Montreal Sets Up Temporary Shelters To Handle Influx Of Asylum Seekers

Matthew Turner has lived on Roxham Road for almost a year

Matthew Turner has lived on Roxham Road for almost a year

"The Canadian Armed Forces are aware of the hard situation that is requiring significant resources of Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other partners in the area of St-Bernard-de-Lacolle", the military said in a statement.

Nearly 100 troops will be used to set up the camp site, which will consist of "modular tent shelters with lighting and heating and may temporarily accomodate close to 500 people", Department of National Defence spokesperson Evan Koronewski told CTV Montreal in an email.

To accommodate the rising number of people illegally crossing the border from the United States into Canada in order to seek asylum, Montreal has had to set up Olympic Stadium as a temporary shelter. Quebec has opened its Olympic Stadium, a former hospital and a school among other places to house people.

The soldiers will have no role in security matters and will not participate in law-enforcement tasks.

According to an estimate by the union representing Canadian customs workers, between 450 and 700 people are crossing the border every week. All but a few will return to their home base once the site is completed.

Hundreds of Haitians have crossed into Quebec in recent weeks, spurred partly by false accounts of asylum seekers being able to immediately obtain residency after entering Canada.

"There's the United States; this is Canada".

In the first half of 2017, more than 4,300 asylum seekers walked across the US border into Canada.

But U.S. President Donald Trump said he would end the protection when the term runs out in January and about 50,000 Haitians may be deported.

Numerous recent refugee claimants crossing into Quebec are Haitians who have been living in America for years but now face deportation.

Asylum seekers wait to be processed at the Canada Border Services Agency office in Lacolle, Que., Friday, August 4, 2017.

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