Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Kings—Hants.
I am pleased to rise today to discuss Canada's immigration system as it relates to asylum claims.
As we are all aware, the world continues to face an unprecedented migration crisis. Canada is not alone in welcoming a significant number of people fleeing violence, war and persecution to seek refuge at our borders.
Canada has made a commitment, grounded in domestic law and international conventions, to provide support to individuals who apply for asylum.
The federal government is meeting its legal and humanitarian obligations, and we are continuing to provide support at a level that reflects the ongoing consequences of asylum claims across the country.
Our government continues to work with our provincial, territorial and municipal partners to determine how we can support them better and support them as effectively as possible. To that end, we have put additional resources at their disposal. While the provinces and municipalities are responsible for housing and support for asylum claimants, we recognize the need for the federal government to play a role and for all levels of government to continue working together on finding solutions. We have been there throughout the entire process and we will continue to be there.
Since its inception in 2017, the federal interim housing assistance program, or IHAP, has been providing funding to provincial and municipal governments on a cost-shared basis to alleviate housing pressures and boost capacity to better respond to the increased volume of asylum claims. IHAP reimburses direct housing costs, such as shelters, hotel rooms and other interim housing arrangements; triage and transportation operations; and indirect costs, such as meals. Amounts per area of jurisdiction are set following the submission of requests for reimbursement and allocated based on the available envelope.
To date, the federal government has provided provinces and municipalities with nearly $750 million in IHAP funds to help alleviate housing pressures related to asylum seekers. Since 2017, nearly half of all federal IHAP funding has gone to Quebec to support the increased need for housing for asylum seekers.
The Government of Canada is committed to working collaboratively with provinces and municipalities to implement permanent housing solutions. That is why, last July, the government contributed an additional $212 million through IHAP and extended the program in response to the higher volume of asylum seekers.
Last week, my colleague, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced an additional $362.4 million for the program. In all, a total of $150 million has been given to Quebec under IHAP during this fiscal year. This new funding will help the provinces and municipalities deal with a surge in demand for places in shelters. This will help stop asylum seekers from becoming homeless.
I wanted to talk about Reaching Home, Canada's homelessness strategy, but I see that I am out of time.