Canada is a VERY Generous Paradox……
I travelled a lot during my work life and had the opportunity through business travel to come face to face with folks from all over this planet. Frankly, I did not see too much that impressed. After retiring, I began extensive travels across the moccasin highway as I began relearning a culture that had been wrested from my family. In the process of those trips among settlements and native communities in Canada it dawned on me that an outrageous paradox is playing out each day in Canada.
Near the end of my working days, I spent six years adjudicating individual’s claims for refugee status. With each such claim came wonderful financial incentives and, like a great magnet, potential claimants swarmed to Canada like flies are drawn to meadow muffins on a warm spring day. The prizes are high and include monthly social assistance payments, subsidized housing, free education or vocational upgrades, free medical care (it is a BIGGY) and more.
To get those benefits, a person must establish that “there is a reasonable chance” that he/she would risk persecution or risk to life in one’s country of origin. The second prong of the test would be to establish that one’s country of origin was either unable or unwilling to provide protection. It is not to say that each of the over 10,000 cases that I heard and decided was based upon fanciful deception but certainly a very small percent of the decisions I made were results for truthful allegations.
Immediately after making their claims for asylum, Ontario Legal Aid sees to it that each claimant is provided with publicly funded money to hire a lawyer who will see to it that the “claimant” is well represented. It always befuddled me that these same claimants who were over heard speaking to their lawyers in English would be provided an interpreter during their hearing (trial).
The gravy train begins as soon as the claim for refugee protection is filed. It can deftly be dragged out for easily three or four years subject to various levels of appeals afforded to these fraudulent claimant including appeals to the Federal Court of Canada. And then, finally after the claimant’s lies have been pointed out to them on at least two other occasions and again by a Judge from Canada’s Federal Court, the claimant can then make a claim for consideration based upon humanitarian and compassionate grounds. At the end of the day, the benefits continue until the individual is rounded up by way of a detention order and sent packing. Rules are that once a deportation order is given, the claimant is not permitted to re enter Canada for a period of two years.
A recent story in the National Post discussed the efforts to deport a man. He had figured things out pretty well. If you destroy all your identity documents and spin a story that you came from any number of places, it makes it almost impossible to send you home. In the case referred to as “the man with no name” efforts to remove this fellow have now spanned several years. He is currently housed in a Federal Prison and his lack of truthful cooperation with officials gives every indication that he is quite happy to remain in Canada- even if in a prison.
As this fellow’s story unfolds the story came out that immediately after arriving in Canada by bus from the USA, he had filed a clam for refugee protection. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested with an amount of crack cocaine in his possession. He was deemed be ineligible for refugee protection based on serious criminality. None the less, once a month, he is brought to a hearings room inside the prison and afforded a detention review hearing to determine if anything had changed in his case. I can share with you that these hearings amount to little more that “complaint” sessions dealing with any number of things including his food etc.
What made that story so compelling was that the Canada Border Security Agency had recruited the services of a “snake head” from Serbia to supply the detained individual with a bogus passport to facilitate his deportation.
In my travels to northern and remote native communities this largess is not provided to Canada Aboriginal people. They live in abject poverty of adjacent to wealthy mineral and timber operations conducted by foreign corporations who have set up shop on treaty land. That is easily accomplished by simply obtaining a permit from the relevant provincial government.
The same very generous tax payers spending on education for Refugee claimants also extends to immigrants to Canada. It is paradoxical to watch a room full of south Asian immigrants in a nice class room learning to speak English. It is paradoxical by contrast to the sparse funding for Native education. Paradoxical, I have never figured out why anyone should be permitted into Canada without certain provable language skills in either English or French. Go to any shopping plaza and watch the outcome of this language (ESL) courses and you are likely to encounter benches filled with South Asian (elderly) men blithely chatting away in their native Punjab language.
What is most alarming is the sense of entitlement displayed by these refugee claimants as well as these older new Canadian immigrants. Little wonder that the underpinnings of Canadian society have eroded to the point that there is no longer a “norm” and no government seems prepared to rein in these wasteful expenditures for fear of voter backlash.
This too is part of Canada, apparently a nation known around the world as soft touches. It would be wonderful to see that same approach used in Native Communities. There would be no need for Theresa Spence to conduct a hunger strike. There would at last be safe and affordable housing in communities such as Attawapiskat. There would equal educational facilities looking after students from Junior Kindergarten through grade twelve with qualified teachers and all the books required.
It is the sense of entitlement by new Canadians that is so troubling. Do you agree?