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Montreal Olympic Stadium Turned Into Area For Asylum Seekers


Asylum seekers walk outside Montreal's Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.  (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Olympic Stadium in Montreal is said to be turning into a place where asylum seekers are going to be housed. This is happening because there's a new wave of asylum seekers coming into the country from places such as the United States. Montreal's Mayor said that they were welcome to come.

This is being called a temporary welcome center, the welcome center is known as the Montreal Olympic Stadium and is a large building that has many areas being set up right now for the people.

The stadium is supposedly having cots set up so that the people that are going into the stadium can actually have somewhere to sleep. This will help incoming asylum seekers get on their feet in Montreal which is also a sanctuary city.

PRAIDA spokesperson Francine Dupuis, said:"It's really quite a bit more intense than what we're used to." "We've never seen this before,"

People were taken to the large stadium apparently by bus on Wednesday.

This decision was made after a huge influx of people who are seeking asylum in Canada were crossing the border into the country. Many of them have come to Quebec.

Let's explain to you what asylum even means. Now apparently this means that someone is trying to seek sanctuary from persecution. So, in this case, someone from saying Syria might be trying to get away from the war of which has been very brutal in their country.

To give an idea of how many people might end up in the stadium, there are currently 100-450 cots in the stadium. They will be in an area of the stadium that is basically a windowless and concrete hallway.

It has been reported that a number of temporary shelters and tents have been set up.

A spokesperson for the Olympic Park, C├ędric Essminimy said:"We were quick to say, 'OK, how much space do we need?'"  "And in 24 hours, everything was set."


Many of the people who crossed into Canada illegally are being held by the Canadian Border Security Agency.

The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre actually welcomed the asylum seekers, "You can count on our full co-operation," he said.

Many asylum seekers are of Haitian descent and are coming to Canada from places like the United States. These people are refugees from the terrible earthquake that occurred several years ago.

A lot of people coming into Quebec has strained resources for asylum seekers.  The areas that are set up for these people to stay in can help them get on their feet with paperwork and can sometimes help them find permanent housing.

However, for ordinary Canadians, this move has made them pretty irritated. Some people have even said that they will never vote for Justin Trudeau again after a large number of refugees has come into the country. Many of them feel that Canada needs to have a policy that covers Canadians first before letting people into the country.

By Michael Normandin 

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