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

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Process begins to try to get Lantzville lookout trail authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Supportive housing plan unbalanced

Letter writer worries crime and social disorder will increase from Newcastle area to south end

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Most Read