Up to 800 asylum seekers to arrive in Cornwall; city will be reimbursed

(Photo/Choose Cornwall)

CORNWALL – The city’s emergency management coordinator says around a third of the mostly Haitian asylum seekers from the United States are being housing at Nav Center.

In an update Friday, Commander Brad Nuttley said 244 refugees had arrived at the Montreal Road facility in the last two days – around 30 per cent of the numbers expected.

More should be arriving in the days ahead.

The city had been contracted by the Government of Canada to receive up to 800 people – 300 in the facility itself and another 500 on the grounds in a tent city – and the city will be paid back in full by the federal government for its out-of-pocket expenses.

The refugees are expected to stay here until the immigration office can process them, though an exact timeline is not known.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced last week Cornwall would be a temporary housing facility as Quebec dealt with a crushing number of people heading across the Canada-U.S. border into la belle province.

A number of agencies are helping out on site at Nav Canada, including the Royal Canadian Dragoons from CFB Petawawa and the local reserve unit of the SD&G Highlanders, assisting the Canadian Armed Forces.

The City of Cornwall has also called a special council meeting Monday at 5 p.m. to allow councillors to ask questions of staff about the operation taking place.