Why Canada should take in 20 times more refugees

In Canada, ‘thinking big’ often means thinking a little less small. Scott Gilmore on why the image of a drowned Syrian boy must shock us into action

Paramilitary police officers investigate the scene before carrying the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.

Paramilitary police  investigate the scene before carrying away the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi. A number of migrants died, including Kurdi, his brother and mother, and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized early Wednesday. (AP)

There are 60 million refugees globally right now. This is a number not seen since the end of the Second World War. It’s a crisis by any measure. And the horrifying photos you’ve seen of dead children washing up on European beaches only represent a tiny fraction of the millions suffering in Syria, Sudan, Burma, Colombia, and a dozen other conflict zones around the world. This number has been mounting for a decade, but unfortunately we didn’t start to notice until a few of them began to cross the Mediterranean.

What is Canada doing to help? Not much. While Prime Minister Harper has claimed Canada has been extremely generous in accepting refugees, the actual numbers tell a different story. According to the federal government, Canada usually accepts 10,000 refugees per year. That is 1/60 of one per cent of the total global refugee population. That’s like spitting on a house fire.

The Conservative government is fond of boasting that Canada settles “one out of 10 refugees” worldwide. That is an incredibly misleading figure that assumes only 100,000 (of the 60 million) refugees around the world are resettled each year.

In truth, we’re doing very little compared to other countries. Annually, we are letting in one quarter of one refugee for every 1,000 Canadian citizens. By contrast, Germany is expecting 800,000 new arrivals this year, or 10 per 1,000 citizens. If one compares the economic ability of a country to accept refugees, Canada is accepting one-quarter of a refugee per $1 of GDP per capita. Germany is accepting 80 times that amount, or 17.4 refugees per $1.

In January the Conservatives pledged to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over a period of three years, of which Immigration Minister Chris Alexander reports 2,500 are now in Canada. Prime Minister Harper later increased this multi-year target by another 10,000. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has upped the ante and called for a target of 25,000. The NDP have been less specific, but Thomas Mulcair has said Canada is “not doing enough.”

Sadly, these promises are almost meaningless. Canada is capable of so much more, and so much more is what is needed. Numbers rarely move us or our leaders to do great things. Sixty million is just a statistic. But we relate to people, and the image of a drowned child, lying in the surf on a Turkish beach, sent a shock of anger through the Western world. This is the moment when we want our leaders to do the right thing, to do something bold. Unfortunately, in Canadian politics, “thinking big” means thinking a little less small.

RELATED: His name was Alan Kurdi

If we wait for the political parties to lead in this crisis, nothing will happen. We all know this.

So, let’s lead them. Let’s push a real proposal to the political candidates, their parties, and their leaders. What if Canada aspired to do one-quarter of what Germany is doing? We wouldn’t double the number of refugees we accept, or even triple. We would increase it twentyfold, from 10,000 to 200,000 per year.

That would be 4.4 refugees per $1 GDP per capita, as compared to Germany’s 17.4. Not heroic, but not shameful.

How much would this cost? Contrary to popular perception, the government of Canada pays very little to support refugees arriving in Canada. Financial support can be provided for up to one year or until they find work, whichever comes first. In Ontario, a single refugee could receive up to $781 per month for a year, in addition to a one-time allowance of $905. Germany calculates that they spend slightly more, about $11,600 (in Canadian dollars) per new refugee. Increasing our refugee intake by a factor of 20 would cost approximately $2.2 billion a year.

That might sound like a lot, but it works out to $63 per Canadian. The parties would only need to give up a few of the boutique tax credits they are sprinkling across the country. Better yet, the government could pledge to match whatever the public promises up to a maximum of $1.1 billion. This would cut the cost in half and force Canadians to put up or shut up. When this approach has been used in the past, to address an overseas natural disaster for example, the public has been extremely generous. We might surprise ourselves.

A real long-term solution will still require bringing stability to Syria and a dozen other war zones. And accepting 200,000 refugees per year is still only one-third of one per cent of the global refugee population. It seems like almost nothing in the bigger picture. But it would change the lives of 200,000, and that’s something.

So, Canada, let’s try something different. Let’s think big for once. Email your candidate and ask them why we can’t increase the number of refugees we take by twentyfold. And if they don’t answer, just keep sending them photos of dying refugees. Sadly, you have an almost endless supply.

RELATED: Inside the Syrian refugee crisis


Why Canada should take in 20 times more refugees

  1. Bravo! We need to step up and I would be proud and happy to contribute my $63 to know that a family is safe in Canada. Heck, I’ll round it up to an even $100 if that would make a difference.

    Why is it that every time a human issue is raised the CPC trot out statistics? We see it over and over again. And not just any statistics, but statistics carefully cherry-picked to put them in a good light. No matter how you cherry pick or spin our refugee numbers we fall far short of what the rest of the world is doing.

    • This is a wedge issue for Conservatives. Alexander is showboating to provide some spin for the Ottawa media.
      But when Mulcair and Trudeau start taking about bringing in more and more Middle East refugees, the Conservative base get worried. They love the Harper go slow policy.
      This Alexander grandstanding about suspending his campaign is damage control and a bit of smoke and mirrors for the gullible media. They seem to eating it up.
      We really, really care.

      • Good job Scott.

        I actually had dealings with Chris Alexander many years ago and he was one of our best and brightest. I thought he had the makings of a future PM. Sadly, he seems to have drank the Conservative Kool-Aid and really dropped the ball on this file, literally, and on the refugee issue as a whole. One wonders if this tragedy won’t end his political career entirely. Shame. He could have done so much more and better.

        I will be pressing my MP and the candidates to make this an election issue and sending my $100 to where ever it needs to go to bring these people over to safety.

        • I guess you missed his delusions and deceptions about Afghanistan and F-35. The best case for Oct 19 would be a Tory victory with Alexander and Polivere losing their seats.

    • I have no problem with accepting refugees if some one other than me covers all the costs. From all appearances the refugees are young enough to fight for their country against any oppressors. If they really value human rights. Oh wait, they don’t want rights for women just men. Sorry , you don’t fit the definition of the type of person we want. But then again Barack Chamberlain , sorry , I meant Obama just made a deal with a leader that wants to exterminate all the Jews because they are good people. Like Hitler was a good guy so is the the supreme leader a good guy.

  2. boy, brother, son, grandson, friend, neighbour . . . refugee

    His rights were obscured by a powerful curtain of relabeling; faction, terrorist, sectarian, jihadist, collateral, militia, migrant, casualty.

    When we finally see him we recognize him as one of us.

    Aylan Kurdi had the right to life, liberty and security and to seek asylum in other countries. UDHR Articles 3 & 14.1

    • bad politicians operate where the rules are weak
    • there are simple, proven rules to stop them
    • we need to make sure those rules are present as basic standards in all levels of government, all the time

    Help us build a lasting deterant to Chris Alexanders’ behaviour with Standards of Democracy.

    • I’m getting concerned that you appear to be in the minority of commenters who understand the implications of allowing middle eastern refugees into Canada. The borders should be closed to such immigration. This is an ISIs welcome Mat. We will see how open and loving these deluded people are once terror attacks occur on a regular basis here. The vetting process is impossible. Maybe these same liberals should ask themselves why isn’t a real campaign against ISiS happening? We should never have intervened in Iraq and Libya. Now this is the price. We need to help them over there by helping the other Nations in the region destroy ISIS. Western nations have done little against ISIS.

      • JamesA66, my goodness a sane and sensible comment, thankyou.

  3. A reality of the present refugee situation is that among the genuinely desperate are Islamic jihadis seeking to enter European countries into which they would otherwise be denied entry. No western country can afford, for security as well as economic reasons, to open their doors wide to these refugee masses. This is an issue generated by Muslim sectarian strife. What Canada, the U.S. And Europe should be doing is pressing Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Singapore, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to take in their co-religionists. To Muslim countries in need of economic aid, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other oil-rich states should contribute from their vast coffers. Western countries might assist towards a shortfall.

    • Yeah, we’re supposedly worried every time…. Fenians, Triads, Mafia, Cartels, Mob and assorted other ‘bad guys’

      Of course, there’s all our own bad guys….that we pretty much ignore

      You think we’re always going to import saints…..or is this just another excuse?

  4. Canada has always been a nation of refuge…….the UEL of 1776, the natives of 1812, the runaway slaves of the 1800s, the mass of Irish fleeing the Famine…..the Boat People….Tamils

    We’ve made a few mistakes to be sure….Indians, Chinese and the St Louis….but on the whole we’ve been a sanctuary for people. It’s been a proud tradition.

    Shame on this government for letting toddlers die. Shame.

    • For gawd’s sake…the family didn’t apply for refugee status or sponsorship of this toddler and his family. Rather, the NDP MP thought he could jump the que. If it was a con MP jumping the que, you would be freaking out.

      • You don’t ‘apply’ to be a refugee……they’re usually running for their lives.

        • According to some news reports the family was SAFE in Turkey.. I understand why they wanted to leave but so do many more and in more dangerous spots.Many of us have reached a point where we cannot believe the media because of
          their biased reporting. Fleeing from Turkey does not make them refugees.

        • How be they stay and fight for their rights

        • Less than half of these people justify to be called refugees and don’t worry, next year, when they’re fed up with Germany, they will go to … Canada. Because we prefer people from Europe. Ha.

      • For gawd’s sake…they didn’t apply because the brother had already been rejected and they knew they would be too.

    • 1812 what you on crack native be in Canada forever. Get fact us white ppl came Canada 1497 native been here 10000 bc

    • Don’t blame the government for this childs parents for leaving the refugee camp in Turkey. It was their choice to take the chance to board an over flowing boat.

  5. The European example of mass migration and non-assimilation of immigrants from the greater Middle East is an pattern we want to follow? Tens of thousands of people packed into migrant ghettos where they can live happily without assimilating. This process is helped by having an entire federal ministry devoted to non-assimilation. Don’t forget once here the immigrants can start family reunification so whatever number Gilmore throws out is just the tip of the iceberg.

    No thx. There is a limit to how many people can come from one place before it’s a problem.

    • They’re coming whether you like it or not…..we can’t stop them…..so shift over.

        • You paying attention at all?

          There are 60M refugees on the move right now.

          We are 90% empty

          Where do you THINK many of them will go?

          • “We are 90% empty”

            No, We are not, given how cold the climate and how poor the soil is over much of Canada. So we live mostly in the Southern habitable regions, which are now mostly filled out. So either we replace prime agriculture land with new suburbs or build denser city cores. Probably both.

          • There are oceans between us. It isn’t easy to get here without help. Most refugees end up in the nearest country that doesn’t kill them or drive them off.

          • Keith Bram…again

            There is an ocean between us and Syria…..however it’s a straight path from Mexico….or Peru or Argentina.

          • A straight path through the US… and we know how friendly they are toward illegals.

          • Keith the US already has 12M illegals…..they won’t mind others passing through.

          • Felixn…..Nome is indeed a city…..and it’s in the US. Same as Juneau

            People live all over the north. Norilsk has 100,000 people

            And there is an entire country between here and the ‘north’

            What is your problem?

          • 3 500 people barely qualifies as a town, let alone a city.

            And it’s kind of ironic you mention Norilsk, since it is closed and no foreigners are allowed.

          • The entire population of Canada could fit in an area 1/4 the size of metro Calgary at an equivalent density to the West End of Vancouver (which is a number of times less dense than Manhattan, for example).

          • We should help only the genuine refugees, if they are not too demanding. We should not spoil them. It’s best to help keep them safe in their safe zones. It’s doesn’t make any sense to uproot them to Canada where they can’t adjust themselves and find the move traumatic. As for the children, they should pause bringing more babies into the world of conflicts only to suffer. We should never allow them to bring barbaric Sharia law to Canada, this is the big reason lots people are opposed to Islamic ideology. Also, why the current refugees prefer to settle in the big and expensive cities, why not in the Maritime where they need population; or even up north. They should not be afraid of the hardship, we all went through it. It’s a thousand time better than the camp in the Middle East. Cost wise, how can we afford their extremely large families. The Child Tax Benefit alone per family will run into tens of thousands.
            After month 12th, it would be interesting to know how many refugees will move into the provincial welfare roll. The situations have already happened in Sweden and Germany. If Canada needs immigrants, opt for the quality, would be legal immigrants who are waiting in the queue. These refugees have been parachuted
            into the country without well thought out plan that would come back to haunt Canadians. Look at the UK, France, Sweden, Germany, etc. There should never be Muslim patrol, no go zones, Sharia law, or Islamization which is their goal. Help the refugees if we must, cautiously, not recklessly, or the next generations will pay dearly.

          • They will go where they can get the most hand outs, where the free benefits are the highest (Sweden, Germany).

        • Yes, christopher B we are 90% empty

          Second largest country on the planet, and only 35 million people clinging to the US border.

          Does this make sense…..or is it ‘dog in the manger’?

          We have plenty of farmland.

          • “Second largest country on the planet, and only 35 million people clinging to the US border.

            Does this make sense…..or is it ‘dog in the manger’?”

            Yes, considering that it’s the area with the best climate and soils (although proximity to US and other markets is also a factor). Canada is like Australia, Russia, Libya and other such country. They are physically large but with large portions of those countries lightly populated because of food resource constraints, and with the majority living in the small regions that are not so hostile to comfortable living, like the US border here in Canada, the Aussie “Boomerang Coast” (Brisbane to Adelaide) or the Mediterranean Coast of Libya.

            The upshot is that while Canada is technically “90% empty”, that factoid misses the high variability of liveability of much of the entire land and the low liveability of that 90% empty land.

          • Well Christopher I suggest you visit Yellowknife sometime…..oh, and look up the Mid-Canada corridor…..global warming too

            People have cities in the North….like Nome.

            Maybe it’s just you that’s soft.

          • Yellowknife has around 20 000 people, while Nome has a population of around 6 500. They wouldn’t qualify as large town in the South.

            Reading about the Mid-Canada Corridor raises from thoughts: 1 – it’s many way another “settlerist” booster plan that has occurred in the Anglo-settler nations (and a few other places like the Southern Cone and Siberia) since end of the Napoleonic Wars (see “Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld” by James Belich), 2 – it reminds me of the growth of the US Southwest, not exactly the picture of environmental (and maybe economic?) sustainability, 3 – it reminds even more of Siberia’s industrial cities, an even bleaker vision of the future.

            Climate change will not make the Canadian Shield any more farmable, just warmer.

            Emily, are you an environmentalist? If so, how can reconcile environmentalism with these grand plans to settle the North? Any energy conservation reductions would be eaten up by population gains, and large portions of pristine wilderness would have make way for urban cores and suburban tract housing.

  6. In 2014, Canada welcomed 260,000 permanent immigrants. Accepting 200,000 refugees would represent an increase of about 73% (assuming the current number of 10,000 refugees/year accepted is already reflected in the 260,000 figure).

    That’s a lot of additional people and it’s difficult to imagine that accepting that many additional people could be done in a relatively frictionless way when one considers that it’s likely that many of them won’t have the education and/or skills required for integration into Canada (unlike the case with most non-refugee immigrants).

    I don’t know what the right number is, but 200,000 sounds awfully high.

      • E1 guess what country is the RAPE capital of Europe??

          • All the refugees should go straight to Emilyone’s house. I’m sure the refugees will all get along and her life will be very much enriched.

          • You can open your home to refugees. The best contact is the Catholics.

        • Second largest country in the world, 90% empty, and you guys are terrified. LOL

      • If he wants to work as an anaesthetist, why does he stay in Sweden and work at the airport…use your brain, Emily…..

        • Because he can’t get a job in his field…..Swedish are racist like you.

      • Uh… what does the link have to do with anything?

        I’m sure you were trying to address the education / skills issue Jim R raised. But you actually helped him make his.

        Not all refugees have the skill level of Mahad Mohammed Musse. If he can’t find decent work, think of how much harder it will be here for someone who doesn’t speak French or English or have a decent education.

        I’m not saying we shouldn’t accept more (we should). But there are legitimate concerns about how to integrate them into our society, and just blowing off people who express them – or calling them racist, as you did below to Gage – won’t exactly help win them over.

        • I’m not trying to win anyone over….their opinion is irrelevant.

          • Irrelevant? Hardly. Voters pick the politicians, who set the rules on how many we let in.

        • Keith….they set the rules in Europe…..and they are being swamped.

          Millions of refugees….and rules become irrelevant.

          • Much easier for them to get to Europe though.

  7. Two years ago I spent a month volunteering with Syrian refugees in Turkey and I would define the vast majority of Syrians I met and worked with as educated, civilized, kind and moderate. Back in Syria they were accountants, high school teachers, truck drivers, grocers, merchants, bank clerks, dental assistants, housewives, administrators… They had owned houses, cars, computers, cell phones, good clothes, just like us. They had different customs, of course, but they were happy to share them with us, and most of all, they all hoped that the war would end and that they could go back home. They would say “When the war is over and we are back in Syria, you must come and be our guest in our beautiful country!” It was so sad because we knew that the country they left behind no longer existed and their homes had mostly likely been turned into piles of rubble. So to anyone who is going to parrot usual anti-muslim racism to justify not taking in more refugees, I would say you are not qualified to pass any judgement about Muslims unless you have shared a meal with a muslim family, or at the very least a real conversation with a muslim person. Unfortunately those who are the most hateful and afraid have never done either.

    • Well stated… This BS about refugees being terrorists is complete nonsense.
      These are human beings, in need of help, and we should without question be helping them, in everyway possible. Our country is large and vast, it can easily take 100’s of thousands more into it.

  8. Mr. Gilmore writes an article full of statistics that we know can all be contested. Even if he has exaggerated, the situation is grave, but no one is suggesting an answer … other than offers of a paltry $100 and an open door.

    He says, “A real long-term solution will still require bringing stability to Syria and a dozen other war zones.” For this situation, this is a Utopia of unbelievable imagination.

    It has been proposed (elsewhere) that the trillions of dollars spent globally, every year, should be consolidated under UNHCR authorization and used to establish a remote refugee state from which genuine refugees may be selected by representatives from all UN countries. This model is already being attempted by Australia, but is suffering from lack of funds.

    Such a place, developed with a complete infrastructure of homes and workplaces, etc., is the only answer because, Mr. Gilmore, et al, there will always be war zones.

    It could also be a place to which existing ‘so-called’ refugees could be sent and, then, the endless years of painful appeals at an immigration court should end.

    During examinations taking place at this refugee state, it should be possible to weed out those individuals bent on spreading dangerous religious fundamentalism (Yes, sadly, that is what we are dealing with here).

    This subject is not related to an, already failed, multiculturalism.

    By the way, you have no right to contest this idea without having a better idea … or having already offered a Syrian family a temporary home in your basement.

    • Gosh….a refugee camp. A gulag in fact.

      Now why didn’t someone else think of that?

      Oh, wait…..

      • Are you referring to your home as a “gulag”….wow….

    • You do not have the right to set the terms on who may respond and how. Canada should never let people like you set the conditions for who we accept as refugees.

      Anyway, here is my “better idea”. We should send a ship to Turkey, right now, and put as many refugees as we can on it and sail it back to Canada.

      Refugees are a world wide problem, yet we in North America sit back and let Europe do all the heavy lifting. We can, and should, do exactly what the authour of this piece suggests we do. It is to our national shame that we do not.

      • Yes, Gayle1, that’s it, send a boat to Turkey, right now! And tomorrow?
        Your comment was hardly worth the effort.

        No, Emily1, not a Gulag. With the trillions of dollars transferred from the UNHCR, a reasonably comfortable humane community of temporary homes, workshops for earned incomes, schools, etc., could (must) be developed.

        All, so-called, refugee traffic would be directed through this island refugee state and, interestingly, should be a deterrent to the illegal economic asylum seekers. Meanwhile, the legal immigration process could continue for the thousands of (seemingly forgotten) applicants who have waited years and already paid hundreds of dollars to emigrate.

        Allow me to repeat; the wars are never going to end, and the sidewalks of developed countries will always be covered with gold. That’s why, for me, the figure of 60 million genuine refugees is suspect.

        • Oh….UN camps….like the ones they’ve had for Palestinians since 1949? Or all the other UN camps already full of people?

          Yes, wars will end. And this is part of it.

        • “A remote refugee state.”

          Just where would you find the land for this? There are no empty continents – or even large islands – where you could put this. What nation would willingly give up a chunk of its land? What would they do with their own citizens who would be displaced to create this refugee state? And so on and so on.

          It’s a nice dream, but incredibly unrealistic.

      • Gayle, don’t you live in Edmonton? We in Canada have to provide refugees with warm, waterproof homes. That tent city you had in Edmonton a few years ago is not sufficient in below zero weather. The truth is that charities such as the Catholic’s provide the housing and other necessities that refugees coming to this country need. Many refugees come from countries where TB is endemic and unfortunately they also have HIV. These religious charities provide them not only with housing and food but with rides to their healthcare appointment. Perhaps you Gayle and Emily you like to volunteer to help out and Canada could take more refugees. Surely you don’t want us to ignore refugees from other parts of the world because Syria has received more attention in the news…..

        • Perhaps the dept we pay taxes to could do their jobs.

        • What do you think the Germans do with the thousands of refugees they take in? It snows there too.

    • “During examinations taking place at this refugee state, it should be possible to weed out those individuals bent on spreading dangerous religious fundamentalism (Yes, sadly, that is what we are dealing with here).”
      Isn’t this all ready happening right here in Canada…

  9. I believe you have misrepresented the cost of many refugees especially those from Somalia who come to Canada TB positive and HIV positive. Their treatment cost much more than $63.00.

    • It may be that the cost to Canada do not include those absorbed by provincial governments.

  10. Yes to more refugees, but only if they are non-Muslim refugees. The religious demands that Muslims bring with them, and their unwillingness to assimilate, are unacceptable to a majority of Canadians.

    • Muslims have been in Canada since Confederation and we have more Muslims than Jews in this country…..

      • And if most of us had a choice there would be fewer Muslims and more Jews. Jews as I understand it don’t believe in honour killing, jihad and taking over the world.

  11. Has the government considered admitting only women and their children on an urgent basis? Women and children are the ones who suffer most during flight and in refugee camps – rape, assault, starvation. If we want to help the most vulnerable and those in greatest danger, they should be top priority. Men can be admitted over a longer time frame, through the usual refugee channels, to allow for security checks and screening. They are more likely to survive the journey and the wait, as we have seen.

  12. I wonder how many children have died in the war and will continue to die. We just have not seen their pictures in the new. And what are we doing about the war? Why the focus on solving the problem of the outcome and not the cause?? Just some food for thought.

    • Why? Because the refugees can be used by the opposition to show how the government doesn’t care. The solution is to defeat ISIS and Assad. That’s a much tougher task than dumping a few thousand refugees into Toronto and since the NDP say they’re against fighting and the LPC are pretty close to the same position all they can do is carp on about how we should take in more refugees.

  13. Refugees per GDP per capita is not an appropriate measure of our economic ability to accept refugees. Germany’s number should be higher, since they have more than twice as many people, thus an overall economy that’s more than twice the size. According to Wikipedia, Germany currently has 1 refugee per 144 people, Canada has 1 per 203. And for all the people out there bashing middle eastern countries for not doing enough, Jordan and Lebanon have 1 for every 3 and 4 people, respectively, ~50x more than Germany (although other countries in the region do much much worse).

  14. Most of these refugees will be suffering from PTSD won’t they? They certainly would if they were Canadian government employees. How will they be able to work? Won’t we have to provide them pensions, medical marijuana and service dogs? Where will we get the mental health professionals? Gilmore seems to be underestimating the costs of taking in an additional 220,000 refugees.

  15. Today, according to the media and certain world leaders, Syrian refugees are a problem. That is where our focus lies. But, in fact, refugees are travelling from almost every area of the globe. Yes, as people are beginning to cry, ‘It’s a global problem’.

    Then, why is the UNHCR not in the headlines? The situation has become anarchy. Every brutal part of our Earth is spewing out thousands of so-called refugees (We shouldn’t use the word until they have been processed) travelling in every direction found on the compass but, usually, in the direction of a rich nation (At least, a nation that, in their minds, is rich).

    There was a time when we were sympathetic to refugees who had escaped persecution, etc., who were simply looking for peace and safety. Today, there are too many economic asylum seekers who aren’t satisfied with the safety of a Greek island and jump into leaking boats with their fatal destiny family (Who return to the country of origin for burial).

    If possible, there should be one UN refugee processing centre, but in reality there could be one centre on each continent, funded by the trillions of dollars presently being spent on this problem (Much of it disorganized and wasted). The anarchical asylum seekers who are demanding to be permitted entry into Germany, et al, must be very strictly controlled … and shown a deterrent (Using the military, if necessary … far better than bombing runs in Iraq).

    Footnote: Try to obtain a comment from someone (There are many) who has already paid hundreds of dollars to CIC to sponsor their family (who have been processed) and has waited two years already. These are also stories of hardship.

    • P.S. Please, no more comments of, “Let them come. The country is big enough.” because politically, economically, culturally, etc., it obviously isn’t.

      • Yeah it is….you’re just being dog in the manger……not to mention racist

      • The UN is a global institution….not yours.

        • Emily –

          I often believe you to be somewhat mentally challenged by your responses and do not usually respond to them.

          However …. if you actually read the url you would see that every department is headed by despotic nations – most of whom are islamic or islamic based. Their people are downtrodden, jailed for no reason, tortured and killed simply to allow the rulers to stay in power.

          They are now telling us what we need to do to save people?

          There is a definite agenda with the UN and it is the destruction of the western way of life.

          As you are a retired person on social benefits you have little else to do but sit at your table and run through the hundreds of news articles and pop off at everyone – most of the time we let you get away with it by simply ignoring you as we understand who and what you are – but this point about the UN needs to be made – and you belittle it as not worthy = the UN is run by the very people we cannot trust.

          I truly pity you and wonder if there will be anyone who misses you and your bitter and quite self centered outlook when you are gone.

          Just do not participate in ruining this country before you leave us.

  16. If the media were to tell the other side of the story – the bad side – and who is coming within those illegals – the Canadian public might change their tune. They will never do this. And this media outlet is one of the worst for agenda driven reporting.

    Having lived and worked in their societies n the mid east – one that is diametrically opposed to anything Canada stands for – I know entry of these people will cause some serious grief.

    While Canada was built upon immigration, it was built upon immigrants with like minds. These people do not support our beliefs – not at all.

    If you support gay marriage. If you support the “alternative” communities – the incoming people detest them and in their home countries they kill them.

    They bring their baggage and their beliefs and their feuds with them.

    We simply cannot afford the billions it would cost us. A hundred bucks a day for bed and board, plus medical and dental in a society stretched to the max. More than a billion per year – forever.

    It is easy to create a pity party – but those people also stone the women who dishonor their families, force children to marry old men, believe female genital mutilation is a necessity and much more.

    They are completely against any form of homosexuality and kill those who are found out to be gay.

    Our own people cannot afford the huge tax increases. Anyone actually believing these folks will only cost us a one time fee is out to lunch. Welfare, additional education, medical, dental, redesign of schools and of course the complete change of the way things are done within the community – all come at a cost. This is an ongoing cost – for generations.

    The you have the enclaves – public housing demanded to be islamic only – paid for with public tax dollars and gain more division – all demanded by the islamic and aid for by the tax payer.

    The picture was heart rending – however this happens every day in that part of the world. Girl children are sold into slavery as they are considered not worth the worry.

    This is a nice media agenda story – it is too bad they will not tell the other side of it.

    Sexual assaults on women in Sweden by islamics has that country leading the world in sexual assaults on a per capita basis.

    Riots in Macedonia because the Red Cross packages had a red cross on them and were not halal.

    Violence in Europe if non-islamics enter certain parts of cities.

    Islamic law demanded – creating a two tier justice system within countries.

    Demands for change to laws to fit sharia in the UK now has created eight new sharia law courts.

    There is much more – however the entitled Canadian has never seen this and is not prepared to even examine the potential that this is a bad move.

    We can help them in-situ and force the Saudis and Emirates and Egypt to take their own – so far they have taken none. There are reasons for this. All you have to do is your due diligence.

    One you open the doors you cannot close them – and that is all part of the plan.

    You might think bringing them here is a good idea – they will happily live on the dole forever – examples all across Europe are there to see – we simply cannot afford to do this. Charity begins at home and one thing you can be sure of – those who suffer here now will not see anything but a decrease in their life style when we start paying the billions – forever – to bring and keep the mid east illegals into Canada.

  17. I get that facts and research are difficult for some of you, but just for fun let’s try it anyway.


    Where you learn this:

    “Refugee claimants in Canada are eligible for basic social assistance and emergency health care. This is a matter of basic human dignity: no one wants to see people starving or bleeding to death on the streets. However, under current law, refugee claimants are entitled to only the bare minimum: they do not, for example, receive full health coverage or child tax benefits. Many claimants do not want to rely on social assistance and find work as soon as they can. They pay taxes, which go towards services for Canadians to which they themselves are not entitled.”

    • My point being that while it may take longer to integrate and become self supporting depending on where the refugee is from, it does happen.

      • Why bring in an expense?

        We cannot afford it and the medical system is over loaded already.

        Why bring in a security problem.

        It is impossible to screen them.

        If you look at Europe the vast number of islamics live on the dole – that history will be repeated here.

        The immigrants of “before” are not the same as these – time to follow the Aussie model before it gets out of hand – and it will.

        • “If you look at Europe the vast number of islamics live on the dole..”

          Prove it.

        • Pro tip: If you’re going to make up a bunch of horse$hit (or more likely regurgitate it from somewhere else), you’d look ever-so-slightly-less like an idiot if you realized that the people you are allegedly writing about are called ‘Muslims’, and that ‘Islamic’ is an adjective.

  18. I’m not on the twitter (but just came across a tweet of yours Mr. Gilmore) so thought I’d comment here– R2P would be effective if ground troops were sent it. A bombing campaign has symbolic value but marginal practical value as far as helping refugees. We need to debate whether NATO-ish countries should go in with troops or not, my mind could be swayed. But using R2P to justify the air campaign is a bit meh if your goal is to alleviate the misery of those trapped there. Humanitarian action is just plain more useful.

  19. There is a sound strategic reason for not letting a flood of refugees into Canada; It seals the defeat of any “moderate” element. They’ll never go home and easy acceptance as refugees will encourage others to leave Turkey for the west. The result will be Sunni Iraq and all of Syria will be left to Assad or ISIS.

    This is why Palestinians have been left in their camps and Afghans during the 1978-86 war. If you clear out the camps and disperse everyone all over the world who is left to fight and who is left to reoccupy the country when the enemy are defeated? It’s acceptance and a sign of permanent defeat. If you’ve seen references to how we treated the Vietnamese boat people realize what happened was that we accepted that the North Vietnamese would never be defeated. Do we want the same thing to happen in the Middle East?

    That’s a bit cold for most of the bleeding hearts who’ve posted here but the truth is if you encourage a stampede of refugees into the west ISIS will win in Iraq and it’ll be a toss up for Assad or ISIS in Syria but with no chance for the “moderates” in either country.

    • Truth is not wanted here – it is “open the gates and let them come”

      We simply cannot afford the cost, the additional medical burden and the social upheaval those who come here and do not assimilate and do not want to become Canadian.

      I hope they enjoy the TB, polio, measles, and various other diseases entering – and even better I hope they enjoy the longer wait times for MRI’s, operations and medical treatments. I hope the seniors enjoy watching these folks get better treatment than they get.

      And the beat goes on – Canadians are so entitled they are not prepared to look after their own before those who would add nothing to Canada.

      No islamic is anything but islamic.

      Most of these people will suck this country for everything they can for generations.

      See how that welfare system and social housing system in Toronto is being used by islamics as an example – no others are allowed now.

      War is tough and people are killed – if even half of the able bodied men who are running had stood and fought – this would not be happening. Many are running because they are being told to run – over load the tax payer in foreign countries and it takes away from the battle front.

      Canadians cannot believe that and attack anyone who states it – but there is truth in this.

      The scary part of this whole deal is – if this article and comments are a representative example of Canadians as a whole – there seem to be incredibly few who even realize a potential danger in opening the doors.

  20. Another reason to question the “let’s bring in 220,000” is that doing so reduces the need for Turkey to help defeat ISIS. Shipping thousands of pesky Syrian Kurds to Canada is in Turkey’s direct interest. They don’t want them in Turkey or on it’s borders and a diaspora is the best solution. Even better if policies like family reunification keeps the flow going for years.

  21. I suggest that someone organize a mass exodus of all the North American and European populations to the Middle East, together with our military, etc., forcing all Muslims to follow their brothers and sisters to Europe. Then, after a few years, Europe and North America will be destroyed and the Muslims will hurriedly return to the Middle East. Then, we can return with extremely rigid anti-islamic laws … and live happily ever after.

    Oh, it’s not necessary to take everything that you read so seriously.

  22. Why not compare Canada to Norway? Here in Alberta, we have had that comparison made countless times over the last year. While this started as a lament that we have not wisely stewarded our resource royalty, it has turned into a general admiration of Norway with our NDP government touting the social democracy model of higher taxes and more government programs. In fact, you would think that Norway is the model country on every front. So I did a bit of research and calculated the number of refugees per $1 GDP per capita. While Mr. Gilmore’s article stated that number for Canada to be .25, it is about .02 refugees per $1 GDP per capita for Norway, and that is taking into the account the additional number of refugees they will take in this year in response to the crisis. So if you consider “the economic ability of a country to accept refugees”, Canada is accepting 10 times the number of refugees as Norway. Could Canada do more? Yes – and we have already committed to do so. Should we be ashamed of our response to the refugee crisis? In my opinion, no. We may not be Germany but we are still a generous country. And I appreciate the prudent approach being taken now, acknowledging that the application process is in need of streamlining.

    • Using the ratio of refugees to GDP per capita makes zero sense. I can only assume that Mr. Gilmore chose this metric to make Canada look bad? Why not just do the simple and sensible calculation of total refugees to total GDP (or total population, if you like)?

      • Neither metric would satisfy most Canadians, until the total number of refugees is available. At the moment, I believe that less than half are true legal refugees.

        I have no intention to spend one cent on economic migrants who are jumping the immigration queue.

  23. Thinking from a realistic view…. Canadians are usually kind, caring humanitarians, but can we really think we can take on “mass” numbers of refugees in a short period of time. So many comments state we have so much room here in Canada (and we do) so why aren’t there more people spread out then? Are there enough jobs here? is there enough food? What about the mass amounts of homeless and starving people already here (and yes toddlers are dying here too) I agree that we could open up our vast country and fit many more people but do we have the resources to pay for them to learn English, to train or retrain for employment (let alone the jobs). The $781.00 plus the extra $63.00 barely will pay for housing, food and basic needs. Although it is more than a person who is born here and has always lived here gets to survive on if collecting Social Assistance. They also get no start up fee of $905.00 to move. I am not heartless by any means, the image of Alan is a eye opener but where is the picture of his brother—–his mother—- and the others who died, along with the thousands of others who have died. There is way too many, we are better off helping them in their own countries any way we can. There is so much more to this than people realistically realize.

  24. “We would increase it twentyfold, from 10,000 to 200,000 per year.”

    This is one of the most ridiculous suggestions I have ever come across — and as an occasional reader of MacClean’s that is saying something.

  25. Our country has a small population. We Canadians TRY to apply reasonable rules and weed out undesirables.

    But the woes of the world simply are not ours to contend with or repair. We have our own homeless, poor, afflicted or troubled, and the resources are always limited.

    A refugee needs shelter, food, education (languages, etc.), integration, retraining, and the like. The initial cost as illustrated by Germany, 10K Euros per refugee (or so), may translate into $10K CDN for the FIRST year. Over the course of many years, it is likely the cost is much greater, and probably in the order of CDN $100K+, per person.

    Here is an eye opener: work, as we know it, is changing. Thus, the demand for unqualified personnel will diminish substantially in the coming years, and this reduction is just a continuance of a trend started 20-30 years ago. The refugee children might get an education, and become fully integrated and functional members of society, but this is less probable for adults.

    People like the “feelgood” aspect of an immediate response, but the long-term costs must be considered. The overall effect on our society as well.

    The current crisis, while rife with human drama, is one of many ongoing events, and a drop in the bucket when considering all future crises. The “all in” view, while definitely humane, remains unfortunately shortsighted. This is not a Conservative issue (I never voted for them). But there has to be a line drawn to avoid going too far in taxation and expenditure. The needs are great, always greater, and the resources, limited.

    • I think your numbers are a bit low. In Ontario the province pays $ 11,189 per student. Then there’s $ 6,000 per person for health care. Many will have pre-existing conditions and most should have mental health problems. Then there’s whatever the feds give refugees and the province and cities give the poor. Most will need to take language classes. At some point they’ll be family reunification and elderly grand parents can be added to the health roles.

      A family of five should cost us about $ 100,000 per year from day one. Gilmore’s off by several billion dollars annually.

      • Indeed. And these people have shown they have no desire to work. They were happy to laze around and eat potatoes, and when that failed they figured they’d just show up here for freebies and bring their barbaric Papist laws and customs with them.
        Then there’s the fact that it’s impossible to screen them to keep out the terrorists.

        Oh wait, that was Michael Shannon’s immigrant ancestors.
        Carry on.

  26. anarchy
    conditions are dangerously ripe for anarchy: lawlessness, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, disorder, chaos, mayhem, tumult, turmoil.

    The words are there. Let’s start to use some of them.

    • That’s exactly what the Fenians will bring with them.

      • I can’t imagine what your motive is for using that obsolete Irish term in the present tense.

        The correct term today, in Canada, is illegal immigrant (regardless of race or religion) … and the associated trouble is the apparent reluctance of CIC to apply the immigration laws of deportation … without interference from the appeal courts.

        • Actually, no. The correct term is “refugees”.

  27. what ever mental midget thinks we can bring in 200000 invaders has to have there heads examined, just to bring them here and land them here by the time the security checks are properly done, and medical and dental. by the time they swear allegiance to our flag and laws…over and above any muslim barbarism and we find housing, adequate and close enough to educate all these people in english or french as required. find enough clothing as its colder here, establish a quarantine for disease control, and once they pass our technical examinations…..starts the real burden on our health care system of 200000 invaders 100000 new borns will arrive as well in the first year for a cost of 1.6 billions to support not counting the 50000 vital life sensitive surgeries that will have to be cancelled to handle the load…in short 50000 of your family members will have to give up there live to allow these people to invade our health system……these people have babies every 10 months forever, and only 20 % ever find jobs….so 200000 in 10 years will be 1.2 million costing 16,000 dollars each to support on welfare…..per year..times 1.2 million is more than our annual budget, and i am not willing to support that…..this is not about buying a bus ticket, this is about a long term investment..and not about some dead kids picture on a beach that is fake, and propaganda to effect the weak minded to feel some guilt trip……….while the muslim countries are accepting zero of these phony refugees……and when they arrive are they starving little boys and girls no men with more money and in better shape than you are. and in a year they will bring there entire family so multiply times 10 again….this is an invasion no more, if you look at where they have arrived in number they are all ready at war with them…germany, belgium , spain, australia, france, hungary, austria, slovakia,croatia, greece, italy, and on and on……battling in the streets for there lives and homes. and you want to bring muslims to canada……WELL ITS LIKE THIS IN A GENERATION OR TWO, YOUR OFFSPRING WILL THINK OF YOU AND YOUR GENEROSITY, AND HOW YOU SOLVED YOUR GUILTY CONSCIENCE, JUST BEFORE THERE BEHEADED………GOOD BYE.

  28. so do you morons still want 100s of thousands of refugees?
    stupid libtards will never learn

  29. Are you people nuts? I’m not opposed to helping refugees but would you take in a family of Muslim strangers into your home with your wife and kids? Then why would you do that to your country??
    Canada is GREAT because it’s NOT Muslim!
    Don’t be surprised in 20 years when Christmas is outlawed.
    Muslim women’s womb is Islam’s biggest weapon. Most Canadians can afford only 2.5 kids. These Muslim women have 6 or 7. Do the math: Canada will be, in large part, Muslim in the future.
    Were you aware that hundreds of years ago, Syria was primarily Christian? Yeah, Muslims came along and dessimated the Christian population and now it is almost entirely made up of Muslims. Look at the state of their country. If you don’t think Muslims will ruin our country, you’re kidding yourself, your kids and future grandchildren.
    Liberals are spending 2.5 billion on refugees. ..your parents tax money and your own is paying for that. My father worked hard each day for 40 years. He can’t afford proper housing yet Trudeau sees it fit to ignore the hard- working senior.

  30. You can thank Loony Obama and Crooked Hillary for all the Evil Muslims problems they have caused the rapes, child molesting and death of 10 of thousands in Syria, Libya, Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Europe and now the United States by creating ISIS and stupid foreign policy choices.
    Alaska and United States Need to build a wall between Canada and the USA for our safety… To keep the Rapist and Child Molesters migrants from the Middle east out of America. These Muslim Migrants are bunch مقيت الخنازير. Send the Migrants to their homeland and build safe zones….

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