The IRCC has gained a lot of attention in our community lately. We recognize as a community that we should do everything we can to support the asylum claimants to help make them feel welcome in our country. Local leadership around Cornwall and SDG have been vocal and working towards a positive resolution for everyone. This has been a challenging topic of discussion for several months now. We will continue to help navigate the asylum claimants and to try and find solutions so that they may gain success here in Cornwall and SD&G.
I had an opportunity to have a tour of the operations of the Asylum processing centre and the good work of ACFO at the Dev Centre. Since then, ACFO has lost their contract providing those services and asylum claimants have been vocal about the change that has occurred. Dev Centre has been working on the change and are working hard to accommodate it.
I had the opportunity to work closely with the Upper Canada District School Board and the Dev Centre to try and help the children of the asylum seekers and to put supports in place so they may better meet success. They have set up classrooms at the Dev Centre to assist the children with their learning. The School Board and Dev centre are to be commended in their efforts to meet the needs of the children. I have heard firsthand about the success. I will continue to collaborate with the Upper Canada Board and the Dev Centre in an effort to make the asylum claimants feel supported and welcome.
In attempts to help serve the refugees, the Eastern Ontario Training Board has offered their assistance. I met with the EOTB, and we discussed how they could help support the programs offered at the Dev Centre. The Training Board will continue their ongoing efforts to help meet the needs of the newcomers.
Senator Bernadette Clement has reached out to my office and has shared her thoughts. We will meet in the coming days to discuss solutions.
The encouraging action that local leaders and stakeholders in our community have been taking to help the newcomers gain success in our country is what the fabric of our community made of. We will continue in the future to collaborate and work together but with that we need more open and consistent dialog from IRCC and the Federal Government. Mayor Towndale of the city of Cornwall, MP Duncan and I have all been involved in our own ways to work to help overcome the challenges in order to support the newcomers and protect the resources we all rely on here in our community. ALL stakeholders need to be part of the communication with IRCC, not just who a select few. Success will come from open dialogue and collaboration with all local leaders!
Nolan Quinn – MPP