Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for making that long walk across. I wish we had been able to arrange for you to appear in person originally.
Despite the finest efforts of the staff here on the Hill, the deficiencies of virtual committee meetings, virtual appearances, have been laid clear by this almost hour-long delay in getting the committee going today.
Minister, the Prime Minister's four-year suspension of the safe third country treaty has left Canada with an asylum backlog of more than 90,000. That's the highest in Canada's history.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer's report, “Costing Irregular Migration across Canada's Southern Border”, pointed out that your government has provided no guidance regarding the reimbursement of outstanding and future support expenses for asylums that are burdening cities and provinces.
With regard to that $200-million line item in the supplementary estimates for the housing of asylum claimants, can you explain more specifically where those dollars are going? As I said earlier, in questions to you in the virtual committee in the House, this would seem to be a very small down payment on the costs assumed so far by municipalities and provinces, and their estimates of significant millions of dollars going forward.