Minister Blair tours border operations in Lacolle

News release

July 24, 2018—Montreal, QC—The Government of Canada is committed to effectively and efficiently meeting our international obligations regarding refugees, while protecting the safety and security of all Canadians.

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, visited Lacolle yesterday to be briefed on border operations.

Minister Blair, who is also the minister responsible for irregular migration, began the tour by visiting the site of irregular border crossings at Roxham Road. After a briefing with staff, he visited the nearby port of entry at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle.

During the tour, he saw first-hand that the appropriate resources are in place to ensure that no one leaves a port of entry until security screening has been completed. People who cross the border irregularly are arrested, and like all asylum claimants, undergo an in-depth process that includes an interview, taking fingerprints and photos, as well as security, criminal record and health checks.

Minister Blair witnessed the close collaboration between the Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other key partners like the Red Cross. He commended frontline officers and all the employees who support them for their dedication and professionalism as they continue to work together to effectively manage the situation.

Minister Blair was appointed the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction on July 18, 2018. He will work to ensure Canada’s border is managed in a way that promotes legitimate travel and trade, keeps Canadians safe, treats everyone fairly and in accordance with our laws, and upholds Canada’s global responsibility to the protection of those fleeing persecution in the world.


“My visit to Lacolle operations confirmed to me that the government has a strong contingency plan in place, with built-in flexibilities to respond operationally to various scenarios. I was very impressed to see the diligence and professionalism by which all law enforcement and border officials are working together at the border—and throughout the process—to ensure public safety, and to respect those seeking asylum into Canada. I will be engaging with all of the ministries of our government and with the provinces and municipalities to ensure that we fulfill our international obligations to asylum seekers, and do it in a way which I think is properly managed. Canadians expect us to work together, and I plan to do just that.”

 – The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Quick facts

  • From January 1 to June 30, 2018, the RCMP intercepted 10,744 migrants crossing between ports of entry. Of these, 10,261 were in Quebec.

  • In June 2018 there were 1,179 between-the-port arrivals in Quebec, on average, 39 asylum claims per day; in May 2018 there were 1,775, on average, 57 per day; in April 2018 there were 2,479, on average, 83 per day.

  • A total of 14,314 work permits were issued to asylum claimants in Quebec between April 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Hilary Peirce
Acting Senior Advisor for Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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