After meeting in what was billed as an emergency session, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have decided to do nothing more than what it is already doing about the escalating refugee crisis on the Canada-U.S. border — but will consider contingency plans to ensure the safety of the illegals.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters in Ottawa Tuesday afternoon that all is well and that those responsible for enforcing the law at the border have all they need to do the job.
Goodale claimed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada Border Services Agency “have affirmed to me and to the prime minister and to the cabinet that the resources they have and the legal tools that they have are appropriate and sufficient to enforce the law.”
That assessment directly contradicts one made by Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Canadian Customs and Immigration Union, who described the border last Sunday as resembling “Swiss cheese” and also suggested that the immigration officials are releasing inaccurate data regarding the numbers of illegals that are crossing the border — particularly in Quebec.
Emerson, Manitoba — an isolated prairie border town with North Dakota — is also a flashpoint for illegal refugees, or “asylum seekers,” to sneak across the border into Canada undetected. Goodale visited the remote site on Saturday and declared that border laws were being “enforced” and provided a $30,000 stipend of assistance for the local volunteer fire department — supposedly so they could help process illegal refugees.
But that could be just beginning as spring approaches.
Goodale indicated the Liberal government is considering that possibility and has sought expert opinion from affected federal agencies on the appropriate response.
That planning seems to be focusing more on ensuring the safety of the illegal refugees than sending them back. Officials are apparently considering the potential need for more emergency shelter beds and assessing the potential danger of spring flooding on the security of the asylum seekers.
Goodale expressed a profound sense of optimism, assuring reporters that, “At this stage, the situation is being very properly addressed by our security agencies, both the RCMP and the CBSA [Canadian Border Security Agency]. If they feel there is a tool or more resources that they need to deal with the situation, they will certainly let us know.”
Even though hundreds of people are doing just that, Goodale refuted this “assumption that somehow you jump across the border and that’s kind of a free ticket to Canada.”
Tony Clement, official opposition public safety critic, shook his head in disbelief.
“You’ve got to send a strong message that we consider our borders sacrosanct,” said Tony Clement, the Conservative critic for public safety.
“We are an open and welcoming country, but we don’t want people to get hurt in their migration here, and we want to obviously … protect our sovereignty.”