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At what cost to our province?


I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again. We, as Canadians, are too nice. We are generally trusting, kind and compassionate individuals and, you might ask, why that would be an issue. To me, it’s an issue when it comes at an expense to us – whatever that expense may be.
Yesterday, Manitoba RCMP released that between Wednesday (Feb. 22) and 11 a.m. on Monday (Feb. 27), the Manitoba RCMP intercepted 39 people illegally crossing the border near Emerson and were taken to the CBSA port there. This brings the total, since Jan. 1, to 143 people that they have caught illegally entering our country.
What have we done to protect our country, secure our province and ensure the safety – both physical and financial – of our communities? In my opinion, nothing. Instead, we welcome them with open arms and provide food, shelter, jobs, education and health care – all at the expense to you and me, the taxpayers.
Now that might sound like a harsh statement, because it is.
Many people don’t know that, in 2004, a pact between Canada and the US, known as the Safe Third Country Agreement, forces most refugees to apply for asylum in the first country in which they arrive.
As a result, refugee advocates say they’ve seen a spike in asylum seekers from the US taking longer, riskier routes to cross the border into Canada and file claims inland, where the agreement does not apply.
It’s almost laughable that, just a few weeks ago, I was down in the USA with my family for the weekend. Upon returning to Canada, at an authorized border crossing with all our proper documentation and passports, we weren’t welcomed back to the country we were all born in, raised in and work in as contributing citizens. We were absolutely grilled.
Although this particular agent had no reason to do it as rudely as he did, this is exactly what should happen to every individual looking to enter our country. They should be put through a thorough examination to make sure they are following the rules and not a threat to our country.
What makes this funny is that, as a Canadian, if I were to walk back into my own country at a non-authorized crossing, I would be arrested, detained and go through a whole legal nightmare.
I have to say, I was happy when the PCs were voted into power. They were going to adjust priorities and cleanup the debt the province faces. And, although that may mean some cuts and some lean years, we were going to be a better place for it in the end. As the budget rolls closer, we hear of changes to education funding and cuts in other areas that impact our daily lives.
In the more southern areas of the province they are already seeing a rise in refugee and immigrant students impact budgets, forcing either reduced funding per student or an increase in taxes. Then, an announcement was made by the government last week. We, as a province, are going to provide 14 emergency housing units to ‘refugees’ from the USA. We are also going to provide nearly $200,000 in funding to programs to support these individuals. Plus, we’re going contribute another $1.1 million for education and training of these people in the basics of employment readiness, skills and placement.
Not only do I feel the safety of our province could be questioned but our hard earned tax dollars are no longer benefitting those who pay them.
The fact is that these people are fleeing from the USA, where there is no war, persecution, or natural disaster to label them as true refugees. And, if they’re worried that Trump’s laws are going to send them back home, we should be looking very closely at why.
I don’t often share such a strong one-sided opinion, but truth is, my normally fairly open mind is having a very hard time seeing a benefit from what is happening at our borders. I’m not cold and I don’t want people to suffer as much as the next guy. But, are they really suffering in the USA or are they just taking advantage of the next guy who will give them more?
So, I want to know what you think. Write me a letter following the rules laid out on A5 and share if you agree or disagree and why. Maybe there’s something that I and other readers are missing.