A temporary welcome centre has been opened at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal to house a new wave of asylum seekers coming from the United States to Quebec, many of them Haitians.
“We’ve never seen this before,” said Francine Dupuis, spokesperson for PRAIDA, the provincial government organization that helps claimants in their first months.
“It’s really quite a bit more intense than what we’re used to.”
On Wednesday, asylum seekers were taken to the Olympic Stadium by bus. Among them were children and pregnant women.
In the past, PRAIDA has worked with a Montreal YMCA to temporarily provide newcomers with housing and support, but the recent surge of Haitians crossing the border from the United States has strained PRAIDA’s existing resources and forced it to open several new centres, including one at the Olympic Stadium.
‘We’ve never seen this before. It’s really quite a bit more intense than what we’re used to.’ – Francine Dupuis, PRAIDA spokesperson
Between 100 and 450 cots have been set up in the Olympic Stadium. The asylum seekers will be housed in the area with concession stands just on the border of the actual arena. It’s a windowless, concrete hallway.
This article continues at [CBC News] Montreal’s Olympic Stadium used to house surge in asylum seekers crossing from U.S.