Montreal (AFP) - Canada expects migrants to continue border jumping from the United States for many more months, and officials said Friday they are readying temporary accommodation to deal with the surge through winter.
A harsh winter is around the corner, and the government launched an urgent call for the winterized mobile homes.
Many of the more than 7,000 migrants who crossed on foot from the US state of New York into Canada's Quebec province since July 1 have been housed in tent cities near the border set up by the military.
Others were put up at Montreal's Olympic stadium and other venues until better accommodations could be found.
"These tents do have heaters, but we also have a very, a very cold winter in this country," said Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, who is also chairing an emergency task force to deal with the surge in asylum seekers.
"And so we are, as a precautionary measure, looking at the possibility of trailers... which have a more robust capability to be able to house people in colder conditions."
Temperatures in eastern Canada dropped to 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit) at night at the end of August and could fall further in the coming weeks.
The tendering documents say the trailers must be "comfortable in all seasons" and ready within six weeks of the awarding of the contract. Bids close on September 5.
The mobile homes would be needed to house 200 people in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Montreal.
Most of the recent arrivals are Haitians who face expulsion from the United States when their temporary asylum permit -- granted after the devastating 2010 earthquake -- expires at the end of the year.
The wave of migrants started after Donald Trump was elected president last year, with thousands crossing into central Manitoba province in the dead of winter.
One woman died in the cold before reaching the border, while two men lost their fingers to frostbite during the treacherous journey across snow-covered fields and backwoods.