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:
I warned the federal govt in March when #Budget2023 had no monies for Toronto, despite a 2021 elxn promise.
I warned them again in April and again in May, but it fell on deaf ears.
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.
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.
The Liberal govt & Mayor both need to put politics aside and return to the table – not wait till Tues – to reach a shelter solution.
The people at 129 Peter St are not ur bargaining chips.
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.
We acknowledge the land that the community of Spadina-Fort York and which the Office of Kevin Vuong, M.P. operates on has for thousands of years been the traditional territory of many Nations, including the Chippewa, the Anishnabeg, the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Our Office acknowledges that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.