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

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appeals for living-donor kidney transplant

Okanagan Nation Alliance Grand Chief has chronic kidney disease

Column: Penticton Regional Hospital returning to ‘new normal’

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s how important good health is in our lives.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

Most Read