Centralized service for asylum seekers limits accessibility

Centralized service for asylum seekers limits accessibility
Despite rise in migration, Quebec offers asylum seekers only one comprehensive service centre

Jack Wilson

Special to The Record

Amid reports of increased asylum seekers crossing the border, Sherbrooke’s Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens, an organization that provides services to new Canadians, is serving more asylum seekers than in previous years, said director general Manon Couture. But Quebec rules make most of the centre’s services unavailable to them.

Couture said her organization is assisting three times as many asylum seekers as last year, but is limited in which services can be provided.

“We offer lots of services, including employment services, translation services, information sessions and a daycare. But asylum seekers aren’t allowed to access those services,” she said.

The centre can only provide asylum seekers with two services: help to find housing and an information session about the asylum-seeking process.

Couture said those needing other essential services have to go to Montreal, to the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers.


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