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For the same money, we could help a hundred times as many refugees in existing camps

What refugees cost for a family of five: But what about our own people?


By —— Bio and Archives December 28, 2015

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Do refuges get more than our own people in need? Yes! Some are in hotels and getting $61 per day for food. But someone on welfare in Ontario gets just $10 per day to cover food, clothing and everything except accommodation. And tens of thousands of Aboriginal children live in conditions like what refugees are leaving, in remote settlements under boil-water advisory.

Without even considering the immense relocation costs, for 25,000 refugees here’s a pro forma for the annual ongoing costs for a family with three children of school age moving to Ontario:

  • Accommodation—$16,000
  • Cash spending allowance—18,000 (90% more than Ontario welfare recipients get)
  • Schooling for children—36,000 (provincial average per student x 3)

  • Health care—30,000 (provincial average per person x 5)
  • Total annual cost per family $100,000

That’s a $3 billion cost over the next six years, not the $1.2 billion claimed by the government.

My numbers include nothing for administration, language training, special education and skills training, or any extra costs for health care, policing, justice or incarceration.

The government says refugees are supposed to become self-supporting within a year. But we have already a huge underclass of unemployed and unemployable people on welfare and desperately needing support systems that work. They need education and skills training sufficient for self-reliance. While many in the underclass of Canada’s disposable people are Aboriginals, a number of others burdensome to taxpayers are third-generation welfare recipients.

It’s inconceivable that refugees will be paying more in taxes within a year than they receive in benefits. If working at all, they’ll take jobs from native-born Canadians who need work. Heads we lose, tails those in need don’t win. Either way, the cost to taxpayers goes on forever.

Let’s now look at what Aboriginals in remote settlements typically get in what our grandstanding Immigration Minister John McCallum calls this blessed country.

Since 1999 Nunavut has provided the template for Aboriginal self-determination and control of education—what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended, and accepted by Prime Minister Trudeau as a core objective of Nation-to-Nation reconciliation (aka apartheid).

For the 25 percent of all students who ostensibly graduate from Grade 12 in Nunavut, the average achievement level has been found to be equivalent to Grade 7 in Ontario—where achievement levels are too often abysmal. By definition average means that some students must be ostensibly graduating at a real Grade 3 or 4 level. In accordance with what is promoted as culturally appropriate, Nunavut education works on the basis of social promotion (and torture by boredom). That means achievement is irrelevant for passing each grade level. In violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Nunavut doesn’t even enforce school attendance.

Support systems for urban Aboriginals are also lamentably inadequate. There’s not even a single addictions counsellor at the Wabano Health Center in Ottawa for 50,000 Indians and 3,000 Inuit.

For the same money, we could help a hundred times as many refugees in existing camps. Groan!



Colin Alexander -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Colin Alexander was publisher of the Yellowknife News of the North and the advisor on education for the Ontario Royal Commission on the Northern Environment. He lives in Ottawa and has family living in Nunavut.

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