Irregular migrants will cost Canada $340 million and rising, says PBO

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OTTAWA — Canada’s budget watchdog says asylum-seekers who entered Canada irregularly last year will cost federal organizations a total of $340 million.

Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux says the average cost for migrants who entered the country between April 2017 and March 2018 is just over $14,000, but this amount can vary based on how long they have to wait for their refugee claims to be finalized.

Conservative MP Larry Maguire asked Giroux to analyze the current and projected costs of dealing with an influx of irregular migrants who have been crossing the Canada-U.S. border since 2017.

The analysis — which calculated all costs from the moment the migrants arrive in Canada until decisions are reached on their claims — concluded costs will rise to $396 million in 2019-2020.

These costs do not include those borne by provincial or municipal governments.

Giroux says the federal figures suggest Ontario’s estimated cost of $200 million for dealing with irregular migrants in that province alone is a reasonable estimate.

The Canadian Press