Liberal inaction on illegal migrants to cost Canadians $1.1 billion
Disclosure: *Ted Falk is a Conservative Member of Parliament representing the Manitoba riding of Provencher.*
The Liberals have failed to address the illegal border crossings crisis and Canadians are paying a high price for their failure.
Official figures released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) last week revealed that the total cost to federal organizations dealing with illegal migrants will be at least $1.1 billion by 2020.
A costly tweet
Without intervention from Justin Trudeau to address this crisis – one which he created with his reckless #WelcomeToCanada tweet – more than $1 billion of unbudgeted money will be spent simply to clean up his mess in the years to come.
Looking at the numbers in the near-term, the total cost of illegal border crossers for 2017-2018 comes in at around $340 million. The average cost per migrant is currently more than $14,000 and is expected to rise to over $16,000 in 2019-2020.
While these figures are astounding in and of themselves, they still don’t offer a full picture since they exclude costs borne by provincial or municipal governments for things like social assistance and housing.
Real life costs
In practical terms, the PBO’s numbers show that the cost of accommodating one illegal border crosser is more than the gross annual income of a Canadian minimum wage worker or about twice as much as Canadian seniors get per year in Old Age Security.
These numbers are anything but small and every dollar spent reacting to illegal border crossings is a dollar that won’t be spent on important Canadian priorities – including supporting newcomers who came to Canada through the appropriate channels.
The fact is that the Trudeau Liberals have had nearly two years to take action to address the illegal border crossings crisis in Canada. When the number of illegal border crossings began to spike in my constituency nearly two years ago, I warned the Liberal government to take urgent action.
Failure to act
Instead, they chose to stick their heads in the sand and name-call those who dared to question their government’s handling of the mess. Despite all the policy tools they have at their disposal, Canadians have yet to see any tangible plan from their government to restore the integrity of our borders and rebuild Canadians’ faith in our immigration and refugee system.
But it gets worse. The Liberal government is also failing genuine refugees proceeding through our refugee system. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) – the tribunal tasked with determining the validity of refugee claims – had the capacity to hear 24,000 claims.
As the PBO report points out, during the same period the IRB saw upwards of 52,000 new asylum claims submitted, 23,215 of which represented illegal migrants. As of September 2018, a total backlog of 64,929 cases had piled up, including more than 28,000 representing illegal migrants.
Such a significant backlog is a huge detriment to genuine refugees who are fleeing violence, persecution, and war since resources are being diverted to address the claims of illegal border crossers.
Canadians deserve to know our refugee system is truly helping the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau can’t deliver – and his failure is having real-world consequences.
Under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, our Conservative team is the only party holding Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to account for this failure.
But more than that, we’re the only party that has put forward common sense solutions to lower the financial burden on Canadians, regain control of our borders, prioritize refugees from the world’s most dangerous countries, and make sure those who obey the law are treated fairly.
We’re ready to fix what the Liberals have broken.
If you reward something, you get more of it.
If you punish something, you get less of it.
It’s one of the most basic precepts of human nature, and it should be the bare minimum level of knowledge a government official possesses in the execution of their duties.
It’s the entire reason we have laws.
We punish behaviour that is illegal, in order to discourage that illegal behaviour.
Of course, no system is perfect, and we don’t want a “perfect system”, particularly not in a democracy.
But it has to work most of the time, particularly when the illegality is obvious and potentially damaging to the entire nation.
And when it comes to “rewards”, often the reward is in the elevation and respect of those who act in a way that helps that country and makes Canada a better place.
That’s what the majority of community members and the ELECTED Wet’suwet’en Chiefs were doing when they worked to get a good deal for their community, approved the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and worked to help encourage jobs and prosperity.
They followed the rules. They worked for the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got betrayed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Meanwhile, the radical blockaders–many of whom don’t even represent the Wet’suwet’en community–broke the laws, are damaging Canada’s economy, and are ignoring repeated court injunctions.
In short, they broke the rules, and they’re working against the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got rewarded, by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Trudeau has elevated them, offered meetings, sent a Minister to talk to them, and has in effect given them control over the country by refusing to enforce the rule of law.
Now, as you read at the top of this article, when you reward something you get more of it, and when you punish something you get less of it.
And the consequences are clear:
Trudeau has shown that illegal protests will be rewarded with a gain of status and an ability to meet with government leaders.
Trudeau has also shown that the majority of community members who followed the rules and followed the laws will be ignored and betrayed, with their majority voices drowned out by the more extremist minority.
As a result, Canada can expect more and more illegal protests, while fewer communities will choose to follow the law.
You can already imagine what a massive disaster that will be.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled his trip to the Caribbean after receiving backlash online on Sunday after it was reported he was still planning to go on the trip, despite Canadian cargo and passenger trains being shut down for the greater part of two weeks.
The Canadian Press reported Sunday afternoon Trudeau was still intending to go on the trip to the Caribbean, so it appears Trudeau backed out last minute.
The Prime Minister’s Office released a press release Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before his flight was supposed to take off to Barbados.
The PMO stated that Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will go to represent Canada instead.
Trudeau was planning to continue his world tour to try and secure Canada a seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Last week Trudeau was in Africa and Europe trying to drum up support from foreign countries for the UN vote on who will get the seat. The prime minister was criticized throughout the week, including when he indicated Canada would be willing to help develop an African country’s oil and gas sector at the same time Canadian protesters are trying to shut down parts of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Trudeau was also criticized roundly for shaking and bowing to Iran’s foreign minister a month after the country shot down a plane killing 57 Canadians and for not returning home sooner as the #ShutDownCanada protests continued to go on unabated.
Grocery, agriculture, retail sectors have all been affected by the protests. Some major cities also receive their chlorine for water treatment from CN Rail trains, which could mean drinking water in major cities may run out. Other cities rely on getting their propane to heat homes from trains.
Via Rail predicts over 83,000 passengers were affected and over 400 trains trips were cancelled due to the protest blockades over the past two weeks.
The Trudeau government has said that they will not revoke $372.5 million that they gave to Bombardier, even after the corporation said it is leaving commercial aviation, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
The Liberal Minister for Industry Navdeep Bains said in a statement that “Our government has been steadfast in its support for the Canadian aerospace industry and its workers … we will continue to engage with all relevant parties to ensure that previous commitments are honoured.”
The Trudeau government gave an intrest-free loan of $372.5 million to Bombardier in 2017 to help with their production of the C-series aircraft. Soon after this, Bombardier cut 14,500 jobs, sold a majority of the C-series aircraft shares, and moved the production of the aircraft to Alabama.
Despite the huge redundancies, Bombardier executives saw it fit to grant themselves a 48 percent pay raise for six senior managers. These raises, however, were soon revoked after protests and condemnation.
Despite government support, Bombardier managed to lose $1.6 billion last year.
Speaking in the Senate, Conservative Senator Leo Housakos said that “The terms of the agreement were not fully disclosed to Parliament or the public … we still don’t know today if that $400 million was a grant or a loan, or when it will be repaid.”
Liberal Minister Navdeep Bains’ Department of Industry managed to create “zero” jobs for a $1 billion subsidy according to an internal document obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.
Much of this comes down to a lack of order in the Department of Industry. They did not fill in what they considered to be unnecessary data brackets: these being, “estimated jobs created,” “estimated jobs maintained,” and “actual jobs created.”
Justin Trudeau’s cabinet created this program in 2017, where they spent $950 million with a promise that they would create some 50,000 new Canadian jobs. Another $918 million was spent in 2018 under the same program.
As a result of the Department of Industry not recording data, it is impossible to know how many of these 50,000 jobs were actually created.
Minister Navdeep Bains said that this program would “equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow … this investment in innovation will create those jobs.”
The Liberal’s promise of 50,000 new jobs has come under much scrutiny by the Conservative Party and the NDP.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, for instance, criticized the government, saying that “little government analysis has been made available to parliamentarians regarding the measurable outcomes of these dollars.”
In a separate case, Minister Navdeep Bains faced similar scrutiny after he said 56,000 jobs would be created with a $1 billion loan in 2019. In reality, the Liberal government only managed to create 6,613 jobs.