Roxham Road: “We may have something to announce”, says Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau (File photo)
Questioned at the end of a meeting of his caucus by the parliamentary press, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went there with a statement to say the least sibylline on the eve of the visit of the President of the United States , Joe Biden, in Canada, scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Mr. Trudeau had these words about asylum seekers arriving in Canada via Roxham Road, Quebec, saying that we will continue our work, and then maybe we will have something to announce.< /p>
We have been working closely with the Americans for several months to restore the situation at Roxham Road and [that we] are looking at the Safe Third Country Agreement, said Mr. Trudeau, triggering a stream of questions from reporters around him.
Prime Minister Trudeau said recently that Mr. Biden knows full well that the renegotiation of the Third-Party Agreement Safe Countries (ETPS) was a priority for Ottawa. The Liberal leader even spoke of a shared priority on border issues.
Just a month ago, US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen said renegotiation of the Safe Third Country Agreement was not a priority for President Biden's administration. . Roxham Road is a symptom and we must rather attack the source of the problem, he said.
In an interview with The Canadian Press on Wednesday, Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, instead felt that there is actually a lot of goodwill on the American side to listen to us talk about this challenge. we face.
Ms Hillman argued that the Biden administration is not ruling out renegotiating the treaty and that she understands how the Safe Third Country Agreement affects the flow of migrants across the border, which goes both ways.
I think it benefits both countries, and I actually think they recognize it, Ms Hillman added.
It is really Justin Trudeau who has the ability to close Roxham Road. It should, Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre commented earlier Wednesday.
“C he is the one who indicates that it is Joe Biden's responsibility to protect our borders. I believe that it is the Prime Minister of Canada who must protect the borders of Canadians. »
— Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
And as Prime Minister, he added, I would take responsibility for our own borders and end immigration illegal en masse that we see now.
In doing so, Mr. Poilievre would respond favorably to a long-standing request from the Quebec government calling on Ottawa to close Roxham Road in Montérégie, where a record 39,171 asylum seekers were intercepted in 2022.
An open letter from Quebec Premier François Legault, published in The Globe and Mail last winter, was aimed at increasing the pressure on Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Legault alleges that the province does not have the capacity to adequately accommodate all these people and that Ottawa must help him financially.
This missive followed a first letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister a few days earlier.
Quebec's request had challenged the mayors of Windsor, Cornwall and Niagara Falls, where are transferred asylum seekers since last summer. They are calling for more clarity from the federal government on Roxham Road migrants and millions of dollars in funding. elected Democrat in the country since his election in 2020. He will be in Canada on March 23 and 24.
With information from La Presse canadienne