A parliamentary inquiry is opened into the public funds spent on Roxham

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A parliamentary inquiry has opened into public funds spent on Roxham

The passage near Roxham Road located in Montérégie is used by many migrants to enter Canada irregularly to seek asylum.

A parliamentary inquiry will be held into the use of public funds to develop facilities near Roxham Road.< /p>

The Bloc Québécois, supported by Conservative and New Democrat MPs, succeeded in having a motion to this effect adopted Monday at the House of Commons Access to Information and Ethics Committee. .

Roxham Road, located in Montérégie, is used by many migrants to enter Canada irregularly to seek asylum.

< p class="e-p">Radio-Canada recently revealed that, according to its compilation, Ottawa spent more than half a billion dollars in public funds to reimburse costs paid by Quebec or to pay suppliers. These sums notably enabled the rental of land and hotels, as well as the installation of trailers.

The public broadcaster noted that it It was impossible to know the value of all the contracts awarded by Ottawa, since the government hides behind confidentiality requirements. Among these, Radio-Canada mentioned seven leases contracted without a call for tenders from companies belonging to Pierre Guay, a Liberal donor.

“We are concerned about the impact these revelations may have on the public as well as on the trust the public is obligated to place in the government .

— Excerpt from the letter addressed to the chairman of the parliamentary committee

The missive sent to Pat Kelly to demand the emergency meeting, which took place Monday afternoon, is co-signed by the Bloc Québécois René Villemure, the Conservatives James Bezan, Ryan Williams and Damien Kurek as well as by the New Democrat Matthew Green.

MPs demanded in Monday's motion that the Access to Information Committee conduct its study into road expenses Roxham during at least six parliamentary group meetings.

The text of the motion calls for several witnesses to be invited, such as the Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety, Sean Fraser and Marco Mendicino, as well as Pierre Guay.

If the government has nothing to hide, he should release the documents himself, he said during Question Period in the Commons.

Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek has maintained that disclosing confidential contract information would violate the [federal] agreement with the supplier.

As soon as the Bloc motion was tabled in committee, an elected Liberal member, Ya'ara Saks, indicated that the access to information committee was not the right forum for this genre. of exercise, because this file involves issues related to immigration, she argued.

Her colleague Iqra Khalid added that the scope of the inquiry claimed was too extensive. She requested that the motion be amended to withdraw Minister Fraser's summons, a request which was defeated.

The file is quite specific and clearly falls within the ethical . […] That's why I think it's here that it should happen, retorted the curator Pierre Paul-Hus.

The latter also maintained that it was urgent to shed light on the revelations and mentioned that contracts have been renewed to expire in 2027.

The Liberals have then tried, in vain, to limit the duration of the requested inquiry so that it only took place over two committee meetings. I think six sessions is exaggerating! said one, Greg Fergus.

According to him, it is certain that the elected representatives of the opposition will try to invite everyone and his brother to testify, which will undermine the effectiveness of the committee's work.

New Democrat Matthew Green argued that if the Liberals wanted to talk about efficiency, they should start by stopping showing opposition to the launch of the ;survey.

The parliamentary study, which will finally take place, will begin as soon as possible, according to the text of the motion adopted on Monday.

The Bloc and New Democrats have long called for the suspension of the Safe Third Country Agreement, which is at the heart of irregular crossings through Roxham Road.

This agreement does so that a potential refugee arriving at an official Canadian border crossing and having first set foot on American soil is turned away, since he must pursue his asylum application in the first place of safety where he arrived.

Thus, people who still wish to seek asylum in Canada cross the Canada-US border through makeshift crossings, such as Roxham Road, in Monteregie. Once they are in Canada, their asylum claim can be processed.

For their part, the Conservatives want the uniform application of the x27;Safe Third Country Agreement all along the border, official port of entry or not.

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