Urgent Action to Support Refugees at 129 Peter Street

Kevin Vuong, MP
Let us be clear: refugees are a federal responsibility.

Long before the crisis at 129 Peter Street became front page news, I raised the issue in the House of Commons as early as March 2023 when the Liberals first released Budget 2023, and again in April and May:

Everyone’s story influences how they look at the world. As the son of refugees, I am no different. When other countries were closing their borders, my parents found refuge in Canada, as they fled the Vietnam War. It was more than just opening the doors, Canada embraced them and gave them the support they needed to build a new life here.

The crisis we are facing today at 129 Peter Street, and in municipalities across Canada is personal to me and it’s a direct result of the Liberal’s failures to properly manage the immigration system.

Frankly, the Liberal government has starved it of the funding needed to keep up with the demand they created. I look at these people being forced to live on our streets and see in them the same struggles my parents faced leaving everything they knew behind.

Rapid Response

As a rapid response, I lent two white tents to help provide some measure of protection to the people at 129 Peter Street from the rain and offer some shade from the hot summer sun. I took care of breakfast on the weekend and worked with others to provide lunch and coordinate meals. We also hosted clinics to help the asylum seekers and refugees to navigate the immigration and refugee system.

I brought forward immediate shelter solutions, such as the Mayor requesting that the federal government open the armoury, as has previously been requested in the winter to get the homeless out of the cold.

In addition, one other tangible action that the federal government could take now is to provide emergency funding to the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP). My team has assembled experts who can help asylum applicants to apply for IHAP.

My office continues work with local volunteers and grassroots workers to source the items that people need most. Please reach out if you want to help.