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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Canada trying to cope with massive asylum-seeking migrants at border

   Canada column for Sunday, May 6/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Some critics are suggesting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for what he is seeing with a massive refugee influx.
   Trudeau said last year: “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.”
   Since then, the illegal refugee influx at the U.S./Canada border, largely in Quebec, is becoming unmanageable.
   There are so many – 4,000 migrants crossing into Quebec recently – that the Mounties are having to build a police station along the border to cope.
   More than 80 percent of the immigrants are going through the U.S. from Haiti, with the rest including people from India, Mexico, Colombia and Turkey.
   In the past year, there have been more than 20,000 illegal border crossings into Canada by those seeking asylum.
   Those entering the country illegally are subject to arrest but are released to await hearings and appeals to stay in Canada while they are allowed to work, have access to “free” health care, schools and receive welfare payments.
   With the arrival of warm weather, the number of border crossers in Quebec alone, near Champlain, N.Y., is expected to reach more than 400 a day.


   Online shopping and home delivery are the ways of the future, according to Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s largest grocery chain.
   The company plans to give 70 percent of Canadians access to its click-and-collect and home delivery services by the end of the year.
   Delivery is now available in 11 cities, including Toronto and Vancouver, and will expand to five more including Montreal, Halifax and Regina this year.
   Loblaw is also expanding its ordering online and pick up to more than 700 locations.


   News in brief:
   - Record high levels of flood water have caused New Brunswick to close 81 roads and bridges to traffic while dozens of other roadways and ramps are partially flooded. This includes a large section of the four-lane Trans-Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton. More than 100 people living along the Saint John River have had to leave their homes with water levels 18 feet above normal.
   - Tributes are pouring in for popular Conservative Member of Parliament Gord Brown who died of a heart attack in his Parliament Hill office. He was 57, married and the father of two who represented the eastern Ontario district of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes since 2004. He was a former councillor in Gananoque and chair of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar is lower at 77.86 cents U.S. while the U.S. greenback returns $1.284 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains unchanged at 1.25 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.45 percent.
   Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,621 points while the TSX Venture index is 771 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada has climbed to $1.332 a liter or $5.06 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (May 2) 4, 7, 28, 36, 37 and 49; bonus  21. (April 28) 24, 31, 33, 34, 44 and 46; bonus 10. Lotto Max: (April 27) 8, 9, 11, 17, 37, 39 and 41; bonus 19.


   Regional briefs:
   - Calgary police say they don’t know what motivated a young man who was found dead to climb inside a small section of a wall in a women’s restroom at the Core Shopping Center. The unidentified man in his 20s removed a vent cover on top of the wall and climbed through the opening where he became stuck and later died. His body was found the next day by a worker who was called to repair a toilet.
   - A prank is suspected by Toronto police after a small car was left hanging from a bridge early Thursday near the Don Valley Parkway. Police said it was at first thought it was for a movie stunt but no filming was taking place in the area. The car had been stripped and the licence plates removed. Police concluded it was a case of mischief and university engineering students, known for pranks, denied any knowledge of the incident.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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