Asylum claims dipped last month but numbers remain up over last year

Government says it has processed 39,705 new claims for refugee status so far in 2019

New statistics released Monday show a slight dip in the number of people intercepted at the Canada-U.S. border last month trying to cross unofficially to claim asylum.

Last month, 1,762 people were stopped by the RCMP as they crossed into Canada from the U.S. at informal border points, down from 1,874 in July.

But the statistics also show that the total number of asylum claims lodged in Canada so far this year is higher than in the same period in 2018.

The government says it has processed 39,705 new claims for refugee status so far in 2019, which is about 5,000 more than had been processed at this point last year.

Statistics released Monday also show Ontario continues to lag just behind Quebec in the total number of asylum claims processed so far this year.

ALSO READ: Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

The surge of asylum-seekers has become a lingering sore spot in federal-provincial relations, with the Liberal government promising hundreds of millions of dollars to both provinces to ease some of the strain on housing and social services.

The flow through informal entry points has been blamed on the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S., which doesn’t allow people coming into Canada from that country to lodge refugee claims at official border spots.

What to do with the agreement is a point of contention for the main federal parties in the current election, and expected to be part of at least some campaign platforms.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island Bantam Eagles ice Clippers, clinch Tier 2 league banner

“We will enjoy the moment for now, but… it’s back to work on Tuesday”

Upgrades to Port Hardy arena hinge on grant funding

The district is waiting on grant approval from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program.

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: North Island beauty

“don’t forget to look up and observe the beauty of the whole North Island”

LETTER: Miles put on the car causes North Island driver to reflect

“Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us”

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Advocates call hospital parking fees a ‘shakedown’ after learning most Island tickets are waived

Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals among the most ticketed on the Island

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read