(Ottawa) The federal government does not show favoritism, Ottawa responds to the Premier of British Columbia, David Eby, who did not hide his annoyance at seeing that money intended for immigration was being “dumped” on Ontario and Quebec “in defiance” of Western Canada.

“There is no favorite province for the federal government” that distributes funds in a “fair” manner, assured Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge on Tuesday upon her arrival at the weekly meeting of the council of ministers, taking up the word of a journalist’s question.

In the same corridor, Justin Trudeau’s lieutenant for Quebec, Pablo Rodriguez, explained that the offer of 750 million to compensate the province for the costs of the increase in the number of temporary residents aims to recognize that “Quebec has does more than that leaves.”

“If you look at the numbers, it’s obvious,” continued Mr. Rodriguez. If other provinces do the same, we will look at that. »

Also called upon to speak out, the co-president of the Liberal campaign and MP for Hochelaga, Soraya Martinez-Ferrada, also called for recognition that Quebec is “the province which has received the most asylum seekers anywhere in the country.” and that she must be supported in this welcome.

On Monday, Premier Eby expressed his “frustration” with the money paid to Quebec. It was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said, saying his province should also get a share.

British Columbia government figures show there were 475,778 non-permanent residents in the province as of January 1, an increase of about 84 per cent from 2022.

Quebec Premier François Legault previously said the number of temporary residents in the province – including asylum seekers, students and workers – had “exploded” to 560,000, a number that he said him, has doubled in two years, putting a strain on social services.

Mr. Legault said he was disappointed by Ottawa’s offer. He had requested 1 billion to cover costs associated with the increase in the number of temporary residents.

British Columbia must step up its efforts and welcome more asylum seekers who come to Canada, federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller responded Tuesday to Mr. Eby’s criticism of his province’s funding.

“I think there may have been some confusion on the part of the Prime Minister about where this money was going. He suggested it could be for temporary residents. That’s absolutely not the case,” Miller said.

The minister said the agreement with Quebec was intended to compensate the province for two years of high costs associated with the disproportionate number of asylum seekers.

Government statistics show 65% of asylum seekers arrived in Quebec last year, compared to just under 2% in British Columbia.

“We need provinces like British Columbia to step up their efforts when it comes to welcoming asylum seekers,” said Minister Miller, who assured that the province would have federal financial support in such a case.

Marc Miller said he was willing to discuss with Premier Eby the effects of immigration growth in British Columbia, but that the costs associated with it should not be confused with the costs of services to applicants. asylum, who arrive without resources.

He added that most of the province’s immigrants fall under economic programs and contribute financially by paying taxes.