland sees massive growth
A human-caused wildfire on the Lower Mainland has grown to an estimated 800 hectares and continues to burn out of control Wednesday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
'You don't listen to renters': Vancouver Tenants Union disrupts housing announcement
Rental housing advocates interrupted an announcement by B.C.'s housing minister in Vancouver Wednesday morning to object to the provincial government's response to the affordability crisis.
Vancouver voice actors concerned about AI cloning voices without consent
Advances in artificial intelligence means software can generate accurate voice clones that sound just like the real thing, but that's putting some actors in a precarious position, including Vancouver's Bill Newton.