[Guest Post by Kyle D. Hastings, Okanagan College business student]
I made this map to give people perspective on the Syrian refugees.
The purple country is Turkey.
They took in over 2,000,000 Syrian refugees and spent as estimated 4.5 billion USD.
The green country is Jordan.
They took in an estimated 1,400,000 Syrian refugees.
Last but not least, that tiny red dot, that’s Lebanon. Lebanon is the smallest country in continental Asia.
Lebanon took in over 1,100,000 Syrian refugees.
People want to ban Syrian refugees from Canada, saying, 10,500,000 dollars is too much and 25,000 people is too much.
We have a population of 35,160,000 people, in 2014-2015 we had a surplus of 1,900,000,000 dollars.
Our government has yearly expenditures in the 270,000,000,000 range.
Keep telling yourself we can’t help.
People are letting fear of ISIS try to stop us from helping people.
In this world you can never be 100% safe, but the moment we stop looking after each other is the moment we give up on humanity.
Let’s continue to be a diverse country that accepts and helps people.
The foregoing is a reprint of Kyle’s Facebook post, which has received wide circulation as well as being featured on Huffington Post Canada, and the following is Kyle’s response to questions and concerns that have been raised in response to his thoughtful article..
To anyone wondering, I am aware that large parts of Canada are uninhabited, I posted a population density map in my original facebook post.
“Our government spent over 270 billion dollars in 2014-2015.
The entire government plan to help these refugees is pegged at 1.2 billion dollars over six years.
1,200,000,000/6 years= 200,000,000 a year.
That’s 0.074% of the governments yearly federal expenditures.
“That’s much less than a tenth of one percent of their yearly expenditures to help victims of war. I understand that 1.2 billion is a lot but we must keep perspective on the size of our government. I strongly believe we can help less fortunate Canadians and Syrian refugees at the same time, it shouldn’t be one or the other.
“Aside from just economics and space I think it’s the only humane and Canadian thing to do.
“Turning these people away would go against our values.
“Before anyone freaks out about government debt please keep in mind how government debt works and that it is mainly internal debt.
In case anyone is wondering, government debt is money borrowed from the government through issuing securities, generally to the banks of the people. The banks work on a fractional reserve system which allows them to essentially hold a fraction of their deposits while utilizing the rest to make loans and gain interest. So the government uses these securities to stimulate the economy at lower interest rates and that’s how our economy works as far as I know. Government debt isn’t a totally bad thing and I can’t see the costs of this plan causing any major economical problems. We also have to remember these people are going to assimilate and they might have a lot to contribute to our country. If I said anything wrong about economics let me know, it wasn’t my major but that’s my understanding of it!
“Also I know that bringing them here is more expensive than sending more money but they’re having a problem of being severely overcrowded, so we should help out!
“The government of Canada has also issued a Syrian Emergency Relief Fund in which they match donations made by Canadians before Dec 31, to a maximum of 100 Million.
I suggest donating to UNCHR, you can get some great tax credits, 15% of your first 200 dollars to eligible charities, 29% of amount over 200 dollars.
If you or your spouse haven’t claimed donations after 2007 you can get the first time donor credit that is an additional flat 25% of your whole donation.
If I messed up on any of those tax credits let me know.
“There are a lot of people saying let’s look after our own before we help anyone else, but who decides when Canadians are looked after properly though? I don’t think with an attitude like its us or them that it would ever happen. The government spends money on many less wise policies than helping the victims of war.”
— Kyle D. Hastings
I agree with Kyle: there is no reason Canada can’t look after our own AND help these victims of war.
Personally, I think that the Canadian budget for helping Syrian Refugees ought to correspond to the Canadian budget for waging war in the Middle East. That would only be fair. — Laurel Russwurm