11.21.2015 10:51 AM

Poll: what should be done about Syrian refugees?

It amazes me, frankly, that there is a hotter debate on what to do about Syrian refugees than there is on what to do about the genocidal subhumans who made them refugees in the first place – the enemy, ISIS.

But that’s just me, I guess. What do you think? Everyone’s got an opinion on this one, so feel free to weigh in, here and in comments.

40 Comments

  1. TimL says:

    Interesting story in the Post today saying that most of the refugees in Europe are the middle class/more educated refugees who could afford to pay to go that route, while the ones in the camps in Jordan, Lebanon etc that we are taking our 25,0000 from are more the poorer, rural, traditional-minded Syrians. And so they might have a harder time with the culture shock when they get here.

    • reader says:

      Didn’t see the article, but that sounds likely. Also more widows with 3 or more children, etc. Perhaps more demanding on Canada in the short term, but their children will have good opportunity here.

      I really don’t think the government will cut any corners on security. The ambitious deadline will impact more on having to find housing, support groups, etc very quickly. But it will also prepare us well for any future pushes on refugees/immigration and, of course, have a big impact on those lucky 25,000.

  2. michael says:

    As one eventually does, after which it gets boring. Not perhaps the view but the inaction that inevitably goes with vacationing in such places. Tried it once and came home after a year of overdosing on cute beaches and surf to resume a more interesting life. Everyone should try it at least once though.

  3. SG says:

    Airlift the entire Yazidi community (around 70,000 I believe) and resettle them in Canada. They are the most persecuted minority in Syria and pose next to no security threat (though checks will still be needed).

    That can and should be Canada’s sole contribution to this effort.

    • Ray says:

      So Canada keeps taking people, while doing zero to help Syrians/Yazidis live in their home country? That doesn’t balance.

      • SG says:

        Syrians need to take charge of their own country and put it right. In the meantime, the Yazidis are the worst-suffering minority in that hellhole. They would be great Canadians and pose virtually no security risk – airlift them here. All of them.

  4. Steve T says:

    Whether ISIS “wants us to reject them” is irrelevant. ISIS is playing the west like a fiddle in this whole thing. If we accept refugees carte blanche, without sufficient screening, there is a more-than-trivial chance that some refugees will be ISIS sympathizers in waiting. If we take too long to screen the refugees, or turn some away, then those people are forced to go back to live in the ISIS caliphate. ISIS wins either way.

    So, we have to ignore what we think ISIS “wants”, and do what is most appropriate. Helping refugees is a worthy goal, and we should do it – but with the same security measures that we would impose on anyone trying to enter our country. That may take some time.

    Arbitrary quotas and deadlines, said during the heat of an election campaign, do not trump common sense. Let’s take our time, and do this right.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      My understanding is that we are taking ONLY the refugees that have been in camps for the last couple of years and that have already been vetted by UN. NOT any of the refugees that are shown on the trails in Europe lately.

      Two entirely different things.

      Am really wondering why the news broadcasts are showing those that have recently landed and marching across Europe, implying that those are the ones we are rescuing?

      • Matt says:

        UNHCR reps confirmed a couple days ago they only do preliminary screening via short interview to confirm the person was not a participant in the Syrian civil war.

        The rep said it is up to the resettlement nation to conduct the in-depth security checks.

  5. DougM says:

    There is a missing option. Most people (of all political stripes) I think would agree the Conservatives were too slow in bringing in Syrian refugees. And the polls show most people think the Liberal plan is too quick. But if I recall, Citizenship and Immigration suggested to the incoming government that a figure of 7,000 by Jan 1 was achievable. In other words there is a balance somewhere between expediting the process and still doing responsible screening, finding temporary housing, and implementing sponsorship and settlement programs.

  6. MississaugaPeter says:

    Canadian Majority (less than 40% of voters) elected the dynastical celebrity to get rid of the arrogant twit, now we must quietly accept the consequences of this collective action.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Canadian Majority (less than 40% of voters), or Dictitorial Majority, allowed the arrogant twit to do the same previously.

  7. CanadianKate says:

    My choice wasn’t there – bring over the 25K and keep them secure on bases until all the checks are done, then hand them over to the hundreds (or thousands) of sponsorship groups willing to take them and support them for their first year in Canada. The money appears to be there (at least our group has it in place) but we are waiting for the rest of the process before we can start finding housing, etc.

    That gets refugees more quickly out of unheated tents and into decent nutrition and housing faster and then into the hands of Canadian sponsors who want to help, encouraging other Canadians to take the plunge. When I started this process 2 months ago we were looking at a 6 month to 2 year wait if the government continued to move at the same pace it had been moving. It is hard to keep people motivated on an ‘unknown’ (who, from where, how many, back story) for that long especially when people feel the urge to do something now.

    Once the private sponsorship group ‘pipe’ has been filled (even if it is greater than 25K), we can have another discussion of how many the Canadian government wants to sponsor fully without private support.

    • Matt says:

      Problem with doing the checks after they arrive in Canada is once they step foot on Canadian soil they are proteceted by the charter.

      If some are found to be illegitimate refugees, they can appeal and we’re stuck with them until their case makes it through the courts.

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        I know, eh!. Protected rights and liberties is such a bitch.

        What other rights and liberties are there to which you object?

      • Bluegreenblogger says:

        Well that sounds terrible! What if we want to make arbitrary decisions? It isn’t as if human rights are universal.

  8. MississaugaPeter says:

    ISIS and Assad doesn’t want anyone to be rejected, for a host of reasons. Among them, fewer people to oppose them.

    What about the million plus Palastinian refugees in camps?

  9. Kevin says:

    Agreed. But until the subhumans are wiped out, we need to help the victims. It`s a recurring story. Back in the Project 4000 era, I took in 2. Was in university and working 3 part time jobs because I didn`t want the loan debt. It worked out fine.

    This is Canada. We help people.

  10. Tony Watson says:

    You didn’t include the response I would give: “Fling the doors open and bring as many here as will come.”
    I used to be on the management team of a fast food restaurant. We loved it when someone who was born in another country came to us looking for work. They make quite a contrast with the localy born layabouts who prefer to collect welfare.

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      ROFL. I can see how anybody who doesn’t want to work for minimum wage is clearly a layabout and welfare collector. I once came very close to purchasing a major fast food franchise. I decided that I did not want to own a business that relied on clipping pennies from payroll to make a buck.

  11. Brammer says:

    I will just leave these links here. The first three, h/t Robert Greenwald.

    https://twitter.com/JameelJaffer/status/667414021096808450

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/ted-cruzs-religious-test-for-syrian-refugees

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/jeb-bush-would-back-refugees-who-prove-theyre-christian

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/donald-trump-u-s-presidential-race-muslim-database-1.3327709

    And finally, a bit of common sense:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/calgary-mayor-nenshi-shaken-by-racism-in-debate-over-refugee-crisis/article27336996/

    …He said if he was organizing a plot to infiltrate Canada, he would consider the fact that terrorists were able to get people in France and Belgium to do horrible things inside their own countries. “If someone pulls out a French passport, they can be in Calgary in seven hours,” the mayor said, “without checks of any kind.

    “So why would I want to embed bad guys, put them on leaky boats where they could die, have them sit in a refugee camp possibly for 18 months, in the hopes they might end up in a country where they might want to do bad stuff? It’s way easier to do bad stuff in other ways…”

  12. Bluegreenblogger says:

    It sounds like a lot of refugees, but Canada absorbs ten times as many immigrants per annum already. It’ll cost a bit of dough, but I am sure the majority of the refugees will be contributing as soon as they can. The smartest thing to do about refugees is to remove the factors creating them. I would submit that means arming and training lots and lots of the most reasonable people we can find in Syria, who would rather fight than run. While we are at it, we had better pay serious attention to Lebanon, the other half of the Levant that ISIL claims to rule. The flood of refugees will turn into a tsunami when Lebanon goes up in flames. I say we, but really it is Europe’s problem. Their feeble air missions are a woefully inadequate response to millions of refugees. It stands to reason that they should be intervening forcefully in Syria. And they should be sending troops to Lebanon by the shipload.

    • Matt says:

      The original cost the Liberals mentioned during the election was $250 million.

      Leaked documents obtained by CTV indicate that has jumped to $1.2 Billion over 6 years, nearly $1 billion in the first year.

      Once you factor in what the provinces and municipalities will have to spend, it will probably be double that, or nearly $100,000 per refugee.

      • Kelly says:

        You’re leaving out the cost of the military hardware, planes and bombs, that created the refugees in the first place. Before the west started spending on illegal invasions of middle eastern countries there was no money needed for Syrian refugees. US, UK, France and Saudi Arabia should pay Canada for taking them.

      • Terence Quinn says:

        And I say so what it costs more. We are doing the responsible thing. Harper was going to bring them in as well so lets not get parochial here. he would have had his paranoia machine revved up full bore and cost us even more.

      • Bluegreenblogger says:

        I studied Finance a lot of years ago, but I still remember very well, and put into practice what I learned. When I said the refugees would pay their way, I figured most Canadians are fully aware of the economics of inwards migration, so it would not need elaboration. You start with known costs. Then you look at known benefits. You factor the benefits (and costs) with risks, and discount all the benefits to a present value, based on a risk adjusted rate of return. (or cost of capital). 25,000 refugees are going to add a LOT of $ to Canada’s economy over their lifetimes. they are going to pay pension premiums, buy themselves houses, join the army, flip burgers, engineer bridges, and be productive motivated Canadians. That’s not a guess, and it isn’t political posturing. It is just a statement of fact. Canada will be richer for their presence.

  13. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    What a great country this is where hope and compassion win out over indifference and fear.

    And poll again on bombing ISIS. Support is likely off the charts in the wake of the Paris tragedy.

  14. gyor says:

    I know people are afraid that there could terrorists mixed in among them, but I remember something I learned as a student.

    I read about a neoclassical philospher, I don’t remember her name, but she stated to be good, one most accept being vulnerible, that you can’t be a good person and be invulnerible.

    So I accept that and I support the refugees.

  15. Maps Onburt says:

    Thanks for that Poll Warren. It really shows that only about 6.5% of people (and there are lots of Conservatives here) want NO refugees. Another 6.5% only want refugees that are absolutely no threat (say children… but frankly you could put Christians and Yazdi’s in there too). The rest of us are fine with bringing over 25K refugees but most of us want it done right rather than just to meet a campaign timeline that wasn’t realistic when it was promised. Can we finally stop the crap about how Conservatives don’t want any of them here and are “racists”? My vote was with the majority.

  16. RogerX says:

    No…. the Syrian refugees currently in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are the result of a one-two punch …… first the Syrian civil war launched by Shiite forces attacking the Assad regime for several years, and secondly by ISIS spreading into Syria in the last year or so. First the internal civil war and then the ISIS invasion which precipitated much of the refugee flood into Europe.

    I believe these ‘refugee’ should not be transformed into ‘immigrants’ into Canada to salve our bleeding heart guilt to make us feel good about our charity. Improved refugee campsites in the various countries and keeping them close to their homeland should be our humanitarian objective. Harper promising 10,000 and then Trudeau outdoing him with a 25,000 election promise is cruel to the refugees and an insult to Canadian taxpayers who must bear the cost of relocating people who will never completely integrate and assimilate with Canadian culture and society.

    Keep them in the ME and help them with generous aid….. while we wait for the end to the Syrian civil war and eradication of ISIS as proposed by the French and supported by the Russians, Brits and Americans. To do otherwise is insane.

  17. Al in Cranbrook says:

    First, I really don’t give a damn what ISIS wants, and neither should anyone else.

    Second, what I don’t want to see happen in Canada is that which is happening in Europe: Essentially closed off Muslim/Arab enclaves, where interest in assimilating or adapting to their new home is low, unemployment is high, and cultural/ethnic resentment is rampant. This has become a reality in Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and even Sweden.

    Our government’s first priority is Canada, full stop. I don’t give a rat’s ass about political correctness or blind idealism, Liberal or otherwise.

    And then there’s another one of these today…

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/11/pew-poll-63-million-muslims-support-isis-in-eleven-countries/

    Somewhere in those numbers is cause for a reality check.

  18. Mike says:

    I see a lot of Canadians drunk on humanitarian arrogance – assuming that the best way to help people is to take them away from their culture and homeland, and bring them to a “better” place assuming they will cast all those attachments away and become Canadian (however that is defined these days). Why not help people rebuild their land? Like after WW2 when Japan and Germany were rebuilt into the most successful societies of the 20th century? Seems like a no-brainer.

  19. Devil's Advocate says:

    I chose none — we can’t be the world’s savior.

    What kind of impact will an influx of 25,000 rdugees have on employment and housing? And what does it say of our homeless population in Canada? We would be giving free housing and employment training to refugees from other countries but giving shirt shrift to the most marginalized population within our own country.

    Since thr government is going to do what i’s going to do…

    Women and children should be fast tracked in comparison to a single man with no documentation.

  20. Jack D says:

    Thankfully, results of the poll are showing people are leaning more towards compassionate reasoning than irrational xenophobia.

    Look, 25,000 refugees really isn’t that big of a task. Considering that the responsibility of relocation is going to be shared by cities across Canada, its really not that major of an undertaking. I think the rhetoric surrounding the migration has inflated concerns of manageability.

    The other thing here is that we have to realize, we’ve been processing refugees for months now and the insistence by the Liberal government of having this done by the end of the year tells me that they’ve already processed some 20 thousand people (betting a huge portion of these refugees are children) and have now only left to move them out of the camps. So making an issue out of the process is really without validity considering that it starting months before Paris.

    Are people concerned? — of course. Its human nature to be weary of the unknown. But we’ve been through this already and every time we’ve turned our noses up at a certain group of people because they weren’t like us, its had a devastating human and social cost. We no longer have the right to close ourselves off after our history.

  21. Matt says:

    Soldiers and other military personal asked, read ordered, to vacate base housing to make room for refugees.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/troops-clearing-space-at-cfb-kingston-for-syrian-refugees-1.2670111

    Still short housing for 13,000.

    Maybe Trudeau can ask his university student supporters to vacate their dorms to make some room?

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