Let’s talk about Canadian immigration for a moment. It was announced by Immigration Minister, Jason Kenny, on Wednesday July 3rd, that Canada has “committed to accepting 1400 Syrian refugees by the end of 2014.” Canada has furthermore pledged $1 million to assist in resettling of displaced Syrians (we’re sending five staff members to help organize Syrian immigration into nearby countries) and still another $115 million to assist other neighbouring countries dealing with the torrent of Syrian refugees. (See Here for the full CBC story)
Anytime I read figures such as these, I swoon at the benevolence of the Canadian government, offering up not only our tax money, effectually money yet to be earned, but also Canadian Citizenship through sponsorship. What a humanitarian group we must be, we caring Canadians, for extending such alms to those in need. Upon hearing the news, I got a lump in my throat. Certainly, no one can object to the prospect of handing out millions or allowing more refugees into Canada for a righteous cause. The Liberal media applaud such action mightily, the Conservative media clap right along too; we all clap together in a resounding torrent of idiocy. To do otherwise would appear un-Canadian, possibly miserly, and most definitely racist.
You see, the first thing that occurs to me when I read about such heartwarming acts of kindness is the fact that Canada is not a parcel that our government should be handing out at all. Canadian Citizenship is a thing that should be earned, not granted, even if it is via sponsors already residing within our own country. The second thing that occurs to me is that Canada, like America, is foundering in debt and should not be passing out millions until our public debt of $612,148,870,993.42 CDN (as of June 7th) is paid. This is over 600 Billion, by the way, in case you lost count of the zeroes. We, as Canadians, are well on the path to our first Trillion, it seems. We, as a nation, should be dealing with our own national crisis, the collapse of Canada, not the perpetual downfall of the Middle East. (See http://www.davemanuel.com/canada-debt-clock.php for more detail).
To address my first point: as a right wing conservative I regard Canadian Citizenship as a precious global commodity and am proud beyond measure to declare my own Canadian Citizenship. It is troubling, then, to see Canada handing out refugee status to certain groups based on their need rather than their ability. Such examples as Canada accepting 490 Tamil migrants in 2010 (many of whom had suspected Tamil Tiger –terrorist– allegiance) are all too common. Why did we allow it when so many others had refused them asylum? But you say this is different. The Syrians we will be accepting are ‘high risk’ victim Syrians: women, children, homosexuals (!!?), and religious ‘minorities’. This instance is different because these people intrinsically deserve our help and didn’t ask for civil war.
Although I don’t argue that innocent people ought to be defended and assisted, I have always believed that it is not the role of a government to make this decision on behalf of its people. The Canadian Government should play no role whatsoever in foreign relief, especially by means of immigration. Rather, the onus for international charity should fall upon individuals, businesses, and community groups in the same way as ordinary charity does. How can our government claim to be acting on behalf of Canadian Citizens when we are not given any vote on who receives assistance and who does not? We are not granted an opinion in the matter at all. It is somehow implied (but never stated) that a politically correct charitable act will be universally accepted by all, and therefore could be viewed as a moot point of discussion.
In the same manner it is presumed that we will all just go along with the ethnicities and cultural groups chosen to be granted landed immigrant status in Canada. Never mind that the people entering Canada have no discernible skills, no ability to speak our languages, and no common cultural values, it’s enough that they are from Syria, that they are primarily Semitic Arabs, that they are women, religious outcasts or homosexuals. Oh, and of course that they are victims all. Canada then, says the wisdom of big government, ought to provide them domicile—and so, too, should we as a matter of course.
A quick word about the homosexuals and religious minorities needs to be added here. How exactly are we to be certain of these people’s veracity regarding their sexual and religious orientation anyway? Do they have paperwork that somehow backs up their claims of being non-Muslim or homosexual? I doubt that many of them even possess birth certificates much less documentation outlining their religious or sexual preferences. Would it not stand to reason that anyone could claim victim status in efforts to be included on the short list of Canadian Immigrants? I’m certain many people would consider changing their belief systems if it would deliver them from the war-torn wasteland that is Syria.
I believe that it is time we dispense with the notion of Canadian immigration as parcel to be handed out to those least capable, from the worst countries with the worst human rights records. If Canada is to remain great, then we ought to be fiercely defending it via immigration control, the control of our borders. Better still would be a complete overhaul of the immigration system and a radical reduction in the 250,000 immigrants Canada accepts on a yearly basis (not to mention the seldom discussed 300,000 temporary foreign workers, whose employment should be immediately terminated.) We cannot hope to control the costs accrued by our immigration system, an estimated 23.6 billion per year, when the numbers are so irrationally large. For the unnerving exact numbers (and some very alarming immigration ‘clocks’) see Immigration Watch Canada at: http://www.immigrationwatchcanada.org/.
In regards to my second point, that the Canadian debt, as out of control now as that in the U.S.A. based on our GNP, should play a major role in determining the feasibility of immigration, I draw a simple analogy. In the same way as a sinking ship cannot take on passengers or assist in pumping out other neighbouring boats, neither can Canada feign largesse with money that it simply does not have. How can we possibly justify foreign aid when our own country is grossly in the red and is beginning to struggle with keeping up with interest payments? And yet our Canadian foreign aid budget stands currently at approximately $5.16 Billion. We continue the giving even at the expense of our own children’s future. Can such generosity possibly still be viewed as good? Benevolence at the expense of our children must not be tolerated.
To be frank, Canada needs to cease and desist with all foreign aid until our own debts are paid in full. To do otherwise can in no way be viewed as positive benevolence. In reality, such behavior can only be viewed as a criminal act, perpetuated by our own government against its own inhabitants. Our country, despite the demands of the world at large, is still accountable to its own citizens first, and to maintaining its own national integrity above all others.