A Helping Hand For Those That Really Need It


For those who don’t know the definition of a refugee and for the media types who keep confusing the public with one day referring to people as refugees and the next claimants, etc., the UN definition of a legitimate refugee under the UN 1951 Refugee Convention adopted (in Article 1.A.2) is the following:

"refugee" to apply to any person who:  "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."

This is the one that Canada recognizes and abides by. Note it does not say you are a refugee because you want to find work in another country. It does not say you are a refugee because you want a better life for yourself or your family, nor does it say you are a refugee if you would like to use our social support network or medical programs.

It is there to help people who meet that UN standard, to encourage us to show compassion to those in real need of safety and our help. Canada has always been very generous in doing so.

Back in the 1980s the wait time to process a refugee claimant was five years, often longer. Legitimate refugee claimants had to wait years so that a backlog that had quite a few phony claimants in it could be processed. This put a huge strain on our support systems and was very unfair to legitimate claimants.

In the mid-1980s, it became obvious that many of the claimants reaching Canada had already passed through a safe country where they could have made a claim and been accepted as a refugee or they had already been accepted by another country, yet they were landing here. That was when the safe third country concept was looked at.

When we look at what is happening along our borders today the questions become:

1. Is this person a first time refugee claimant who has not been processed and accepted in another country, if so, if they are trying to enter Canada from the USA, why have they not applied in the USA which is a safe country? Thinking that you do not like the President or maybe he might want to prevent your travel plans does not make you a refugee, see the above definition.

2. Is it simply someone looking for work or a better life? Sorry we don’t need you at this time, make a legitimate application to immigrate to Canada and stop trying to jump the queue. By making a false claim you are using up our resources that should be available to those fleeing for their lives. Immigrating to Canada or working here is not a right, it is a privledge.

3. If they have been processed and accepted elsewhere as a refugee, why are they here? They already have a safe haven and yes the USA is still a safe haven.

Unfortunately there is a loophole in our law. If you cross at a regular border post, you will be turned back. Cross somewhere else along our long undefended border and you can make a claim for refugee status even if you are a complete phony or if you have already been accepted elsewhere. By doing nothing to control the flow or to change the legislation to treat everyone the same as if they crossed at a legitimate border station, the Liberals are shining a spotlight on a way around our rules. We are seen as a country with weak enforcement and a porous border.

That can offer encouragement to some who already have refugee status elsewhere, but regard Canada as the Promised Land to give it a try and get into our system as well. It also offers the potential to all of those looking for work who now know the loophole they need to use and the way to get here so that they can make a false claim. They know that they will be entered into the system and have a chance to work until their claim is heard. When they are called for their hearing they will have plenty of time to disappear and join the estimated 44,000 people that our border agency can’t find. By doing nothing Goodale will also encourage the predators that prey on those looking for a new life, even if it means crossing illegally and becoming one of the estimated 500,000 undocumented people in our country. These smugglers often charge thousands of dollars for their services and lives are often put at risk when using their services.

So for Minister Goodale who prefers sarcastic comments about legitimate opposition demands for action, your side is screwing up big time, now it is time to fix the problem. Enough of the talk points get to work before the trickle becomes a flood and scarce resources available for legitimate refugees are wasted on false claimants. Canadians have always extended a helping hand to refugees in need; you are putting that generosity at risk the longer you allow people to abuse the system.


Skipping A Debate Isn't The Answer

I see where Kevin O’Leary has decided he is more important than the CPC leadership debates as he has passed up the next debate and decided not to attend it. According to one media report I saw; he will instead hold a competing “fireside chat”. The real question is why?

When you sign on to a process you sign on, you don’t wimp out because the process doesn’t match your preferences or what you see as your strengths. I doubt that there has ever been a leadership candidate who loved the entire process, especially debate formats and that includes many other leadership contests not just this one.

I have read where the penalty for not participating is a $10,000 fine. Shame on him for deciding that paying a $10,000 fine with money raised from his donors was the lesser of the evils to debating his opponents. These opponents will be under the same rules and disadvantages as he would have been if he dared to show up.

The question now becomes why? Was he afraid of a bilingual debate, one that would expose his one glaring weakness? Was he afraid that he was policy weak in areas other than the economy? Was he afraid that he wouldn’t be the “star” and centre of attention with an opportunity to bask in the limelight?

Party members and the voting public will never know because like a petulant child O’Leary has taken his ball and gone home- shame on him.


Plenty of shame to go around

You have to wonder how much fake news impacts a party’s decision. In this case the Conservatives have thrown up a huge smoke screen over a Liberal MPs motion around Islamophobia. The realty is once the smoke clears the Conservatives will be left blowing smoke as they try to convince voters, especially new Canadians that they are an inclusive party.

Some of this is just so foolish that it simply leaves you shaking your head. I have seen leadership candidates express concern that this simple motion could lead to Sharia law or that it would be the end of free speech. I have seen constant reference to this motion being a “Bill” which it most definitely is not.

Every party and that includes the Liberals, NDP, and Green parties has its fringe elements and we have seen some of the Conservative fringe in action around this motion.

The sad thing for the party is that a few of the leadership candidates have bought into this nonsense, potentially self-inflicting injuries on themselves for years to come if one of them happens to win the leadership vote. Some of us have been there when motions are drafted and we know that they are always crafted to inflict the maximum damage and cause the maximum frustration and division in other parties. Hours can be spent on the wording to get it just right. And don’t kid yourself the top brass usually know what is going on and play and active part. Pretty well every motion will be checked over by the Whip’s office and an MP can rarely say the upper echelons IE PMO or Leader’s Office wasn’t aware of what their MP was proposing. Why wasn't an attempt made to get all party agreement on the wording before it was introduced? This could have been done by the MP or party brass. Clearly playing politics with the motion was part of the Liberal game plan.

With this motion the Liberals scored a bullseye and the Conservatives are left looking nasty and out of touch. Thus it is no surprise that the provincial Liberals will introduce a similar motion in a desperate attempt to rattle the Ontario Conservatives.

What is concerning is not only that the federal Conservatives fell into the trap, but that the Liberals on such an important and delicate issue set the trap in the first place.

The shame should be spread equally over both parties.


The Sharks Should be Circling

As O’Leary or his team commits another blunder by posting a video of him having fun at a shooting range just as the funerals for the Mosque victims in Quebec starts, sharks of every colour- blue, red, orange and green should be circling around him.

The blue sharks for the obvious reason that he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, and I stress the “Canada” part of the name. All the other sharks should be circling too because as we all know; nothing is ever forgotten in politics and everything comes back to bite you at one time or another- especially through political attack ads. Just ask Ignatieff, the other Canadian who came back home to run the country. Come to think of it he was at Harvard, also from the Boston area.

First we had O’Leary’s comments about our vets, but, with a bit of fancy footwork they managed to dig him out of that one. Then we had his asinine comments about selling seats in the Senate to the highest bidder. He might be able to explain that one as sarcasm, although a great many people wouldn’t believe that answer.

Now we have the inability of O’Leary and his team to answer some pretty easy questions, every one of which should have been anticipated. If you can’t tell people if you will move to Canada and live here full time if elected leader of the Conservative Party of CANADA- you have a problem. If he can’t give a straight answer on whether or not he will run in 2019 if not elected leader- he has another problem.

In the same vein, if O’Leary can’t give a straight forward answer about whether or not he will continue on the American TV show “Shark Tank” if he is elected the leader, then the problems keep adding up. If he every attends a debate, I am sure he will be asked why he thinks being the leader of a national political party and Leader of the Official Opposition is a part-time job? It is a fair question if you won’t tell people what you will do.

These are very basic questions that his team should have grilled him on before he announced he was running. He is the candidate who brags that he tells the truth no matter how much it hurts- tucking straight forward questions doesn’t wear well. By ducking the questions and not answering, he has allowed the other candidates, other political parties and the media to frame his answers for him- that is just plain dumb.

The latest head shaking moment came today with a post to his campaign Face Book page of a video of O’Leary at a shooting range. The fact that this was done on the same day as the Quebec funerals is stunning for its ineptitude. It doesn’t matter when the video was taken. All campaigns have a script book and a roll out plan for communications that is prepared weeks in advance. We get that part, but, doesn’t his team realize that it has to be adjusted daily based on what is happening in the real world, not just inside their campaign bubble? Where was the vetting process? Did the candidate sign off on the posting of that video? That is another question the media will be asking. Hopefully O’Leary has an answer for it.

I was there when we plotted the attacks on Ignatieff and Dion; everything gets used against you-every action, every word, and every mistake. Politics is a brutal game with no quarter given. O’Leary has opened the door to the circling sharks. The only question remaining is whether or not he can jump back into the shark proof cage before it is too late.



The Conservative leadership race is finally attracting attention. Kevin O’Leary’s entrance into the campaign has finally achieved what has been missing to date- IE interest.

With fourteen in the race, is it time for a few to take “a walk in the snow?” Is it time for a number of the contenders to set aside egos and throw their support behind a serious candidate; of which there are some very good ones. O’Leary was right on one point, why have a debate when the so called policy discussion is limited to 20 second sound bites. Debates of the size that we have seen to date virtually eliminate the need for anyone to defend their policies in detail. Once the debate thankfully comes to an end, neither the public nor party members have any further understanding of what a candidate is proposing or the implications of those policies. Instead it is left up to the media to offer their explanation of a candidate’s position and after watching the mess in the USA, do party members really want to leave it to the media to explain Conservative policy positions?

If we use O’Leary’s entrance as an example, there have been media comments that the Conservatives might elect a reality TV star. This is supposed to be a major knock on O’Leary, but if we stop and think about it, Canadians elected a drama teacher and that drama teacher is now running the country. The media seem desperate to create another Donald Trump, but they are two different individuals in two different countries. O’Leary gets knocked for being a business man with no political experience. Canadians elected a drama teacher whose only experience was managing a classroom and whose claim to fame was his hair and his father’s name. It will be policies that count and we need O’Leary, Raitt, O’Toole, Leitch, Chong, Bernier, Alexander, Scheer and Blaney to start putting them forward for both scrutiny and debate.

I have also seen mention that party members might fall into the trap of electing someone simply because they can win and beat Trudeau. One would hope they do elect som eone who can win. Unfortunately politics is about winning. With few exceptions such as Pierre Trudeau’s implementation of wage and price controls (Anti-Inflation Act 1975), coming second in an election doesn’t see your policies implemented by the winner. All of the above names have the potential to beat Trudeau and excluding O’Leary there is a lot of political experience in that group. Party members will have an opportunity to look and judge.

It is time now for all of the contenders to step up their game and show party members and the public what they stand for. It is also time to focus on constructive debate and leave the name calling and insults out of it. History has shown that more than one leadership vote has come down to who is everyone’s second choice. It pays to play nice if you want to win. Let us remember that when this leadership race is over Conservatives have to unite to work together to win in 2019; otherwise it is four more years of Justin Trudeau. Can we really afford to let that happen?

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