By The Star |

Canadians are concerned about Ottawa’s handling of asylum seekers, voicing scepticism about why so many are crossing into Canada and demanding tougher measures to curb the arrivals, a new survey shows.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet ministers have staunchly defended Canada’s responsibility to accept the thousands of refugees crossing from the United States and process their claims through official channels.

But the poll results — released Friday by the Angus Reid Institute — make clear the rising political stakes on the issue, revealing that Canadians are questioning the federal government’s ability to manage the situation.

“There’s definitely potential trouble here for the Liberals,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the institute.

While the number of border crossers dropped in May and June, “numbers do not matter,” Kurl said in an interview.

“It is perception,” she said. “The longer that this has been an issue, the deeper that anxiety and concern has settled into the core of Canadians.

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