Ontario government repudiates resettlement agreement, scapegoats refugees


Ontario government repudiates resettlement agreement, scapegoats refugees

Laurent Lafrance

28 July 2018

Ontario’s new Conservative government, led by the right-wing populist Doug Ford, is mounting a reactionary anti-immigrant campaign. Since taking power last month, Ford and other leading government officials have been accusing desperate refugees fleeing the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt of taxing provincial services and imperiling Ontarians’ access to them. 

Shortly before his first official meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 5, Ford announced his government was withdrawing its support for a “resettlement” agreement signed last year between the Ontario and federal governments that provided minimal support to the asylum-seekers who have fled the United States for Canada out of fear of persecution and deportation. 

Ontario will no longer provide any support for the refugee-claimants. All costs must now be borne by Ottawa and its assistance to refugees must be provided without access to provincial facilities or expertise.

The Progressive Conservatives’ xenophobic campaign is aimed at diverting attention away from their right-wing, pro-big business agenda and whipping up racism and chauvinism to divide the working class. Since coming to power on June 29, the Ford government has vowed to drastically cut social spending, slash taxes for big business and the rich, and pursue a “tough on crime” agenda.

The Trudeau government’s attempt to pose as a friend of the refugees and a principled opponent to Ford is hypocritical and fraudulent. Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale regularly boast about Canada’s intimate and expanding collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security and American…

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