Canadian Government Giving “Refugees” Over $5000 Per Month To Pay For Food, Hotel Rooms

Natasha Biase

Figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have sparked outrage for showing that the federal government is preparing to spend over $550 million on temporary accommodations and food for asylum seekers in 2024.

Although the figures were published in December of last year on the official Government of Canada website, representing the projected costs for the 2023-2024 budget year, screenshots revealing refugees’ daily food allowance began circulating on X last week.

According to the funding breakdown, hotel rooms, which are noted as being double occupancy, are priced at $153 per day, with an additional $134.37 per day for food being allocated per hotel room. As of February of this year, IRCC was leasing 4,050 rooms at 34 hotels in six provinces.

The total listed figure of $366.24 per refugee-allocated hotel room, or approximately $183.12 per day, per refugee.

The figures from the breakdown were largely validated after Conservative Member of Parliament Lianne Rood made an official inquiry on the costs in March of this year and received a breakdown from the government. In the response, the costs were stated at an average of $140 per IRCC-leased hotel room, with refugees getting an average of $84 each, per day, for food.

Rood compared the costs to what the average senior citizen gets in Old Age Security payments from the government – a rate that was just $790 per month in January of 2024.

News that the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, which oversees and studies immigration in the country, authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid for asylum seekers shocked many Canadians.

Some, such as one X user by the handle @rainydaysfornow, were horrified to learn that refugees have a higher daily food allowance than most Canadians.

Others pointed out the disparities between the resources given to impoverished Canadian citizens and immigrants seeking asylum.

In 2023, it was reported by the CBC that Canadian food bank usage was up 78% from 2019, with community food banks struggling to keep up with the surge in demand.

“Imagine being a displaced homeless person in Canada. Watching the [Government] literally import homeless into our country and giving them a hotel room and a daily food allowance,” responded another user by the handle @dammitboyce.

“While Canadians are at food banks!!  SICKENING,” added another X user.

The backlash from Canadian taxpayers learning they are paying for claimants’ food, housing, and security comes on the heels of the government announcing plans to buy hotels to accommodate the rising number of refugees entering the country.

According to The Globe and Mail, Immigration Minister Marc Miller explained that the federal government is looking at more affordable housing options for asylum seekers, including buying hotels to convert to housing.

“One model being considered could involve installing federal and provincial officials in the converted hotels to provide front-line services to asylum seekers waiting for their cases to be heard,” explained Miller, adding that the government is keen to “stabilize the number of asylum claimants” because the number of them coming to Canada “isn’t going down drastically anytime soon.”

Miller also notes that the government is considering other options, including new reception centers in Ontario to accommodate 1,300 refugees a month by providing food, shelter, and front-line services. Last year, the province saw the largest influx of asylum seekers than any other province for a total of 4,527.

The reception centers, partially funded by the IRCC, would provide claimants with “five days of temporary shelter, legal aid, help with health and social issues and other types of settlement referrals” to support the Greater Toronto Area.

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