NationalOpinion

Due to costs, Canada shouldn’t accept Syrian refugees

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau races to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by New Year’s, and Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley winds up her efforts to welcome some 1,000 to Edmonton alone, I think it’s time we stopped sipping the kool-aid and smelled the coffee.

I believe it’s our moral duty to help those in need, and I recognize that most Syrian refugees are good people deserving of sanctuary. Most will integrate peacefully into Canadian society. Few among them pose legitimate security threats. Yet for humanity’s sake we must admit no refugees.

I speak with an open heart, so hear me with an open mind. Mr. Trudeau originally budgeted $250 million for his refugee plan, or $10,000 per refugee. According to the Canadian Press, documents leaked on November 20 reveal the costs to be $1.1 billion over six years, or $44,000 a person. This does not include ancillary costs downloaded to other levels of government such as healthcare, education, or general administrative costs. This is no surprise as private charities usually need $30,000 to resettle someone successfully.

If you think these costs are irrelevant, think again. In terms of opportunity costs (the difference between what you get and what you give up) this deal stinks of stupidity that borders on sadism. According to the UNHCR there are 1.7 million Syrians seeking sanctuary in Turkey. Of those, roughly one-third live in refugee camps. The remaining 1.1 million people are still seeking sanctuary: as of 2014 it was estimated that up to 400,000 lacked basic shelter, security, and even sustenance.

Thankfully, Turkey is building more refugee camps — Kilis Oncupinar is a permanent camp made of repurposed shipping containers. There, refugees are provided with healthcare, primary schooling, and basic necessities. They even have internet access. All told, 14,000 people live in Kilis, which costs about $30 million CAD/year to operate, or at a cost of $2,142/person.

If we genuinely want to help our fellow humans then Trudeau’s plan fails, disgracefully so.  We should use the allotted money to fund refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, or Lebanon. For $1.1 billion we could fund spaces for something like 513,500 people for a year, which would account for every single unaccommodated Syrian in Turkey.

For every refugee we accept, we condemn twenty others to fear and famishment.

Even if we spent the money over six years, we would still fund spaces for 86,000 people, each as deserving as the 25,000 we would otherwise help.

This is reason enough to accept my conclusion. But there’s more.

We are struggling at home. Here in Edmonton our homeless and women’s shelters are inadequately funded, our food bank is starving for donations, and according to the Business News Network, Alberta has lost some 63,500 jobs in the first eight months of this year. Rebel Media estimates that over 100,000 Albertans will have lost their jobs by December 25. Merry Christmas.  

And these are the lucky ones. The CBC says there are 2,252 chronically homeless Edmontonians. Hundreds live hand-to-mouth in the River Valley. This story of hopelessness and despair is repeated across Canada. All told, there are 30,000 chronically homeless Canadians. They are urban refugees. They need our help.

Some say this is impossible to fix, that there will always be a destitute class. I point to Medicine Hat, which has recently eradicated chronic homelessness at a cost of $20,000 a year per person. Even if we assume similar programs would be twice as expensive to run in larger cities, $1.1 billion would still be enough to end abject poverty here in Canada.

For me, charity starts at home: we must take care of each other before taking care of the world. Even if you disagree, is it not better to care for half a million refugees abroad than for 25,000 at home? Either way, the logic inevitably leads to a single conclusion: for humanity’s sake Canada must admit no refugees.

29 Comments

  1. That is awesome. I do not have a hard heart against any living person. With that said, I believe that we should look after our own first, always. Justin Trudeau is NOT for Canadians. I do honestly feel that he is a Muslim wannabe. Seriously. He does not do anything for Canadians and spends ALL of his hours on Refugees. He has brought this country down and will bury it if something isn’t done SOON. I do have a suggestion, that someone go door to door and ask those people if they support Trudeaus way of bring in refugees and if they agree, ask them if they are willing to take in refugees in their home. Let’s see the look on their faces then. No one will want to do that. I gave no one permission to spend my tax money on anyone except Canada. The Sharia Law will be in place soon and then all hell is going to break loose. Government should spend that money used to place the refugees in a Muslim country where they can keep they ways and religion. I don’t mind helping them to do that. God, please protect us.

    1. “Muslim” and “Canadian” are not mutually exclusive terms, Linda. Now, I have some comments and criticism about what you wrote:

      “Justin Trudeau is NOT for Canadians.” Linda, maybe he doesn’t represent you. And it is your right to disagree with him and how he runs the country. But you cannot speak on behalf of all Canadians. There are many Canadians, including myself, who do feel represented by our Prime Minister and agree with his policies, and we don’t want to be included in your blanket statement.

      “I do honestly feel that he is a Muslim wannabe.” Linda, can you please define what a “Muslim wannabe” is? There is nothing wrong with being Muslim… or Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, agnostic, atheist, or a part of a religion that I have missed. You seem to have a bias against Muslims. Coupled with your last sentence, it seems that you have the idea that Muslims cannot be Canadians and vice versa, which is erroneous.

      “He does not do anything for Canadians and spends ALL of his hours on Refugees.” Come on Linda, this is an exaggeration, and you yourself know that this isn’t true. Trudeau spends much of his time in the House of Commons debating on issues other than refugees, and he goes to other countries to discuss various issues such as trade. You can’t qualify this as an argument.

      “He has brought this country down and will bury it if something isn’t done SOON.” Linda, you have the right to disagree with the actions that were taken and executed since Trudeau has taken office. I myself don’t agree with everything that has (and hasn’t been) executed– but I realize that not everyone can be pleased by the government and that some tough decisions need to be made. However, I disagree with your claim that our country has been ‘brought down’– Canada has been enjoying a better international reputation since Trudeau has taken office.

      “I do have a suggestion…” I appreciate that you did give a suggestion as to how you would go about improving things. It is good to consult the electorate about what they think about contentious issues in government. I disagree with your notion that “No one will want to [take in refugees].” There are many Canadians in Emerson that have kindly opened their doors up to refugees. There are many Canadians who have sponsored refugees and first received them in their own homes. And there are many Canadians, like myself, that have applied to sponsor refugees and have not gotten the opportunity to do so yet, and would jump at the chance to take refugees into our homes but live nowhere near the land borders where they are currently entering from.

      ” The Sharia Law will be in place soon and then all hell is going to break loose.” Linda, what is the first law of Sharia law? To follow the law of the land in which you are living. Sharia Law offers suggestions as to what laws to make if the law of the land in which you are living has no laws related to a certain topic (i.e. it provides suggestions for laws to put in place for property ownership if there are no such laws in the land in which you are living). The topics of Sharia Law are covered in Canadian legislation already. People following Sharia law in Canada are simply abiding by the laws Canadians already have in place as passed by Parliament– we can argue that you are also following Sharia Law without realizing it. So, you have no need to worry that “all hell is going to break loose”, because if someone truly wants to practice Sharia Law in Canada, they are doing nothing different than you are.

      “Government should spend that money used to place the refugees in a Muslim country where they can keep they ways and religion.” I find it interesting that you say this, because earlier, you said that you gave “no one permission to spend [your] tax money on anyone except Canada [sic]”. It is also none of our business to resettle refugees in other countries if that is not what their elected governments believe in. One Muslim majority country that actually can feasibly do this is Turkey, and Turkey is going above and beyond what is required of them. I think it is a good idea for Canada to donate to countries like Turkey to help them settle more refugees– but given cost restraints, that would mean building more spaces for refugees in refugee camps– and a refugee camp cannot be thought of as a permanent place to live in (many of them have deplorable conditions). Settling refugees in Canada would be giving them a permanent solution to the problem of housing. The author of this article focused on the costs of bringing in refugees, but did not look at the benefits– like how they support local businesses, start their own, and contribute to our country in a multitude of other ways. The author forgets that many of these refugees are educated and can bring in knowledge and perspectives that better our country, much like the refugees brought to Canada in decades past have done.

      While I do believe that you are a caring and loving person who would not like others to suffer, Linda, I do believe that you have a negative bias against Muslims. This bias leads to your bitter attitude to these refugees from Muslim-majority nations, and why you fear them to the point you feel the need for protection from God. I hope that you actually read this and reflect upon what I have said.

      Sincerely,

      Someone with an open heart, and no fear of Muslims and refugees

  2. 70%of Canadians and I all fucking hate Justin Trudeau because of this crap. There are people making under 30k/yr and are barely living why are we taking in this many refugees? Plus we will probably be the next England, Frence, Germany, and many other contries ruined by muslims.

  3. Help! I don’t know if this is important, but I cannot find out where on the net on how much money one has to pay a person to get passage along with may other refugees on a boat that sets sail in the direction of another country in hopes of being rescued. And, where does these refugees get that kind of money to pay for this passage. I don’t understand this. And maybe for some or all; does this mean they have more money tucked away in some place for future plans when the financial aid they received from their new found country expires.

  4. I HATE REFUGEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Finally, someone has said the truth in a way that can’t possibly be taken as “racism” from those bleeding heart liberals. I really have to wonder why those private sponsors couldn’t open their hearts and wallets, or even their homes to our poor mothers with children, poor men, or for that matter any poor Canadian who has to live in abject poverty or homelessness. Are our poor less deserving? Are they just easier to ignore? Is their suffering any less? Perhaps it’s the simple fact that like Merkel, they just want to be perceived as being more generous and humanitarian, and as such the limelight of helping refugees is far brighter than, let’s say, a poor homeless veteran suffering from PTSD? Homeless people laying in the streets are human beings, not someone to look down your nose at and label as “unworthy”. What about our almost 1 million children living in poverty in Canada. Where is our Canadian charity for them?

    The money, any money that governments set aside in aid, should be spent on refugees in a way that benefits the most amount of these people. It may not afford them the life lifestyle they want, but ensures them their safety and a temporary shelter from where they can return to rebuild their homeland. Also, to empty a country of all its able bodied people, especially those with skills and education, robs their country of a bright future. Those with little to no skills or education will also fare better if they are able to return to their homeland where they can provide for their families and not become an unnecessary burden on anyone else. Worse still, becoming bitter with resentment because they lack opportunities and skills to provide for their families, and the ability to learn another language and fit in.

    We may have an obligation to help refugees, but so do wealthy Muslim countries and others. They may not have signed the UN refugee accord after 1947, but they have a moral obligation to help their fellow Muslims, much like Europe, Canada, Australia and the US helped Europeans (fellow westerners) after WWII. If they don’t, then perhaps pressure should be applied in the way of imbargos and travel restrictions. This is after all a global problem, not a western problem. Stop letting governments and media paint us out as uncaring, but rather turn the attention to those countries who’ve done little or nothing.

  6. A new study from Vancity Credit Union on the settlement of refugees in BC found that the “long-term fiscal impact of accepting refugees is typically positive”. This is because settled refugees typically support businesses in their local communities, and are more likely to be entrepreneurial and start their own businesses than non-immigrants. The authors of the study further state that “While there is no guarantee every Syrian refugee will create a surplus for government coffers, there is very little evidence supporting the view they will have a negative fiscal effect as a community.” You can read the study here: https://www.vancity.com/AboutVancity/News/MediaReleases/RefugeesBoostLocalEconomy-Dec2-15/

    1. Vancity speculation is what this is. Nobody has a crystal ball. And of course what they don’t tell you is mothers with children tend to be on assistant for life. And males minimum 10 yrs. And they work under the table.

  7. Any discussion of costs should also discuss benefits. Do some more research and report back, please. You could start with Vietnamese boat people and the Cuban exodus to the USA.

    1. those people were not violent and intending to take over our country – and beheadings, the kuran, and sharia law – get off the pot

  8. Being from that region, I talked to Many Syrians and asked them if they need to come to Canada, but they told me that they don’t like to come Canada. They heard that Canada is very far and cold with huge unemployment rate (no jobs particularly in Quebec). Some said countries like Germany, France , and Holland are much better and closer to their back-home. Some said that life in Canada is not compatible with their conservative Islamic values and they scare about their kids being lost in the West. I don’t understand yet why Liberal politicians including the Immigration minister John McCallum are encouraging Syrian people to leave their land, climate , and settle in different country that is thousands of miles far away from their homeland. Maybe there is a plan to make deport Syrians from Middle East ?

    1. there is a plan to break our economy, as well as the usa ‘s economy and take over north america – the SAUDIS want this
      country and using their only tool -their people – so they will avoid war here and march right in – it s the land – always has been since time began

      1. LORY123445 it is not s matter of religion. It is a matter of politics. Islam is great religion but some people interpreted it wrongly and deform it for political purposes

        1. As an atheist, I believe it’s always about religion, and who gets offended easiest or first. Religions by their nature are not even compatible with one another, and quite frankly, I’m sick of them all fighting all the time and meddling in my rights and freedoms, never mind trying to change Canada the minute they get here. Secular, secular, secular. No burkas, no hijabs, no yamacas or other religious clothing. Go to your churches or pray in your homes, but keep it out of our public sphere, our schools, and especially out of politics and our laws. All children should be educated with the same curriculum, and religion taught as part of culture and history. Anything else can be handled at home or at their places of worship. Getting rid of religious schools will also help children integrate early, and create a great starting place for them to form bonds, friendship and an understanding of one another. Everyone is entitled to celebrate their holidays and put up decorations, just keep it tasteful and make it inclusive for everyone if it’s in public places.

          If religion is banned in the public sphere, people will be forced to integrate. The better we get along, the better we deal with one another, communicate with one another, and the less chance people will wish, or even want, to change things. Humans interacting as humans first, everything else is secondary to a civil society. Why not strive to keep our country culturally diverse, but civil and orderly at the same time. It may seem dull to some, but peace is preferable to intolerance, hate and war.

  9. Very well said young man!! Hard for even emotion-based Lefty’s to argue against. Logic should always triumph over emotion.

    1. Logically we can solve overpopulation with forced sterilisation and mass genocide. But Emotionally and Morally this is a TERRIBLE idea and should never be done.
      Emotional arguments do hold some merit, don’t dismiss something simply because of its roots.

      1. Your “logic of emotion” might have merit, but in the example given, you start with a wrongful assumption that the world is overpopulated. Presently, we’re at about 8B, and expected to top out at 11B, which the planet can handle. Remove the wrongful assumption, and Logic dictates it’s not necessary or advisable. Logically, if you don’t want someone doing that to you, you shouldn’t do it to others. Cheers!!

        1. If the planet can handle it, then why are there so many dying from malnutrition and droughts? Are we to wait till the planet can’t handle it, or do we become responsible caretakers of our planet and keep the numbers flat, or better yet, reduced?

          By your logic we’ll simply keep pumping children out till all our forests are gone, most species are wiped out, our oceans emptied of life and we’re on the brink of global war over the remaining drinking water. Our current refugee problems in dealing with millions, will seem like a trickle. A lot of these drought ridden countries also have nukes, not so good, and really scary.

          I prefer to exercise some self control, limit my carbon footprint and take some personal responsibility in caring for our planet. I also respect the right of every other living creature to live on this planet with intact habitats for their future generations, not just humans. Our population should never have exceeded 4 billion, and more and more scientists are coming to the same conclusion, we need lower population numbers.

          1. There’s tons of erroneous assumptions in your comment. Canada is only responsible for 1.5% of all global emissions. If every Cdn died it would make no difference, and you think you’re going to help by turning a light off? If that makes you “feel good”, fine, but don’t force it on the rest of us.

            Lefty’s don’t want the rest of the world to industrialise like us, as they think it’ll only increase the amount of pollution. When in fact, if you want to reduce populations, the best way to do it is for those countries to industrialise, as their birth rate will drop like a stone, as ours has, from 3.5 kids to 1.5.

            That said, the discussion is in reference to Syrian immigrants pretending to be refugees due to war, not global warming. And considering one of them just murdered 49 gays, you think those with concerns are on to something?

          2. The discussion is about Syrian immigrants, but as Ilfru pointed out, it should be about logic and not emotion. Then “music lover” brought up his own logic and emotion argument to overpopulation, to which you replied that it was a wrongful assumption that the world is overpopulated and that the planet could handle an 11billion population. I simply responded to your wrongful assumption about the 11 billion, which also had nothing to do with Syrian discussion.

          3. I am so, so happy to see people kindly and intelligently debating in a comments section. Right now, wherever we look on the Internet, all we see is people hating each other for their opinions. This is truly giving me hope.

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