Canada a choice target for Tamil migrants: diplomat
(Photo : Martin Collacott, Ottawa's former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, appears on CTV's Canada AM on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010.)
(Photo : Large tents have been set up at CFB Esquimalt ahead of the expected arrival a ship that is thought to have Tamil migrants on board on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2010.)
(Photo : The MV Harin Panich 19, now known as the MV Sun Sea, is shown in this file photo.) (CTV)
The MV Harin Panich 19, now known as the MV Sun Sea, is shown in this file photo. (CTV)
CTV.ca News Staff
Updated: Thu Aug. 12 2010 07:59:45
Tamil migrants are making the choice to come to Canada because it is seen as “the easiest mark in the world” for prospective refugees of any background, says Ottawa's former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
Martin Collacott says Canada is a generous and giving country, which tends to accept many more refugees than its Western world counterparts.
“We accept about 50 per cent of people who manage to reach our soil and make refugee claims. The average for other countries is around 15 per cent, so your chances of getting accepted in Canada are much greater,” Collacott told CTV's Canada AM from Vancouver on Thursday morning.
“And even if you're turned down, the chances are we won't be able to remove you. We remove a few, but we've had people who have been turned down 20 years ago, but are still appealing.”
Refugees are given state-funded lawyers, welfare and health care, which leaves the Canadian system as “the Rolls Royce of claiming refugee status,” Collacott said.
For Tamil people, Canada is an especially desirable destination because of its large Tamil population and the high-rate of success for Tamil migrants over the years.
“We took 37,000 refugee claimants from Sri Lanka over one 15-year period, more than from any other country in the world,” Collacott said.
“Our acceptance rates were much higher. In 2003, for example, Britain accepted 2 per cent of claims from Sri Lankan Tamils; Germany, 4 per cent; Canada, 76 per cent. So, if you can get to Canada to make your claim, it's like winning the lottery.”
At present, a cargo ship is making its way towards the B.C. coast and is believed to be carrying hundreds of Tamil migrants.
Canadian authorities confirmed Wednesday that the MV Sun Sea had crossed into Canada's exclusive economic zone and was expected to hit shore within hours.
Dan McLeod, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer, said the people on board the ship will first have contact with the Canada Border Services Agency, which will confirm the identities of the passengers.
After that, the cases will be handed over to the Immigration and Refugee Board, which will decide whether to release or detain the people in question.
In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, McLeod said that Ottawa has no option but to let the MV Sun Sea land.
“When a person arrives at a Canadian port of entry, that person is entitled to make an application for refugee status, and basically all they have to do is say something along the lines of refugee' or protection' or fear of persecution' in their home country,” McLeod said Wednesday.
“Once they are in Canadian waters, they can't be turned back. Legally, we cannot turn them away, and it would be a very bad precedent for Canada to do so.”
There have been reports suggesting that the MV Sun Sea could be carrying some members of the Tamil Tigers — a banned terrorist organization in Canada — who could be travelling alongside legitimate refugees.
Collacott said the Tamil Tigers have made “particular use of the refugee system to get in their supporters, they have operated a lot of the people-smuggling that got people in over the last 20 years.”
“And at one point, the Toronto Police task force estimated there were 8,000 trained Tamil terrorists in Toronto alone, so, it's been used both for just getting people in who wouldn't qualify normally by international standards, but also for getting terrorists into Canada. And it's expected, it's believed that there are quite a few Tamil Tigers, or their supporters, on this ship.”
In June 2000, the National Post reported that Toronto police believed up to 8,000 Tamils living in the city held links to Tamil terror groups, including the Tamil Tigers.
The MV Sun Sea is the second-such ship to make its way to Canadian soil since the end of civil war in Sri Lanka in May of last year.
The first ship to arrive was the Ocean Lady which landed in Victoria last October, carrying 76 Tamil men who applied for refugee status.
With files from The Canadian Press
Please Add Comments
| 91 Comment(s)
As a human I feel sorry for the pain and suffering that people go through in diferent countries…..as a tax payer I say turn all ships full pf people around and send them back to where they came from.
Ian in NCR
So who's proud to be a Canadian after reading that story? We're push-overs. Time to amend our immigration and refugee laws and policies.
now we have more people to block Gardiner.
Of course, the intention all along was for these people to come to Canada, it's the place to get freebies and handouts and live better than they had before, at the expense of us the taxpayers. Instead of handouts, I would like to see the decision makers, politians, immigration officers, people who cry human rights, to first these people welcome them into their homes and support them at their own expense for at least 5 years.
Jay in BC
Thanks to Harper and his crew- Canada has become “”the easiest mark in the world” for prospective refugees of any background, says Ottawa's former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.””Why did they not stop and turn them back like Australia does. We need leader ship in this countyr, not a Mickey Mouse Leader.
Dan in Quebec
Why is our government not making changes to our immigration policies to stop this abuse? The word is out that our country is a pot of gold for others when in fact it is falling apart at the seams. Look at our military, our hospitals and our debt. In fact, take a look at our old age pension plan. Did you know that an old age pensioner does not get a free lawyer? They also make less than what these new lucky immigrants will receive. In fact, the old age pension might not even been around when I retire and I have been contributing to it since I was 16.
I'm wondering if our government didn't order this bunch, there were claims earlier in the year about low population growth in Alberta, maybe plans to send them there. With cons poll numbers down Harper might have ordered them to boost his poll numbers. Give them welfare & they will vote for the current government.
Michael from Vancouver
We have to follow the Australian example of what happens to “refugee” boats approaching their shores – force them at gunpoint to an island in the middle of the Pacific for “processing”, ensuring that these illegal immigrants are never allowed to step foot onto the Aussie mainland. Totally removes any incentive for these illegals from trying to go to Australia.
“it's like winning the lottery” Real nice. I'm glad my wife and I are paying the taxes we do. Someone stop the insanity.
What's the point of applying for entry into Canada when we can just hop onto a boat and come here for free? Basically the refugees come here to mooch off the tax payers and don't end up contributing to much since they don't have the education level needed to survive in Canada.
Any problems we will have with these people in the future will be OUR OWN fault for allowing them in through the 'back door'. Why don't the majority of us who don't want these people in speak up for once?
I am a landed immigrant from Ukraine, immigrated in 2009 and straight away found a job. I love people, and I think government should allow people to enter the country as immigrants, but the only stipulation is: all landed immigrants must work hard, and they are not supposed to have welfare. So, if you come and work you are welcomed!
Send this ship back PM Harper! Show the world that Canada is not a pushover! These invading ships are only going to continue arriving in Canada in larger and larger numbers until our entire country is turned into the same third world war zones these people are coming from. This is getting embarrassing and worrisome for any Canadian with half a conscience. Send the ship back!”Tolerance and apathy are thelast virtues of a dying society” – Aristotle
It is sad that Canadians still in the dark about the atrocities committed by the Srilankan govt. against Tamils in May 2009. The people coming in the boat are those who managed to escape the clutches of the murderous regime, which boxed 200,000 people and used cannons and chemical weapons to kill most of them. As the international community is preparing to bring those culprits to face the justice, Srilankan govt. is busy is tarnishing the entire Tamils as terrorists and trying to divert the attention of the international community from uncovering any human rights violations. Further, now the Srilankan govt. is concerned that those who managed to escape can become witnesses to the atrocities in any future trials. That is the main reason for portraying all on board as terrorists. Canada should conduct its own investigations to verify the admissibility instead of buying stories from Srilankan Govt.
As a human being you can't help but feel bad for these people because Sri Lanka is no paradise by any means so anyone willing to be on cramped ship for a couple of months to get away from their 'home' country must be in a desperate situation HOWEVER I don't think its fair to anyone that these people are taking advantage and literally abusing the Canadian immigration system. It makes me angry that they trek over and expect medical treatment, shelter and food and refugee status. There are so many deserving people all over the world who try to flee danagerous situations Tamils are no more deserving then the others.
“And even if you're turned down, the chances are we won't be able to remove you. We remove a few, but we've had people who have been turned down 20 years ago, but are still appealing.” ****This is what we have to crack down on, not the ships or any other refugees. If your claim is rejected you should get 1 appeal and only 1, then we put you on a plane to what ever country we can.
As someone who is currently using the LEGAL part of Canada immigration to bring my Russian wife to Canada and has been tied up with numerous kilometers of red tape – this sucks that someone can just walk in yell refugee and then live off out taxes. While an educated white European who happens to be from Russia has all kinds of (expensive) documents to fill and still isn't allowed not even a temporary visitors visa so our children can visit their aging granparents can't come to Canada using the proper” methods. Our immigration system is truely messed up beyond help.
There is not a shred of evidence presented here that previous Tamil refugees were part of the Tamil Tigers. The presence of Tamil Tigers in the incoming ship is only conjecture at this point as no one aboard this ship has been identified yet. All this talk about 'terrorists' is fear mongering.
I've am Canadian and have lived overseas for a decade returning to Canada only recently. While overseas, I still paid taxes, EI and CPP. I am not entitled to Health Care for 3 months in Canada and I've been paying into the system to support people like this!!! We must reform our system-our Government is weak and stop being walked all over. It is a lottery and an easy one to win.
As a Canadian who lived in Sri Lanka during the war I understand why these people would risk their lives for a new country. The suffering was immense.There may be people on this boat that are a problem but let us not forget that at one point or another our (great) grandparents and parents came over on a boat as well
I think they should be sent back and try to enter Canada the legitimate way. When my parents came to Canada they had to be sponsored and the sponsor was responsible for them for 5 years, no welfare etc. was available to my parents. They had to have a job when they landed.
Canada is far too generous for refugees. They are given everything it seems yet many people who are born here get little to no help when they need it. Why does it take up to 20 years to get the unwanted ones out? Why are Charter rights given to those who are not citizens of this country. Many come here and take advantage of our system and then return to their own country later. It is no wonder our health care etc. is so costly when just about anyone can take advantage of it. Canada is far too lenient and this needs to change!! I could tell many stories of people I have met that were immigrants and they all stated that Canada has a great social system, but once they receive what it is they want they will return to their own country with the attained education, health care, and charity they receive.As they put it, they will have a better status in their own country afterward, and be wealthier than others there. It is time for Canada to return to some of the rules they had back in the fifties for those who wish to come here. Even those whom I have met that immigrated here back then are disturbed by some of the benefits given to the immigrants today. They were not given everything on a silver platter. I tire of our tax dollars paying for those who take advantage of our generosity. I welcome only those who truly wish to be new and responsible citizens of this country, not those who come for their own gains and return to their country of origin!!
I am a senior trying to live on my pension.This makes me so ANGRY. Send them back and raise our pensions. We deserve it. Not them….Jean.
Enough already.We have enough homelessness and poverty here as it is without letting more into the country who'll probably apply and get housing, health care and a sparkling new 68″ flat screen plasma TV.
Rick in NB, Ste Marie
That settles it. George Galloway is definately more dangerous than a boat load of possible Tamil Tigers. On another note, if we gave them all the long census form, and threatened them with jail, what would they do?
This nonsense with Tamils started in 1984 in Nova Scotia.Why should a so-called refugee receive more without contributing to our country than a senior citizen who has worked all his/her life paying taxes to support these international bums.The Tamils slaughtered thousands in Sri Lanka in the quest for their own homeland so why don't they stay there.More than half of the Tamils in Toronto are here illegally. We don't need any more of them. Turn that ship back.I'm sick of our federal government giving our country away to these freeloaders.
Everyone who takes the time to post here needs to take the time to email their MP about this. Let's put pressure on our government to bend to the will of the masses on this issue. The majority votes in the government – let the majorities voice be heard!!!
will ctv news be reporting on :-how Australia stops Tamil Tigers from landing there?-how Tamil Tigers collect ” taxes” from their people here in Toronto to finance their operations?- exactly where Messers Harper and Ignatief stand on these ships continuing to arrive in Canada?-how much Canadian taxpayers spend to house/medicate/ support/ investigate and police these ” refugees” ?Paul
dusty – ottawa
ENOUGH, we had enough of this nonsense from other countries coming to Canada because we accept anyone. I think the time has come to stop, we dont have the resourses now to take care of our own citizens. As the article states, you can get in Canada, and if your claim is refused, Canada still can't get them out, and most of their caims are bogus. We are in a losing situation, regardless of how we act, if we let them come ashore. Turn the ship around, we have enough permanent visitors in Canada, and send them back or to another country.
If they come. Which i believe they should not. If Canada feels we should welcome them and they will help populate our country then put them north of 60 to show our sovereignty over this area and if they prove they want to be here then in 5 years they can come south. We need the economic impact they will help provide to these outlying areas.
WE (we) are NOT pushovers. By that I mean the majority of the Canadian population does not buy into the policies of our immigration. Unfortunately it seems that we have no say. Whomever is doing this needs to be investigated. It's been going on for way too long and the country is going to pay. The only saving grace, if that is one, is that it is a legacy that future generations will have to deal with. WE have made some mistakes.
I would like someone to tell me why it's ok for a government to order me to fight against a person or country that invades my country, but it's not ok to raise arms against someone who invades my country with a nod and wink from the government. Reading this story makes me want to go and stop these people by any means I decide.
Mitch in Kitch
As a Canadian Citizen, I'm curious what I need to do to be able to apply for Refugee status in Canada? It sure sounds a lot easier than going to College and Working for the rest of my life.
It doesn't matter where they come from or how many have come before. If they're healthy, peaceful, and are willing to put their backs into making their lives work here, then as far as this Canadian is concerned, they're more than welcome.Comparatively speaking, we live in a practically empty country. To hold on to the second-largest national land mass on the planet with 35 million people isn't a viable proposition in the long term. We need to grow our population, maybe more than any other nation.Historically, the benefits of a liberal immigration policy in Canada have vastly outweighed the disadvantages. Most immigrants are assets to the country, not liabilities. We need them.But it's an issue that most immigrants gravitate to Toronto and Montreal. In many cases, these are the only places in Canada they've ever heard of.We should be doing more to a) publicize our other urban centres internationally, and b) to incent newcomers to settle in less densely populated areas.
Look at the comments here that people have written. Our overlords in Ottawa are doing the exact opposite. It is immoral on our government's behalf to force (don't pay taxes and you'll end up in jail) us to pay for boatloads of immigrants. The beaurocrats in Ottawa are not in touch with cultural and economic reality of this country. They feel they are entitled to control every aspect of our lives: decide how much you owe to the state through taxes which are used to incentize what you do with your money (tax breaks, etc…), cost of the things you buy (by controling the money supply), the make-up of the culture & people of this country (immigration), the schooling you receive (government subsidized universities and schools), and on and on…
LDL in ONT
….and yet I can just hear it now if the current conservative government did anything to refuse entry. “Neo Cons, Red Necks, Tea Party Bigots, Right Wing Fascists, Darth Sweater Vest, Blah, Blah, Blah”
Prof. Pye Chartt
And, of course, if PM Harper and his Conservatives attempted to plug this silly and embarrassing hole that makes a mockery of Canada's immigration “system” (read: law), all the arm-flailing lefties in the political peanut gallery would be jumping up and down, like sugar-crazed children, and yelling “bigotry” and “racism.” The LPC's leading desperate opportunist, Michael Ignatieff, would surely schedule a press conference to lecture, in glowing terms, about the mindless “compassion” of wondrous Canadians. Nope; no political point in touching this issue with a 10-foot pole unless a handful of intelligent souls within the Opposition share the view that our open-door “system” is a joke. On second thought, a handful of intelligent souls doesn't exist in Opposition, and getting into a messy parliamentary food fight never frightened the Conservatives before. …Perhaps there's hope for sensible change.
If our current government were to turn the ship around, the liberal establishment,including the media would try to undermine their actions just as they are doing concerning the mandatory census.They're damned if they do and damned if they don't.Remember when various liberal MPs where cowtowing to the Tamil tigers in Toronto not too long ago.
@ Paul (and the parade of support lining up behind him):Next time, you might as well leave out the little preface about compassion for refugees. Anyone who can categorically reject *all* refugees has no business pretending to be moved by sympathy for fellow humans. We get it, you made your stand: you're a taxpayer first and a human being later on (as long as it doesn't cost anything).
P. de Montbrun
We have enough unemployment in Canada and we need to change our Immigration laws as we need to make many other changes. Our medical services need help and by adding more people to the system only makes it worse for all of us who have been paying taxes for the last 40 years and are now out of work. Our government is too wishy washy on issues and need to stand up for Canadians.
Stop that ship, NOW. There is no need to have more refugees in this country until we tighten our rules and we do not look like pushovers. What is the use of having this ship dock and then there is a huge burden put on social services and the taxpayers. If they want to enter our Country then do it Legally.
As a citizen of this country or a legal permanent resident it is getting tougher to obtain employment yet Canada is still continuing to show generosity to symbolize what to the world? These people thriving on welfare yet a common citizen or a legal permanent resident who has no tie with being refugee class is still feeling the affect of recession. How is it fair? our tax money going to the people who hardly knows anything about Canadian geography, Canadian economy or Canadian generosity.
Please do not forget your past !!! either you or your father or grandfather went though this all, we are all came to Canada for better life…. even if you do not show sympathy, try not to show hatred towards these people….let the people who have gone thorough hardship to get some rest… if they are found to be not genuine refugee, suethey will be deported. Please be assured that at the end they will pay their taxes too, like we all do in this country…
Ryder in BC
I have to laugh. Those that think the present Conservative government is to blame are sadly mistaken. These back door immigrants are a direct result of Liberal rules put in place years ago. To change a law takes time and money. Although it might be illegal to turn the ship away, I do not believe that there is anything in the books that says we can't put these illegal immigrants into a work detainment centre while their claims are reviewed and processed. Should it be found that their claims are false, they should then be shipped back on a one way ticket and their identities stored in a database as 'not to allowed entry into Canada'It is due time for Canada to toughen up on our soft Liberal placed immigration laws.
Too much Human Rights this – too much Human Rights that, have now cost Canadian Tax payers on non essential things. Now that the Whole World knows that our country is a haven, the system will be over burden.Time for change?
I am disgusted at our Government, what are they thinking, openly stating we are basically a free for all nation, come one and all.. live here..too bad they dont provide all the same free services to our pensioners, and our veterans. I am ashamed our Government think so little of Canadians.The kicker is , there is a possiblity there will be some terrorists aboard…?? I just dont get it…
Those who want immigration policy to be changed – welcome to the reality we all vote for, din't we? Government which has majority can perhaps change policies at will. With minority government whatever they try to do will always be played against them. There is very little then can do, so don't blame other for your own fault.
Stephen Harper…fix this now!
Everyone go find a map of the world and find where Shri Lanka is located. Now find where Canada is. Now ask yourself why these so called refugees are going to go all that distance by boat which will take a month or more to come to Canada when there other countries that are much closer. It is because these refugees know that they will gain entry into this country no matter what. They know that our government will do a half hearted attempt at checking their backgrounds but in the end all will be accepted. Maintaining the image of a tollerant and accepting society is of much more importance.
Why does the Federal Government not just turn this ship around and tell them they are not welcomed. If this keeps up this country will be having civil war with all thes different people that want to change the CANADIAN way of LIFE. Send them back before this happens. We can not feed the people we have here in CANADA now. Use the money that it will take to keep them here and help our own who were born and raised here.
hi guys please think about our self before we said some comments to others. basically in canada every once are refuge. may be you aren't but your parents or your grand parents. think about that time someone said to you or your family member. they are already hurt by their government and they have know way to survive. thats why the choose this dangoers way to save their life. please do some thing good to others or leave it. who ever can help they will help. please don't hurt others feeling. have good day. live peace.
Here in BC we are suffering from an instant inflationary spike called the HST, which is all collected now by the Feds and doled back to BC. Nice to see our money being given to the third world so generously while at the same time so many Canadians are underemployed and hurting, trapped in low-paying dead-end jobs.
On grounds of humanity, I feel sorry for these people but turn them around. Canada can't become everyone's dumping ground. First of all, to bond them and release them is wrong. The Canadian Government can't find most refugees in this country because they blend in and disappear. Unfortunately I see many coming to Canada to prosper on our weak laws at any cost. Canada irradicated many of its health issues and problems only to open the door and accept new problems. Do like the US, refuse to allow them to enter our waters no matter what the cost.
“Legally, we cannot turn them away, and it would be a very bad precedent for Canada to do so.” why is not accepting terrorists bad?why did I go through the proper immigration process and paid all the fees if I could just come here illegally?
Daniel – Toronto
There has to be a balance between the need to increase the working force of the country (immigration policy is supposed to help in that) and the safety of the population. Strict screening is mandatory. If your immigration policy results in 8000 potential terrorists living among the population, then something in the policy needs to be adjusted. Urgently.
In Afghanistan, I and my family's lives were destroyed by constant war but when US strikes we had to run to Pakistan as refugees , it took 6 years and finally my family and myself made it here legally why my tax money isn't being spend on legitimate refugees instead on these Tamil people. we really need to change immigration policies so every one gets fair treatment. finally it took my family 6 years and these guys less than a month is that fair ?
As a landed immigrant, it makes me sick to read this kind of article as I spent a year and a half going through the correct formalities to enter Canada. I have a masters degree and pay significant taxes to support a refugee system that makes a mockery of what I went through to get into this once great country.
I was shocked to see the large number of so-called Canadians viciously attacking the motives of people escaping a war-torn country. I was proud that we have such an immigration system when I read the article. We are a nation of immigrants who have an obligation to offer our standard of living and vast resource-rich country to others who want to accept our laws and way of life.
Tom from London ON
If Australia can keep these free-loading illegal immigrants out of their country, so can we. Put a navy ship in their path, and if this ship of illegals try to cross it, sink 'em!
Mining guy Jim
I am also a Canadian working overseas who still pays his taxes in Canada. I had the great fortune of meeting the woman of my life overseas, we were married a year after, and yet the Canadian Immigration system denied our application for a TOURIST VISA twice. A Canadian Citizen's wife denied a visa twice. (FYI there were no legal reasons, other than her nationality (Mongolian) had a higher default rate on tourist visas than other Asian people). Now these jokers are going to actually allow this group to step onto Canadian soil. I used to pony up and pay my taxes regardless of where I worked because I was stupid enough to think that it made Canada a better place. Now, I'm thinking of going Non-Resident.
Our government is too weak and the politicians don't have the backbone to enact new, effective legislation to stop this abuse of our immigration policies. When the ship docks, the crew should be jailed and everyone on board should be put immediately onto a plane and flown back to Sri Lanka. The cost of the flight will be much less to the Canadian taxpayers than the burden of welfare and other benefits these illegals will require in the years to come. Certainly, the City of Toronto should be concerned as this is where they will come to.
Contrary to what this immigation lawyer thinks, it would be a great precedent for Canada to set by turning away this ship. Let them sue and take it to the Supreme Court so we can overturn the Singh decision of 1985, or use the notwithstanding clause.
I think if my Grandfathers seen into the future and looked at what they were fighting for they probably would have stayed home as most guys would have.
everyone started off as a immigrant so i dont know why everyone is having a big deal
For those of you hyper partisan leftwingers who are blaming Stephen Harper for Canada's reputation as a bleeding heart nation that loves to give freebies out to refugees, it's a little preposterous to think that the reputation describved in this article has been earned in only 4 years. Open your eyes and accept that this label as a soft socialist accept anyone and everyone nation was created by Pierre Trudeau, and stoked by every government since (regardless of affiliation). If we're going to resolve this problem, you're going to need to put away all your useless partisan slander. Parliament only works when a majority of people get along, and Canada may not see another majority government again.
Tamil Tigers have made “particular use of the refugee system to get in their supporters, they have operated a lot of the people-smuggling that got people in over the last 20 years.” “And at one point, the Toronto Police task force estimated there were 8,000 trained Tamil terrorists in Toronto alone, so, it's been used both for just getting people in who wouldn't qualify normally by international standards, but also for getting terrorists into Canada. And it's expected, it's believed that there are quite a few Tamil Tigers, or their supporters, on this ship.” And we do not care and let them in???
@Prof Pye chart Your comments really lack substance, you just attack the left when it's your hero Harper that's letting these people in. You know & I know that Harper does what ever he wants no matter what the public thinks. Look at things like the census, Harper is scrapping that even though the majority of his supporters are against scrapping it, also look at the money Harper wants to waste building prisons for unreported crimes, you have to be a real idiot to believe in a need for prisons for unreported crimes, but he goes against popular opinion even though our crime rate has been on a general decline since 1991. So don't blame the left, if Harper wanted to turn these people back he would have. If your not a native then you too are an immigrant or your parents, grand parents or past family was. Like all of the right-wing nuts you attack the left with your angry hateful comments, write you PM & tell him you don't like what he's doing don't bash the right it's not appropriate.
This morning's news says there's TB on the ship and one has died from it. While I used to feel for the less fortunate, I find myself thinking… is this a new sure-fire way of getting in? Before, if you survived the trip to Canada you might get lucky. Now with public opinion trurning against these claims perhaps they changed their MO. If you come here and don't die of TB on ship you'll get in simply because you're too ill to turn away.
Richard in Ontario
@Jay in BCI would like to suggest that you take a history lesson. This nonsense can't be hung on Mr Harper. Pierre Trudeau and his Charter of Rights and Freedoms and his change in policy to bring in more Asian country refugees is the one responsible for this. I just hope Mr Harper and company take a serious look at what is going on here. Immigrants we need but Illegal refugees must be told to look elsewhere for a land of milk and honey. Time to turn these ships around before they even enter Canadian waters.
Dan in Quebec, it is a well-debunked myth that refugees get more monthly income than old-age pensioners.
As someone who had to go through a legal immigration process to come to Canada, I feel dupped now that I see how easy it actually is to end up here. As someone here commented – “one just needs to hop on a boat”. When I went through the immigration process, it required a lot of testing and the proof of having funds deposited at a Canadian bank.I never had to go on welfare, but know of many-many people that are abusing the freebie system.What is also unfair is that these people come to Canada for free, without permission, knowledge of the language or any money. We, the Canadian taxpayers, must support them or it'll look bad on Canada. Yet, according to Canadian immigration laws I cannot sponsor my sister to immigrate to Canada, who I am able to support financially, who is fluent in English and has relevant education to integrate into the Canadian society and contribute to the Canadian economy.That just makes me mad…
What about the poverty that exists here in Canada? Our own health care issues? The Government should be concerned about helping it's own rather than putting the very same resources towards strangers in need. An example on a smaller scale: A low-income Canadian family on well-fare with barely enough to get by, takes on and supports a homeless family in their home. Kind and compassionate? Yes. Logical? No.Fast forward several months to a year of this scenario and it would be extremely difficult for these families to bounce back. Many people, myself included, would still consider this worth it to help out a friend or family member. But VERY FEW would do this for a complete stranger. How many homeless teenagers do you pass on the street and take into your home and give them a weekly allowance?..
A refugee gets $1890. 580.00 per month, multiply this by 12 and it equates to $28,920.00 per annum.A senior who has contributed for 40-50 years, receives $1012. per month, multiply this by 12 and it equates to $12,144. 00 a difference of $16,776.00 per annum. Perhaps all seniors shoud now apply for refugee status – we would be considerably better off and able to afford the now HST. Canadians are not opposed to immigration which is obtained legally. We are not opposed to genuine refugees – but lets put a stop to this idea that Canada is a land of freebies and easy living.
Steve in Manotick
the ship hasn't even landed yet and tax dollars are already being wasted.. I demand an accurate accounting on every penny spent on this invasion of our dear country. Canadians STAND UP and be counted
Prof. Pye Chartt
@ Marweiler: Only those suffering from softheaded liberalism put “quantity” and “quality” on the same footing. It is both bogus and foolish to assert that we “need” more immigrants, for the sake of effectively filling empty geographic space, and that economic dividends are automatic, regardless of national and provincial circumstances. Indeed, obviously, Canada has benefitted immensely from immigration in the past; however, we have clearly demonstrated, more recently, that we're not adept at taking what we actually need (ie. skills, education, etc.) and distributing such human assets outside of only 3 major Canadian cities. Accommodating boatloads of line-skippers, whose immigration credentials state only “refugee” renders any sensible national effort(s) to develop Canada a total farce.
Here I sit in Victoria, waiting for a ship full of migrants to show up on the horizon. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent dealing with these 'illegal' migrants. At the same time we have drug addicted homeless people camping on our downtown streets. Defacating on the sidewalks and shooting up in doorways. Our government has turned their backs on them. So here's my idea. If Sri Lanka wants to send us their problem, let's send them ours. Once that ship is unloaded, lets load up all the homeless addicts and send them to Sri Lanka.
Chris in MB
In an earlier story this morning it was reported that Victoria General Hospital has opened 75 beds and called in more emergency staff to tend to the people on this ship. It makes me wonder which Canadian tax payer is being pushed to the back of the line. Why can the health care system afford to bring in extra staff for illegal immigrants but us tax payers have to wait hours and hours to be seen? These illegal immigrants have already started to use up my tax dollars and they have not even set foot on Canadian soil. Makes me very, very angry!
George in Calgary
We as Canadians are not an unfeeling community. We have continually helped those in need across the decades. However the sentiments on this board certainly reflect an attitude that has grown over the years. I to am not unfeeling but I have come to the conclusion that we as a people and as a country have had enough when it comes to boats coming to port loaded with people looking for a better life. Now don't get me wrong those that should be helped and are truly needy should recieve everything we Canadians can give. However there is a right way and a wrong way and this is so wrong. Our government spurred on by opposition parties and particular interest groups have prevented a clear change in Canadian immigration policy based on reason and yes economics but most importantly the will of the people. Many in the past few years have clearly stated that we are becoming more Americanized but in this case we should be adopting a more Australian approach to those that expect everything we can offer without going through the proper channels. It's time for change. Gee who said that a little over a year ago?
Same cry out was there when Jewish refugees arrived here. Only difference, we are not allowed in Sri Lanka to know what is happening in the camps, to Sarath Fonseka and the detained youth and journalists.
This includes friend Mr. Collacott. I would like to know what he said when Bob Rae, Tory MPs were denied entry. Friends for different reasons?
Dennis L. Krahn
Steve M: The reason people are having a 'big deal' is that these people are attempting bto land on our shores illegally. To all of you hammering the government: we have voted in idiots of every political stripe for years; we are now reaping the crop that we have sown.
Seething in SK
If you are angry about this, do something! Don't just comment here – email the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Send your comments to the PM. Contact members of the Cabinet Committee on Social Affairs.As long as government leaders fear no repercussion at the voters booth, none of us have a voice.We cannot support illegal immigration!
I feel sorry for these people BUT they should not be allowed to just land here and get everything that they need. We have worked hard to get what we have and as a senior, I struggle to make ends meet. Is the government going to help me???? I think not. Maybe I should get on a boat and try to start over in Canada.
I'm saddened to see some comments with hate and revenge. Let us be human beings first and look at those bunch of 'already humiliated & mentally decayed' folks with at least a minimum heed. Dogs, cats, pigs and all other animals are given the due respect in Canada; thats how beautiful the hearts of us, Canadians, are! And, what happened now? As a Canadian, I would certainly support the idea of intercepting. Weve had enough. Give them food, medical treatment and some mental health consultation. Also screen and question them thoroughly. Who knows?! There may be a couple of witnesses among them who could enlighten the UN team that conducts enquiry of possible war crimes. That may also prove if a genocide has happened or not.Once the process is complete, let the immigration folks decide how the deportation or any other process should take shape.I guess were jumping the gun and barking at the wrong trees here!! Lets focus on Harpers real mess with arms-lengths agency & Ignatieffs support to more than 107 confidence votes of Harper!!
Prof. Pye Chartt
@ Wendy: Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the angry, rambling rant that ventures all over the political planet and touches upon every issue that boils your thin Liberal blood. What weighty “substance.” (I'm beginning to wonder if you and “Sue” are the same person.) Do you disagree that folks such as yourself, along with your “hero” Michael Ignatieff, would behave in the manner I suggested, if the Conservatives endeavored to “fix” this glaring issue? Seemingly you don't. You also don't seem to have any appreciation for the inescapable FACT that your Liberal party had a direct hand in forging the immigration embarrassment now on international display. (Ouch! The truth hurts, huh?) Anyway, thanks for the entertaining reply. Take care.
It's time that we, Canadians, stop putting our selfish minds before the lives of these hundreds of people. The reason why they've come to Canada is because they were denied the fundamental freedom and rights in Sri Lanka. They experienced harassment and persecution. They were threatened by the Sri Lankan government which failed in its responsibility to protect its people. These people on the ship see Canada as their only source of hope and it is quite selfish that you think of your tax money over their lives. Give them a chance, man. They deserve it after all the sufferings they've gone through.
Okay! So I have been reading all these comment and I`m so amazed at all the comments here. First off, I would like to educated those who are not aware, more than 75% of our nation is comprised with immigrants. Secondly, all these individuals who are worried about their tax money being used up wrongfully, why don`t you step in and trying to fight the increase in our crime rate. This way, our tax money is not going towards jail funding. I rather have my tax money helping those who really need it as opposed to those who don`t. Thirdly, these are people comming to Canada because they want to be free of torment. Canada provides that right? So why should we refuse these individuals? Oh wait!, it`s because they are comming in illegally!!! Do we know how many people a year come into Canada from different parts of the world through the same manner? we don`t hear about it because it`s not on the news like this story. Look, bottom line, they are human beings, in seek for a better lifestyle and freedom, and they have been through far enough. How do I know this? because I`m a Tamil, and I know what they have been through. So if you don`t understand what they have gone through, please dont insensitive. Thank you!
jat in BC are you nuts cons have tightened imigration , it is the libs that opened the gates so tell us how much do the libs pay you to blog and lie!!!
Im sure these people have paid large sums of $$ to get on board. Now by Canada accepting these people what message are we sending to the cartel?The strain on this hospital will be imense not only in man power but economically as well(Stimulating The Crash ).. Tragically, there are many more just like this foolishness..If we dont do some Remodeling soon Our country will never be the same. The fiscal impact of immigration decisions must be addressed by the government Now. Total cost for each of these people will run From $5,000 to $7000 a day for 2 to 3 weeks while paper work and Dr's see patients for Bed Bugs and other infections. Then welfare will take over thats $700.per month for each person.ICU and CCU patients will run $15,000 and Up per 2 day stay, also translators will be needed .
I think it's safe to say that none of our backgrounds stem directly from Canada, HOWEVER, I do believe that a large majority of us have been here for several generations. I think the immigration laws and the like are utter bull if they are allowing immigrants into the country to live off us when we, as Canadians can't live comfortably due to all the bloody taxes we are constantly being bombarded with. But sure, let more immigrants in!!!I don't foresee a retirement date for myself due to the cost of living, but an immigrant ship will arrive and those folks will get a free ride for an unlimited amount of time? Justice? I think NOT!!!I am proud to be Canadian but I can honestly say that is quickly dwindling!!! How sad!!
Canada has to allow the ships on to our territory due to our UN agreement. This is based on genuine regard to real refugees. Perhaps, we should be more educated on the UN and other agreements Canada has in place. Contact government or libraries for info and get in the know.Complacency and rose-coloured glasses are great if we assume that any country will always be as we want it to remain the same simply by being a taxpayer and posting comments which your MPP will probably not read in his/her daily routine. Read a history book. Countries always change. Look at any country during any period of time, such as the last two hundred years and look at today…. different social landscapes are created largely by a person or group has the most power, charisma and or wealth to influence people and or markets. Also times change, cultures change, wars happen.
Pat – Toronto
I agree that people here are sick and tired of paying for people from all over the world to settle here.. BUT I don't think we are pushovers so much as big hearted people. WE have always welcomed those who are suffering and most of them really appreciate our love and concern. We only hear of the bad ones.. the ones who abuse the system and take advantage of our good hearts.. but there are also so many who really appreciate us and have gone ahead to make great contributions to this country.. so why now? Why are we all getting upset over this boat load of victims? Canada is the place that people run to for comfort .. let us not forget this