It seems the newly elected Liberal government find themselves in a difficult position regarding the latest wave of refugees. Before the election the earlier arriving refugees were billed for their travel costs, while refugees arriving since the election, fares have been paid by government. Its a difficult issue and one when offering my opposing opinions, will probably risk much objection and criticism. Of course there is a huge national sentiment to help the people fleeing the war torn areas of Syria and Iraq. I don’t disagree with helping, however, we must be sure who needs help and who takes advantage of the situation. I find it difficult to accept that all refugees are penniless and or do not have family already in Canada ready to assist them. Bringing new people into Canada, while being done for the very best reasons, it must also be considered a privilege and wonderful opportunity for a new life. Much is being made of the outpouring of volunteer help and the providing of housing, clothing and other essentials. Churches are working hard to alleviate the hardships of the new arrivals, yet I find it difficult to accept that one size fits all. Assistance should only be provided on a basis of need. On the news I recently heard of a minister (from South America I think) who arrived 15 years ago and claims how difficult it was to pay back the cost of his travel. He was billed monthly whilst not working and on social assistance. Looking at him today he appears quite successful, well fed and decently dressed. Clearly he has done well for himself. If we create a system where claiming assistance from government becomes the norm we create a system for many whose attitude will believe they deserve a free hand out/free lunch ticket. In my own case, I immigrated in 1967, at that time Canada/Australia were advertising for people. The newspaper ads in the UK read come to Canada for just 10 GBP’s. I came and was a bit surprised to learn once I landed the 10 GBP’s was just the deposit and I was required to repay the full cost of my travel. I re-paid on a monthly basis and have no regrets about my decision to make Canada my home. I never considered social assistance,( don’t think there was any in those days) I got a job and worked hard all my life. I’m retired now, I paid my taxes and into my pension plan, I was never out of work, never applied for the employment insurance. I’m a 24 year veteran of both the British Royal Navy and the RCN. I do not tell you this to brag or blow my own horn. I believe this is what is expected of us as the proud Canadian citizens are supposed to be. What has remained with me my whole life are the words told to me at Canada House in Belfast. “Son, when you get to Canada you will have to work for a living, there are no hand outs, no medical coverage or welfare. Canadians are expected to work and provide for their families”. These words of advice, I have lived by and followed for the 49 plus years I have been in Canada.
God Bless and keep reading