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David Eby says he is frustrated by the money intended for immigration obtained by Quebec “in contempt” of the West

Photo: Crystal Schick The Canadian Press David Eby with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith at the annual Western Premiers Conference in Whitehorse, Monday, June 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press in Whitehorse

Published yesterday at 11:48 p.m.

  • Canada

British Columbia Premier David Eby says federal immigration money is being “dumped” on Ontario and Quebec “in disregard” of Western Canada.

Eby says the news that Ottawa has offered Quebec $750 million to help pay for an increase in the number of temporary residents in the province is frustrating, and that B.C. should get a share as well.

Mr. Eby reported that 10,000 people arrive in British Columbia every 37 days, refugees must stay in homeless shelters, and international students receive no support.

“Seeing a single agreement with Quebec underlines the sense of frustration I heard around the table,” he said.

“I won't put this on anyone else's shoulders, but I will say for British Columbia, how frustrated we are to see the money being dumped on Quebec and Ontario, as we struggle for what's left. It's not acceptable. »

The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, said he was disappointed by Ottawa's offer. He had requested $1 billion to cover costs associated with increasing the number of temporary residents.

“Frankly, this announcement today with Quebec is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said Monday.

“I don’t understand how this could happen. I don't understand why we can't, at a minimum, get a per capita share. »

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Legault previously said the number of temporary residents in the province — including asylum seekers, students and workers — had “exploded” to 560,000, a number he said doubled in two years, putting a strain on social services.

B.C. government figures show there were 475,778 non-permanent residents in the province as of January 1 , an increase of approximately 84% from 2022.

The office of federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller did not immediately respond to our request request for comment.

Collaborate further

Mr. Eby made the comments as the premiers of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and Yukon wrapped up the annual Premiers' Conference. West to Whitehorse.

Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai said the leaders represented different viewpoints, but managed to put partisanship aside.

« When we look across the country and around the world, we see that productive, multi-stakeholder, collaborative conversations are less likely to take place than in the past. And in response, we see citizens looking elsewhere to place their trust,” he said.

“We urge leaders at the provincial and federal to follow our example and walk together on a path that will lead us to the best results for the citizens of their jurisdictions. Good ideas are not limited to a single political ideology. »

A release from the Western Premiers' Conference said the two days of meetings included discussions aimed at improving supply chains and infrastructure, as well as discussions on the Arctic and energy security.< /p>

He reports that western provinces and territories are addressing specific housing issues.

“While Premiers recognize efforts at the federal level, greater collaboration is needed,” the statement said.

“Prime Ministers discussed recent federal policy announcements and emphasized that a substantial commitment from the federal government is necessary to ensure that new funding complements ongoing investments made by provinces and territories,” said the premiers. ministers, referring to the need to work together to increase housing.

The statement said the premiers are disappointed that this year's federal budget does not include a successor to the Investing in Canada infrastructure program.

The press release indicates that more must be done to exploit Western Canada's energy resources, including oil and gas. gas, liquefied natural gas, uranium and hydropower, as well as emerging opportunities such as hydrogen, biofuels, small modular nuclear reactors and critical minerals.

< p>Asked about a possible agreement between British Columbia and Alberta regarding hydrogen, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said hydrogen is a multi-billion dollar industry and is comes with the possibility of partnerships with First Nations.

“So I think this process is just beginning. I don’t want to prejudge how it might turn out, but I think there is a spirit of collaboration between our two provinces and the federal government on this,” she said.

Next year's Western Premiers' Meeting is expected to take place in the Northwest Territories.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116