Only 866 of 45,000 ‘irregular’ migrants have been deported since 2017
Recent figures tabled in the House of Commons show that only 866 of 45,000 “irregular” asylum seekers have been removed since 2017 by the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) following an asylum claim rejection.
According to reporter Teresa Wright of The Canadian Press, “Since early 2017, more than 45,000 migrants have arrived in Canada irregularly by entering the country mainly through a forest path between New York State and Quebec, avoiding official border checkpoints where they would be turned away and told to file refugee claims in the United States”.
Once in the country, difficulties arise in the processing and determination of each migrant claim. This is in large part due to a loophole in Canada’s “Safe Third Country Agreement” with the United States. This agreement grants migrants who have managed to make it to Canada the right to make refugee claims without being immediately turned away. This contributes to migrants opting for illegal rather than legal immigration, as the asylum claims process is more favorable than the Canada Points System in the long run and appeals often go unattended.
Furthermore, existing laws surrounding asylum claims dictate that the claimant is entitled to explore every legal avenue available before a final determination can be made, including appeals of every rejection of the migrant’s claims. A final hurdle to deportation exists due to pre-removal risk assessments, whether migrant home countries are too dangerous to return to, and if missing any travel or medical documents.
As of 2017, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has been struggling to deal with the sudden influx of migrants, only managing to process 33 percent of refugee claims. As Wright reports, “6,885 people have been accepted for refugee protection and 5,650 have been rejected. Another 1,322 claims have been abandoned or withdrawn. Tens of thousands remain in a queue, waiting to be processed.” More specifically, as of September 2018, 64,929 asylum cases, with 28,314 of those being irregular migrants, have been stored in the IRB’s backlog, which is increasing on the daily.
The cost of each ‘irregular’ migrant can be quite substantial. Figures from the parliamentary budget officer in late 2018 showed that the total cost of dealing with migrant claims and their expenses was roughly $340 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year, with forecasts for the 2019-20 fiscal year expected to be an additional $396 million.
As Global News’s Amanda Connolly reported in 2018:
Every irregular border crosser who came to Canada over the last year [2017-2018] cost the federal government on average $14,321. That cost includes the entire process of handling their asylum claim through federal agencies and is expected to increase to an average cost of $15,483 this year and to $16,666 in 2019-2020… But it can also soar as high as $33,738 when a claimant goes through every appeal process and then has to be deported.
These costs can also be attributed to the lengthy process and difficult to enforce laws that surround asylum claims. Given the volume and potential complexity of each claim, it isn’t unusual for asylum claims to take years, not months, to process.
Five students are still in critical condition following a collision between a crane and a school bus in Smoky Lake, Alberta Monday morning.
The crash happened around 8:30 am on Monday near Range Road 180 along the highway according to the Edmonton Journal. The bus was attempting to cross the highway when the collision took place.
The bus was en route to H.A. Kostash, a K-12 school and confirmed to be carrying 14 students by Aspen View Public Schools.
A total of 16 patients had to be assessed by emergency services and or are currently in hospital.
Three of the students had to be airlifted to hospital by STARS and Alberta Health Services said they’re in critical condition. Two more students also had to be transported by ground ambulance in critical condition as well.
A man and a child were also taken in by ground ambulance to Edmonton, both of whom are in stable condition although they have both sustained serious injuries.
One additional patient in stable condition had to be transported to the hospital.
The driver of the crane was also brought to the hospital with minor injuries and the crane’s sole passenger was luckily not injured.
Locals in Smoky Lake have shown a great sense of community by starting a Gofundme page in an attempt to raise funds for the victims and their families. Already, more than $3600 has been raised of the set $10,000 total goal.
Canada 'slightly delinquent' on alliance military spend, cracks 'payment plan' joke: Trump-Trudeau at NATO talks London
Canada is “slightly delinquent” when it comes to defence spending, said United States President Donald Trump during a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of NATO talks in London Tuesday.
According to NATO figures, vis-a-vis individual members’ benchmark defence spending at two-percent of their Gross Domestic Product, Canada rang in below that level for 2019 at approximately 1.3 percent.
“But Canada, they’ll be ok. I have confidence. (They’re) Just slightly delinquent. Some are major delinquents, some are way below one percent and that’s unacceptable,” said Trump, who hinted at leveraging trade to get members to pony up.
This ‘two percent of GDP’ obligation of NATO alliance members, or what became an “aspirational goal”, was a watered down demand by U.S. President Barack Obama and Britain in 2014; then they wanted Canada to double its expenditure on defence.
Trump made the remarks when pressed to categorize Canada’s current military spending as it stacks up against others.
“We are talking to Germany tomorrow and they’re starting to come along. They have to. They have to. Otherwise if they don’t want to, I’ll have to do something with respect to trade. And with trade I have all the cards.”
Germany’s defence spending as percentage of its GDP is slightly higher than Canada, while Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium are below one percent.
“And that’s unacceptable and then if something happens, we’re supposed to protect them,” Trump continued. “It’s not really fair and it never has been fair.”
Trump rounded off the comments by quipping that “well, we’ll put Canada on a payment plan, I’m sure the prime minister would love that” in answer to a question about whether Canada “should have a plan to meet the two percent standard.”
“Where are you at? What is your number?” Trump asked regarding the NATO benchmark.
This caused Trudeau to repeat what he noted earlier in the press scrum: that Canada’s military spending would increase by 70 percent through the coming decade.
“Over these past years, including for the coming years including significant investments in our fighter jets, significant investments in our naval fleets,” Trudeau said.
“We are increasing significantly our defence spending from previous governments that cut it.”
While the Twitter universe lit up with conjecture, in the moment Trump was not interested in the minutiae of Canada’s incremental budgetary increases over the next 10 years and pressed Trudeau.
“Ok, where are you now?” Trump asked again.
Trudeau: “We’re at one-point-three-five.”
“One-point-three?” asked Trump.
“One-point-four, and continuing to move forward,” replied Trudeau who later reiterated Canada’s leading role in military operations in Latvia and Baghdad during the half-hour media confab.
“United States and all NATO allies know that Canada is a reliable partner. We’ll continue to defend NATO, and our interests.”
In addition to Trump’s expression of confidence in Canada, he added that “two percent is very low. It should be four percent.”
For the 2019-20 fiscal year, Department of National Defence budget allocation was $21.9 billion. In terms of “significant investments” Trudeau noted in Canadian air and sea power, two years ago Canada bypassed Boeing for interim CF-18s and instead paid $90 million for 25 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18s. Retrofitting them is expected to run another three or four-hundred million dollars.
This was after Trudeau scrapped the former Conservative government’s sole-sourced contract to buy Lookheed Martin’s next-gen F35 fighter after defeating Stephen Harper in the 2015 election.
In July of this year, the federal government reopened the project and invited multiple companies, including Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin (F-35) and Saab to bid on a $22 billion contract to supply the Royal Canadian Airforce with 88 new fighter jets.
The Royal Canadian Navy is also in the throes of a major $4.3 billion rebuild, having already retrofitted several interim vessels and constructing four of six scheduled Arctic and offshore patrol ships.
A further 15 larger, surface combatant vessels based on “type 26 BAE warships” are also in the design phase, according Public Services Canada. The department estimates that construction could begin as early as 2020 with a $60 billion budget.
The election is over, Justin Trudeau won the most number of seats, and Canada now has a Prime Minister who cannot remember the number of times he wore blackface throughout his life.
As Liberals nationwide celebrate their ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, pundits have been left to wonder just what Trudeau’s victory in 2019 could mean for citizens, politics and the nation as a whole.
While the long-term implications are hard to predict, one consequence certainly is not.
In a matter of four short years, the Liberals under Trudeau have gone from the promised heroes of progressive values to the gritty practitioners of Realpolitik, with no other goal in mind than winning.
No longer are they concerned with broken promises, such as electoral reform, skyrocketing deficits or lacklustre help for injured veterans on a pension. Nor are they bothered by the federal government’s continued attempts to hold money designated for Indigenous child welfare, or heck, their willingness to campaign off the climate change issue, while putting forward plans that all but fail to meet Paris requirements when it comes to carbon cuts.
This doesn’t even include the gigantic mess that is the SNC-Lavalin affair, and Trudeau’s habit of violating ethics laws and throwing powerful women in his own government under the bus on a regular basis.
Heck, after this, it seems MPs and voters are still somehow all too happy to support a PM who considered blackface only racist after being elected as a member of parliament in 2008. Photos and videos have shown that Trudeau wore blackface more than three times before 2008, with the most recent known instance occurring in 2001.
With seven years of space between the time the Prime Minister was last known to wear blackface and the time he learned blackface was wrong, it is possible that the number of times it was worn stands to be far higher than three.
For the many Liberal MPs who are having difficulty keeping up with the scope of this, It’s wrong to wear blackface in 2019, just at it was wrong in the year 2001. Typically the cancel culture mob, which so intensely has concentrated into the progressive wings of politics, would have ensured a politician with such a history would have all but failed to ascend and then dominate the heights of politics.
There’s a catch though. To successfully cancel a person, normally their own fans must turn on them. And here’s where Canadian progressives are similar to Republicans in the US. Forced to campaign with a flawed idol and the protector of their views on the international stage, the willingness to cancel these individuals evaporates, principles be damned.
Instead, the boogyman of the other side has been used to ensure dedicated voters continue to push forward, regardless of moral deficiencies.
For Justin Trudeau, and perhaps the Liberal party, that level of voter control is a life-saving relationship worth its weight in gold. For the nation, it potentially sets us up the country to be defined by the actions and moral makeup of Trudeau and his government.
Said simply, there is no getting around the fact that Canada today has a leader who takes Indigenous children and veterans to court, breaks ethics laws, can’t keep simple promises, and can’t even keep count of the number of times he performed an act he himself now considers racist.
Liberal members and parliamentarians voted for that, and unless action is taken from within the party, the country alongside the Liberal movement as a whole, will come to be maligned and defined by it.
The Conservatives will have to decide whether they’re a pro-establishment or anti-establishment party
It’s pretty clear that the Conservative base is strongly anti-establishment.
Just look at the response to any story about SNC-Lavalin, or China’s abuse of Canadian Citizens, illegal immigration, and the weak state of our armed forces.
At every step of the way, the Conservative base is completely at odds with Canada’s political elites.
And that speaks well of the Conservative base since Canada’s political elites have been getting it wrong for decades.
Our nation was once strong and influential in the world, particularly in the aftermath of World War Two.
But since then, our military and economic influence has waned, and while the elites masked our growing weakness for a while by pretending we had diplomatic “soft power,” that myth is being shattered as it’s now impossible to hide how weak our nation truly is.
Nobody takes us seriously, nobody fears us, nobody respects us, and nobody has any real reason to listen to us.
On the big issues, the common-sense of the Conservative base—made up of hardworking Canadians who are the backbone of our country—has been 100% right.
The problem is that the Conservative Party itself—due in large part to how much power the Canadian corporate establishment holds over our political parties – has often been afraid to truly push against the establishment consensus.
Even on issues where the majority of Canadians are on their side, like immigration, pushing back on China, standing up for ourselves in the world, being more independently strong and capable, the Conservatives are tentative and ultra-careful.
For example, while the Conservatives advocated for a tougher approach on China in the last election campaign, they also pushed for more trade with China in certain economic areas and slammed the Liberals for the restrictions China imposed on our exports.
In that hypocrisy, you can see the two pressures facing the Conservatives. On the one hand, the Conservative base wants us to distance ourselves from China, reduce our reliance on them, and stand up against the communist state. But the corporate establishment wants more trade with China and is willing to sell out our values to do it, and the Conservatives were afraid of totally defying them.
SNC-Lavalin is another example. The Conservatives channelled the justified anger of their base when they slammed the deferred prosecution agreement the Trudeau Liberals tried giving to the politically-connected company, yet also refused to say whether they would rescind the deferred prosecution agreement tool if they took office.
This leaves the Conservatives in a position where the enthusiasm of their anti-establishment base is often dampened, while many Canadians who could potentially be open to the Conservatives see the party as too pro-establishment and too corporate.
The fact is that the corporate establishment is increasingly international in outlook, seeking opportunities outside of Canada, and supporting policies that often hurt working-class and middle-class Canadians.
Instead of trying to out-corporate the Liberals, the Conservatives need to realize that there is more potential growth from shifting towards a more populist, economic nationalist, anti-establishment message and platform.
Sooner or later, the Conservatives will have to decide whether they’re a pro-establishment or anti-establishment party.