The MLA for Emerson says he is shocked the federal Liberals plan to compensate Quebec residents they say have been impacted by the flood of asylum seekers coming into Canada through that province from United States. Some homeowners are reportedly getting as much as $25,000.
"But at the same, because we're nearing a federal election, then I can understand that the Liberal government is looking at perhaps encouraging people to support them in their endeavours," commented Cliff Graydon.
Graydon said he takes offence to Manitobans, like those in his constituency, being left out of the plan. He also disagrees with the argument that those in rural settings haven't seen the same affects because the number of people crossing the border in those spots has diminished.
"In this situation here where you've got people knocking on your windows in the middle of the night," he explained. "Keep in mind, with the big influx of illegal immigrants coming across the border, when they came into Emerson (the community) opened the community centre for them. The community opened their arms to these people."
Graydon also argues that this experience has dramatically changed the culture within the town of Emerson since the influx began about two years ago.
"People lock their doors, they lock their garages. They don't go for walks in the evening (and) their children don't go to the playground unless there's an adult with them. That culture never existed in Emerson."
He encourages Border Security Minister Bill Blair to take a tour of the country to see what's really happening for himself, noting all Canadians should be treated fairly.
"It was the federal government's initiative to put this money into Quebec, we were never asked whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. They are elected to do what they think is best, and if that's what they think is best then treat everyone the same," said Graydon. "Are there better ways of spending the money? I'm not going to be the judge of that."