Saturday, October 13, 2018

Refugee claimants fear for their safety after alleged arson in Toronto

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Refugee claimants staying temporarily at a hotel in the east end of Toronto say they fear for their safety after a string of recent incidents that has put many of them on edge.

On Friday, police released a photo and description of a suspect involved in the most serious of those incidents — someone left a lit canister in the hallway of Radisson Hotel Toronto East earlier this month, an act investigators are treating as an arson.

All told, 146 rooms in the hotel are being used to shelter 577 refugee claimants, about half of which are from Nigeria. Some arrived as recently as this summer while others have been living there for nine months or more.

Significant numbers of asylum seekers have been coming across the U.S.-Canada border since the election of Donald Trump, many of them to Toronto. The city’s shelter system has been over flooded, with many claimants being housed in hotels and college dorms across the city. As of now, there are around 2,600 such refugee claimants in Toronto’s shelter and response programs.

Most claimants staying at the Radisson feel like they’ve been welcomed into the city by people from all walks of life, but the past week-and-half have more than tempered that initial sense of comfort.

The trouble started on Sept. 28, when three individuals with recording cameras entered the Radisson to make an “expose” of how refugee claimants are purportedly living lavishly on the taxpayer's dime while trashing the hotel’s facilities.

The trio includes a noted white supremacist figure and two other far-right activists who walked in the hallways documenting markings on the walls and overflowing garbage bins, while stopping refugees to ask them questions like, “The poop-stains, you think that’s okay?” The group was eventually reported to security.

A 6-min clip of their “expedition” was uploaded onto YouTube the next day, along with a longer video of them roaming the hallways. Two of the three also uploaded a recap of what they found on Oct. 1.

Then, on Oct. 2, fringe Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy held a small press conference right outside of the hotel, using the building as a backdrop. Vlogging herself, she vowed to evacuate “all illegal migrants” from the city as a means of making Toronto safer, thus countering Justin Trudeau and the Liberals’ “open-borders, globalist agenda.”

But the most frightening occurrence in this string of odd incidents unfolded several hours after Goldy left the premises. After hearing the smoke alarm go off, a maintenance worker discovered a red gasoline canister on the hotel’s third floor, with a lit rag stuffed in the nozzle.  (more...)

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