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Respond on border closure

Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the call by Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre to close the Roxhan Road border crossing in Quebec because of the recent increase in immigrants attempting to enter Canada from the United States through this area.


The Prime Minister explained why Poilievre's proposal to close the border in Quebec will not solve the problem:



Can someone put up barricades or build a big wall, yes, if Pierre Poilievre wants to build a border wall on Roxham Road, someone could do that. The problem is that we have 6,000 kilometers of unprotected border shared with the United States and we have seen tragedies happen, like Emerson and challenges at other points across the country. If you close one side people will cross on the other. The only effective way to really cut off these irregular crossings, not just Roxham Road, but all along the border is to renegotiate the safe third country agreement, which is serious work we are doing as a government right now. There are people who throw simplistic solutions around and that is their right, but if you are serious about solving the problem you have to roll up your sleeves and do the work, as we are doing.

But it was not only Trudeau who responded to him, immigration minister Sean Fraser also commented on Poilievre's request to close the border in Quebec and called him reckless.



With regard to Poilievre's comments, it's reckless, frankly it's not a well thought out approach to simply say 'within 30 days, close Roxham Road'. What would happen if we used that approach, instead of actually treating people with dignity and respect, and pursuing bilateral talks with the United States, is that you simply move the problem to other points on the Canada-U.S. border. The result of that would be, quite possibly, that migrants seeking asylum would be exposed to great risk if they were forced to cross through dangerous stretches of the border, without knowing the terrain and especially at this time of year..

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