Credits: JEAN-FRANCOIS VILLENEUVE/QMI AGENCY
Talk of a kindly government towards people it wants to be rid of!
The federal government has introduced a plan whereby up to $2,000 and a free one-way air ticket will be provided to "refugees" who volunteer to return to their country of origin.
Roughly 15% of about 100,000 refugee applicants are annually rejected, and if select individuals among this 15% agree to be sent back without going through the appeal process, they may get up to $2,000 each and free transportation.
Even if this may save the state money, it is still remarkably generous.
Not only "generous," it smacks of bribery - and when you have to bribe people to achieve something, it's a recognition of defeat, or laziness, or desperation.
Right now there are said to be close to 7,000 refugee applicants who may be entitled to the windfall - some $14 million if the maximum rate holds.
While Canada is a country that can absorb refugees and, indeed, many who came to this country as refugees have enormously benefited both themselves and Canada, it still seems curious that we pay rejects to leave.
It's pretty hard for a genuine refugee to be rejected by Canada.
Those who are rejected often disappear within Canadian society as "illegals," and some are clearly security risks.
But this program is not intended to root out spies or secret agents, but to get rid of honest people whom we don't want here for a variety of reasons.
Canada must be one of the few countries that pays people not wanted as citizens to go home. Britain also does it. Some countries keep unwanted applicants in custody and then pack them off to where they came from.
Not soft-hearted Canada. Even when we catch "illegals" trying to enter with no passports (often phony passports destroyed en route, or "rented" from a broker and returned to the supplier), we tend to release them on the promise they'll appear before an immigration court to plead their case.
Of course, most disappear when released.
Others, scheduled for deportation, get accommodation, medical treatment, even welfare. Not for nothing does Canada have an international reputation as a sanctuary for spies and war criminals that stretches over the decades.
We even have reports that being in custody damages the refugee's psyche.
In the bad old days before the Soviet Union collapsed, a Canadian passport was standard spycraft for Soviet espionage.
How many realize that before the war, Yugoslavia's Tito carried a Canadian passport, as did the guy who assassinated Leon Trotsky in Mexico (acquired from a Canadian killed in the Spanish civil war)?
The first Soviet agent Canada caught after the war was a Polish-born Canadian who was a member of Parliament (Fred Rose).
All these Canadian passports were floating about, even though Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says there was no such thing as a Canadian "citizen" before 1947!
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), under whom the repatriation plan will be implemented, is curiously concerned about the "dignity and anonymity" of rejected applicants who'll get Canadian money "to make a fresh start in your home country."
What gives here? C'mon guys, worry about Canadians, not refugees!
Lord knows our government tends to ignore Canadians who run into trouble overseas, so why are we so solicitous and generous to those we don't want as citizens?
Just the Canadian way, I guess.