Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stephen Harper's Refugee Problem

The most striking thing about the arrival of 500 Tamil refugee claimants to Canada is that it is news at all. Canada processes thousands of refugee claims every year. So what makes the Tamils so exceptional? Well very little. The boat provides better visuals for the media, but really this is a blip for our system, so why all the fuss? Well, I think we can start to identify a pattern. Stephen Harper has made great efforts to broaden his party's appeal to new Canadians. This despite a reticence among some parts of his base to fully get behind immigration. Harper appears to be drawing the line at refugee claims. While many in his party may be upset about grandmothers being brought over under family reunification and taking advantage of social services, Harper realizes that going after granny makes very little political sense. However, false refugee claims or dangerous refugee claimants are easy targets. Particularly, if you pick on groups that don't have a huge understanding in the Canadian public.

In spite of the large and active Tamil population in Canada, many Canadians probably don't know that much about the civil war in Sri Lanka. A battle between a Buddhist government and a Hindu minority doesn't trigger raw emotions in most Canadians like say the conflict in the middle east does. Furthermore, the Tamil population, while sizable, is unusually concentrated in Toronto making it much more of an enigma in most of Canada. The previous group targeted by Harper as abusers of the system were central European Roma, primarily from the Czech Republic and Hungary. Once again, Canadians don't necessarily have the understanding of their situation in order to evoke retaliatory sympathy. In both cases, Harper has gone after groups that are still viewed as "others" in the minds of many Canadians. Harper also cracked down on Mexican refugee claims in the aftermath of stories of Canadians being killed on vacation in Mexico. He exploited the fear Canadians had about the Mexican drug war to advance his political agenda. The pattern is clear. This government wants to limit refugees entering the country whenever possible. Harper knows its political folly to be against immigration. However, when given the chance, his true colours shine through. In this case, a pasty white.


CanadianSense said...

I disagree with the allegations that the Conservatives are playing the fear card.

The majority of fraudulent refugee claims were made by two or three countries.

Did the media and opposition play the racist card and exclude the evidence of that pattern?

Last summer thousands of Tamil, Tamil-Canadians effectively disrupted traffic and freedom of movement in Toronto in order to draw attention to the action by the former homeland.

Can you list another organized event in Toronto and Ottawa in the last decade that had the City of Toronto and Ottawa asking for compensation from the Federal government?

Importing your conflicts to our shores is not acceptable. Peaceful protests and freedom of assembly are Charter Rights but those days of protests upset many people.

Rob Ford the anti-liberal is gaining in the polls for this reason. Reduce spending and shrink government in Toronto.

Extrapolate that for the next provincial or federal election.

Want more taxes, vote Liberal or NDP. (Core message)

Liberals, socialists may have hit the tipping point of Canadian tolerance.

ridenrain said...

I think Toronto has a Tamil Tiger problem.

briguyhfx said...

Racist much? You two need to get out more, maybe meet some non-whites once in a while.

WesternGrit said...

Lol Canadian "Sense": "Can you list another organized event in Toronto and Ottawa in the last decade that had the City of Toronto and Ottawa asking for compensation from the Federal government?"

Not sure if you were aware (or just playing stupid like your Conservative friends) about the numerous cultural parades that take place in TO and block traffic and take tax-payer dollars: St Patricks; Santa Claus; Thanksgiving; remember the "Orangemen's Parades"? These were all parades/events that really celebrated one group/religious group, or what have you...

I think you need to take off your "one-colored" glasses...

WesternGrit said...

Let's not kid ourselves - Cons really don't want any immigrants, unless they come from particular nations/religious backgrounds... No matter what the positive net economic effect immigrants have on the nation.

Michael Harkov said...

A further indication of the fact that a high percentage of those we accepted were not genuine refugees was that large numbers went back to visit Sri Lanka while their applications were still pending.

Although their claims for asylum were based on the argument that they fled persecution in that country in many cases out of fear for their lives in one year alone more than 8,600 applied to the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa for travel documents so they could make visits to their homeland.

Even while in the claimant stage, many were petitioning the government to go back to their home country that persecuted them for a visit. And because people have a problem with these "refugees" doing that we are "racists?"

When are you fools ever going wake up?


CanadianSense said...


substitute Tamil with any group including Martians (it makes no difference)

thank you for invoking racist card as per script from the left.

Check the record on immigration, Australia and Canada have nothing to apologize.

You can castigate the right as stupid bigots because it deflects from the facts and evidence of what is actually taking place.

Refugees don't pay $45k to take a boat ride for 100 days on a 180 ft boat or survive on 1 liter of water per week.

The boat can not spend months on the open water without refueling and food being replenished.

A first class ticket costs $ 2k at most.

Deny this is illegal trafficking. 80% of the 490 are young males and the media were reporting this as a boatload of women and children.

This illegal immigration could be from ANY country and the math still does not add up.

Nice try invoking planned community events lasting less than 8 hours comparison to public protests that lasted days without planning and prior approval.

Michael Harkov said...

"By 2000 the Toronto police Tamil Task Force estimated that Canada's largest city was home to as many as 8,000 members of Tamil terrorist factions, most notably the Tigers," he stated.

Here is the full text:

"Following the arrest of a number of Canadians of Sri Lankan Tamil origin on charges of trying to procure arms for the Tamil Tigers, it should come as no surprise that the FBI has identified Canada as a major source of illegal fundraising to the terrorist group.

The Tigers have been able to achieve this for two reasons. Firstly, the federal Liberal government, in an effort to bolster support in the Tamil community, refused to classify the Tigers as a terrorist group despite several recommendations from CSIS to do so.

This gave the Tigers the freedom to intimidate and extort money from the same Tamil community whose support the Liberals sought.

Wake up? You guys are hopeless. Anything Your party says on this issue is to be taken with a boulder of salt.

ridenrain said...

briguyhfx: So what race am I?
Paul Martin labeled the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization. Are terrorists now a race or are they just another of those special interest voting blocks that Robert Fowler was talking about?

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page