Canada’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

This post has been percolating for over a month now. So sorry it’s a bit long but I like giving facts and doing my best to not misrepresent people. I don’t often include Bible verses on my blog but today I am.

Matthew 25:34-36

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

A few weeks ago I asked my local MP (the Honorable Ed Fast) about Canada’s response to the war against ISIS and the refugee crisis that has been made immeasurably worse because of it. I agree with MCC on this in that a lasting solution needs to be a non-military solution that removes or reduces the reasons for radicalization and works toward peace. I was concerned that the Prime Minister seemed to be advocating for more military action because of the refugee crisis.

His response was:

“With respect to the Syrian conflict, let me correct you by saying that the Prime Minister has not advocated for MORE military action (as you have suggested) but for a balanced approach which includes three pillars: humanitarian assistance (of which Canada is one of the world’s largest donors), military intervention and resettlement of refugees. We do not have any plans to increase our military presence in Syria and Iraq.”

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“Old Stock Canadians”

*update at the end*

So in the debate today Stephen Harper said “Old Stock Canadians” and it’s taking twitter by storm (in that no one outside twitter cares yet, but they might tomorrow).

So I decided to find out what it means. I thought it was a minor dog whistle like “real Americans”. I wish that was it.

Recently it’s been used mostly by Conservatives with the attempted implication that they just meant not recent immigrants.

From Jason Kenny’s speech on Immigration and Multiculturalism at University of Western Ontario in 2009:

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Dispelling Myths about First Nations Chief’s Salaries

First nations chiefs are essentially CEOs these days. And with the First Nations Financial Transparancy Act we can see how much they’re making – see here for the data.

Now that list includes counselors so I pulled only chiefs and based this on the results.

Remember, these are CEOs. In addition to managing Treaty & Indian Act money coming in from the government they also manage various band run businesses, land and many other organizations.

Average salary: $80,00
Median salary: $75,000 (median Canadian salary is $70,000)

# paid less than poverty line: 76 (11%)
# paid less than canadian average salary: 179 (26%)
# paid less than middle class salary: 230 (34%)
# paid less than canadian median salary: 286 (42%)
# paid middle class salary 185 (27%)
# paid more than canadian middle class salary: 264 (39%)
# making it into the top 100 highest paid CEOs: 0

The highest paid chief made $930,793 but remember most of that (86% to be exact) was a bonus for negotiating a $8 million land deal for the band.

Only 15% of chiefs are even classed as “rich” (earning over $125,000 per year). To put that into perspective, more chiefs are earning less than $30,000.
So it looks like in general the “rich chief” myth isn’t just misleading, it’s completely wrong.

Trades Shortages and Unemployment Rates

The BC government has announced $75 million in funding for trades training programs for the next year. This is because:

“Our goal with the Skills for Jobs Blueprint has been to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs in our growing, diverse economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. “And as we move closer to realizing the generational opportunity of LNG, thousands more of those jobs are just around the corner.” (source)

Which makes you think there’s a major skills shortage in BC. Except there isn’t. Not for trades anyway.
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