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Poilievre calls for border closure in Quebec

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is calling on the federal government to close the Roxham Road border crossing within 30 days amid a growing influx of immigrants entering Quebec irregularly.

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Poilievre blamed the surge of immigrants squarely on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he accused of encouraging irregular crossings at Roxham Road and failing to address a backlog of refugee claims.

The job of protecting our border falls to us and in particular to the Prime Minister of Canada. Under his leadership the number of illegal border crossings has grown 10-fold, an impressive increase for a problem that did not exist before Justin Trudeau. Luckily there is a solution, and the prime minister accidentally proved it during the pandemic, he closed Roxham Road during the COVID period and then decided to reopen it. So as a country we can close that border crossing. If we are a real country we have borders, and if he is a real prime minister he is responsible for those borders. That's why we Conservatives are calling on the prime minister to implement a plan that closes the Roxham Road crossing in 30 days from now.

What the Conservative leader failed to mention is that during the pandemic not only was the Roxham Road crossing closed, but the entire border.

Poilievre's comments come as Quebec Premier Francois Legault this week called on Trudeau to make the Roxham Road crossings a priority for next month's meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and to renegotiate the Safe Third Country agreement.

The Safe Third Country Agreement requires asylum seekers arriving in Canada or the U.S. to apply in the first country they reach and prohibits them from first arriving in one country and then filing an application in another. However, migrants who cross the border between official posts can apply for asylum after being intercepted by police, since they are on Canadian soil.

The migrant crossing crisis across the Quebec-U.S. border has worsened since, in December, New York City authorities began touting the sending of refugees to the border crossing point.

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