WORLD PATHFINDER CHILDREN'S FUND

Canadian Refugees

World Pathfinder Children's Fund
August 15, 2010
Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Its time we all climb down from our ivory towers and roll around in the dirt where we belong.

As a Canadian citizen, I am proud the Government of Canada recently accepted a container entering the Port of Vancouver boarded with 492 Tamil Sri Lankan migrants fleeing the atrocities and injustices inflicted against them by the Sinhalese government in Sri Lanka. According to the press, the Canadian government will most likely process these migrants as refugees and grant them asylum here in Canada. As a Canadian citizen, I welcome these Sri Lankans to their new home and may they avoid similar sufferings in this country as they encountered at home and during their treacherous journey.

Unlike many Western citizens, I am happy a greater percentage of my income expropriated by the Government of Canada in income taxes and the 13% tax I am charged on every product I consume is used toward assisting impoverished people fleeing oppressive states. I would much rather these funds be allocated toward these causes as opposed to the destructive methods used by our Western governments. For example, the Canadian Government plans to expend $16 billion on fighter jets (Weese, 2010), which are an unnecessary purchase. The Canadian Government spent $1 billion on security at the recent G20 and G8 summits held in Ontario, which were superfluous and should have been held in more economically feasible locations. The $15 million in expenditures the government consumes in personal security for the Prime Minister of Canada per year (Babbage, 2008). Even though the executives of the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) board lost approximately $24 billion from the CPP fund in the stock market crash of 2008, the government paid them bonuses of approximately $2 million each (Anonymous, 2009), and the list goes on and on.

Perhaps if the Government of Canada had not squandered fruitlessly these taxpayer funds, we could have assisted the 20,000 Tamil minority civilians mercilessly slaughtered during the Sri Lankan civil war between the Sinhalese ethnic majority and the Tamil ethnic minority during 2009 (Philp, 2009). In addition, perhaps these very same taxpayer dollars could have been used to assist the 200,000 Tamil civilians held in government run camps (Wax, 2009), which have been compared to the concentration camps used by the Nazis during World War II (Page, 2009). These Sri Lankan camps sustained limited access to food, water, and medicine. Moreover, there was no intervention by the Western powers in this brutal Sri Lankan conflict (Symonds, 2009); the Western governments refused to intervene as they had economic, political, and military relations with the Sri Lankan government ruled by the Sinhalese ethnic majority. Although many people have stated ‘never again’ will we accept the genocide of human beings; however, many of us seem to forget this adage and only preach this all important philosophy when it is convenient for ourselves and our governments. In reference to the numerous publications about this recent migration to Canada, the Western media outlets have neglected to provide these particular details of the situation, which as the reader can observe, significantly alters the perception of the scenario.

Although only 492 Tamil migrants fled these atrocious conditions and endured several treacherous months at sea in an inhumane shipping container (Anonymous, 2010), it is a pity we could not assist more. In addition, many of my fellow Westerners claim these refugees will be a strain on the social programs in this country. However, in the next section, I will attempt to rid my fellow citizens of this horrendous misconception fuelled by Western media outlets through biased reporting and ignorance. In this article, I will attempt to offer a balanced discussion and provide argument that immigrants are not the greatest strains on the social programs in this country. According to the Canadian Census statistical data from 2001, which I assume is still applicable today, state almost the opposite (Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005).

Canadian Immigrants

Although many citizens of this country often forget that not one or two generations ago, they too left the suffering, poverty, warfare, and atrocities of their motherlands to immigrate to Canada. When they arrived, they were welcomed in this country. However, a few generations pass and many forget where we all came from. Many of us have become selfish, resentful, and merciless against the next generations of Canadians. Respectfully, please allow me to remind my fellow Canadian citizens, although many of us were born on this land, none of our original ancestors were born here; we are all immigrants to this country.

Even though recent immigrants are not as active in the Canadian labour market when they first arrive to Canada as Canadian-born citizens (Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005), they quickly adapt to their surroundings. Once these immigrants settle, they become more active in the Canadian labour market than Canadian-born citizens (Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005). In short, these very immigrants that are supposedly social strains contribute more to the Canadian economy than many Canadian-born citizens. In addition, immigrant consumers contribute $25 billion to the economy of Southern Ontario per year (Keung, 2006). Based on these brief statistics, Canadian immigrants are not the significant strains on the economy and taxpayer dollars as many of us assume. Again, this information was omitted from the articles published by many Western media outlets about this recent migration to Canada.

Minimize Media Manipulation

To ensure people become increasingly informed, we must ask more questions about the information we are provided by global media outlets, politicians, businesses, and third parties. We must understand two sides exist to every story, and whenever a story is told, information is always omitted. We must refrain from accepting all the information we are provided as the complete truth; there is always an ulterior motivate to every message.

Although in the short-term, the 492 Tamil migrants will likely be dependent on the kindness of the citizens of this country, in the long-term they won’t, and the subsequent generations of these migrants and the generations of all citizens in this country will benefit. These 492 people have lived through some very difficult times, they are strong willed, and they are survivors. I hope they will live in Canada with dignity and prosperity.

As readers should challenge all articles, I challenge all readers to question this article and the intentions behind it. At the base of this article, I trust one will find the desire for justice, dignity, and equity for all. At the base of the articles from many media outlets, one will not find more than greed, fear, and destruction.

References

Anonymous. (2009 Jun 11). CPP directors don’t deserve big bonus this year. Kelowna Capital News. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from ProQuest database.

Anonymous. (2010 Aug 14). Tuberculosis not a concern on Tamil migrant ship, B.C. health officials say most patients released from hospital; no sign of communicable disease. The Globe and Mail.Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/britishcolumbia/tuberculosis-not-a-conc

Babbage, M. (2008 Oct 27). Nearly $30 million spent do protect Prime Minister since 2006. Daily Bulletin. Retrieved from August 15, 2010 from ProQuest database.

Keung, N. (2006 Jul 29). Regions struggle with ethic influx; Poverty, social service issues soar new deal with Ottawa may help. The Toronto Star. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://0-global.factiva.com.innopac.lib.ryerson.ca/ha/default.aspx

Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada (2005). Strategic research and statistics. Recent immigrants in metropolitan areas Canada. A comparative profile based on the 2001 census. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/research-stats/2001-canada.pdf

Page, J. (2009 Feb 13). Barbed wire villages raise fears of refugee concentration camps. The Sunday Times. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5721635.ece

Philp, C. (2009 May 29). The hidden massacre: Sri Lanka's final offensive against Tamil Tigers. The Times. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6383449.ece

Symonds, P. (2009 Mar 11). Top-level talks continue on US-led military intervention in Sri Lanka. Global Research. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12642

Wax, E. (2009 Nov 11). In Sri Lanka, anger over fate of ethnic Tamils held in camps. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111007723

Weese, B. (2010 Jul 16). Tories to spend $16 billion on fighter jets. Calgary Sun. Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www.calgarysun.com/news/canada/2010/07/16/14735796.html