Refugees or Queue Jumpers? (S1)


After our great discussion today in class and the articles we read, discuss what you think Canada’s role should be for people who seek asylum by washing up on our shores. What are our responsibilities? What should Canada say to those who seek a better life here?

Photo taken from: Globe & Mail

Here are the links to the articles we read and the link to some video:

Globe and Mail Video
Sun Media Poll
BBC Article
MacLean’s Magazine Article

Please be clear, concise and respectful. The assessment criteria is located at MrHendeson.ca.

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23 thoughts on “Refugees or Queue Jumpers? (S1)

  1. We Canadians has the responsibility of helping these people in search of a better life. They have traveled long and far just to find refuge, and it would be very unfair if we tell them to go home. Considering we have accepted other races in the past. Why not these people? Are they that different from you and I? We should tell these people that they are welcome here. We should accept all races. Even though they might look different from us, that doesn't mean that we can't treat them like each other.Odile

  2. Canadians should help these people who have come here to start a new life. They obviously not in very good shape from where they came from, so they did what they thought would be the best for them and their families. They did not just come without anything, they came with $50,000 each. They have money to look for a place to live here, and we should let them live here. If their are criminals on that boat, then we should treat them like the criminals that we have in this country. Canada's responsibility is to take in these people who have come for a better life. Derek

  3. I think we should allow the refugees into our country after we screen them to make sure that there aren't any criminals onboard. If there are criminals we should arrest them and allow the other refuges to begin a new life in Canada. I think that it is Canada's responsibility to help these people. Carson

  4. In my opinion i think canada should always be open to accepting refugees who come into our shores. us as canadians have a reputation of helping those in need and we have already helped many. to be exact around 10,000 a year. hoever we must take precautions to make sure no harm can come from accepting all the tamils. I dont say this because they are brown but because it is important for every refugee white, brown or black to be checked before being accepted into canada. canada is known for giving oppertuity to those in need and the tamils are not any diffrent from the thousands of refugees we permit each year. They acn also benifit canada by for example bringing more bussiness to the community such as texes sales. So in conclusion i feel it will be best for not only the tamils but also us as canadians to accept each tamil after a screening is doneRamy

  5. I think canada should be excepting refugees because its important for every refuge no matter what color of skin they are to be checked before being accepted to canada. In my opinion i think we should let the refugees into our country.-avery 🙂

  6. My thought on this discussion is that the refugees from Tamil should be allowed to come to Canada. I think this because Canada has a great deal of area for people to live. The refugees will also pay taxes if they where to be allowed to come to Canada, so we would have more money. One argument is that they mite have a sickness or some might be part of a terrorist group. Canada should give them medical care to treat them if they are sick, and if some are terrorist they would be taken care of. This doesn't mean the other refugees can't come to Canada. This is my opinion on the refugees from Tamil.Daniel K

  7. In my opinion I think that Canada should allow these refugees who are seeking a better life into the country, we have a small population compared to the land we own anyways. As long as they aren't possibly harmful to the country (i.e. have diseases or are part of a terrorist group), but if they are sick the medical system in here can treat them. They have every right to look for a better life here. They really will only help Canada by getting jobs and being part of communities across the country. The Canadian government should allow these people to live in this country.Qasim

  8. Canada should not allow illegal refugees to stay in the country. Canada is a multicultural country, open to immigrants and refugees from across the globe. However, there is a legal application process that must be followed in order to claim this status. People who merely wash up on Canada's shores create many problems and should not be allowed to stay. Situations such as the recent Tamil incident are extremely unfortunate and it is only natural to sympathize for them. However, it is of vital importance to denounce their illegal actions.First of all, this is unsafe to both Canadian citizens and the illegal refugees themselves. We don’t know about their background and their health conditions. They may carry a contagious disease or they may be terrorist related. Secondly, it is a long and dangerous journey from their homeland to Canada involving many health and safety risks. This is undesirable.Furthermore, it is unfair to the other immigrants or refugees that applied to become a citizen of Canada by the proper way. Moreover, the costs of these illegal refugees’ actions are very demanding on taxpayer money (for their lawyers, courts and living/shelter fees). If these illegal refugees were to be admitted into the country, it is almost certain that people will abuse Canada’s good intentions, leading to similar incidents in the future. Canada‘s responsibility is to give refugees an opportunity for a better life. I hope these people will be able to eventually stay in Canada, but there is a proper way to do it. Michael

  9. I think that we should let all the refuges in to our country because even thought some of the might be criminals they could just be looking for a second chance. If one of the these immigrants shows him self to be overly aggressive than the government should investigate that person individually.If we do not allow these people in we will be no better than the terrists we are afraid of because it would mean they would have to go back to their own country. Where they are likely to be killed or imprisoned.jeremy

  10. I think that Canada should welcome the refugees into our country because they obviously are in search of a better life and if they were willing to make extra money for the trip (which must have been very challenging) they are willing to be contributing citizens.They would pay tax and recieve education which only enriches our country. Although, i think Canada should allow the refugees to live in our country i think that all should be screened for diseases because living on such a small boat for such a long period of time disease is bound to spread. I'm not saying that if there is a disease found in some refugees we should send them back. I think they should be treated accordingly and be allowed to live like anyone else. It is our responsibility as Canadiens to welcome all sorts of people and turning the boat away because of terrorist "threat" or infectious disease is unacceptable. Both those problems may be delt with easily and once delt with Canada will have a larger and more diverse population which will benefit Canada.-Nicole 🙂

  11. I think that Canada should let the refugees into Canada after being screened for criminal backgrounds. Canada needs to ourselves into their shoes and think what it would be like to have to be on an overcrowded boat for 3 months trying to find somewhere to live. The refugees also had to pay $50,000 or around there in order to get to a safer place which shows that these people really do need a better place to live. Canadians have a great reputation of helping others when they are in need. We need to keep up the reputation and accept these refugees as long as they aren’t putting our country into danger (i.e . being part of a terrorist group or carrying diseases.) Canada also has a small population for our land mass; we could use more people especially because of our taxes. I think that the Canadian government should let the refugees into our country.Tailyn

  12. Canada has a long history of helping people in need from other countries. They have helped millions of refugees suffering from natural disasters in their homelands to seek a better life in Canada. These refugees have helped build and shape modern Canada. I am an immigrant myself currently in application to become a citizen. Canada has offered my family such a wonderful, productive life. My dad got a job here and loved it so much we all moved here. So I understand I sympathize with the Tamil refugees’ desire to start a new life in Canada. But unlike the Tamil refugees, we and other immigrants have to follow proper legal immigration procedures. There is a backlog of over nine-hundred thousand people trying to legally immigrant into Canada. How do you explain to them that the Tamil refugees will be let in without following the legal process? While Canada is accepting of immigrants from all races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds it is necessary to screen immigrants. After World War II thousands of European immigrants flooded into Canada seeking asylum from their war destroyed homelands. The Canadian government screened these immigrants to eliminate Nazi war criminals seeking asylum. The Canadian government did this for two reasons. One was to protect the Canadian citizens and secondly Canada’s international reputation. We are faced with a similar situation today. This group of refugees poses two problems for Canada. First of all, if there are terrorist hidings amongst this group and we immigrate them they could perform terrorist acts in Canada. Secondly, Canada cannot be seen by the world as a safe haven for terrorists. While it is our responsibility to help these refugees, we cannot let these refugees into Canada. If we do we set a precedent for anyone who would attempt to do what this group is trying to do. Canada has to develop a policy to deal with illegal immigrants that does not put Canada at risk. Spero

  13. My opinion is that we should let in the Tamil refugees into our country. It's even Canada's responsibility to take in refugees. These people must've been really committed because they spent nearly three months in a ship crammed with almost 500 people and having to pay $50 000 each. Instead of being closed-minded and wanting to send these people back to Sri Lanka in a heartbeat, we should let them have a chance and let the screening process and the Canadian Customs officers do their thing. If they do find members of the Tamil Tigers, Canada can simply send them back. These Tamil migrants came to our shores for a reason, to avoid persecution and also avoid either getting killed or imprisoned back in Sri Lanka. We should let these refugees into Canada so they could start a new life here.Ryan

  14. I think that we should allow the Tamils into our country. I think the Government should view them as refugees, unless there is proof otherwise. While there may be a possibility that there are members of the terrorist group within the group of refugees, it is possible they are looking for a new place to start over. While the way that the Tamils came to Canada is not the right way, they came with good intentions. They each managed to come up with $50,000 and where they come from, that kind of money isn't easy to come up with. To make them turn around and go back to the poor conditions in which they were previously living, is wrong.While the Government is figuring out how to deal with the newcomers, Canadians should reach out and help them, just as they do across seas when they donate money. Hospitals should treat their illnesses should they have any, and give them the treatment they need. Canada is a good country, and shouldn't change because of a little surprise.Gracie

  15. I think that Canada should let the Tamil refugees into our country after a thorough investigation. These people would not only increase the population of Canada (which we need), it would also allow them to get an education and start their life over in a better place. If some of these people seem to be a threat to Canada, then the should be investigated individually. Even if there are people from a terrorist group, they may have came to Canada to turn around their lives and become better people.Another reason why we should let them stay is because they are very dedicated people. 500 people traveled in a boat for 3 months. And even before the trip, they had to earn there way onto the boat by earning 5,000 which is difficult to earn in a third world country. These people can help out Canada with jobs because of their dedication. Although these people may be carrying diseases, we can give them the medical treatment that Canada has.This is why I think Canada should let these Tamil refugees into our country.Bilal

  16. As a young person who was lucky enough to be born in Canada it is difficult to imagine what it would be like to live in such bad circumstances that I had to leave my own country. Also, because I live in a peaceful and free country I believe that when people arrive in Canada for safety it is our responsibility to help them find it. I think that is is Canada’s responsibility to help those in need of safety. Although to do that we must not jeopardize our own. To do this I think we need to decide whether these are the kind of people we want in our country. This means we need to decide whether they are actually refugees or not. If they are refugees then they should be able to live in Canada if they are not refugees I think they should go back to their home country. Although if they are criminals or terrorists I think the should be put in a very secure jail. When refugees come to Canada I think we should never turn them away right away. I think that Canada should tell these refugees that they are welcome in our country but first they must go through a process. For example on August 16, 2010 490 people from Ski Lanka arrived on the coast of Vancouver, these people are no different than other refugees other than the fact that there are so many of them and we do not know if they are actually refugees. I think we should tell these people that they need to go through the same process as other refugees. This would ensure that Canada stays safe while at the same time helping those in need. Jane

  17. I think that Canada should definetly allow the Tamil refugees into our country. First though they should make everyone go through a screening process to ensure that there are no terrorists on the boat. Once the refugees are accepted I think we have a responsibility to provide them with the health care that they may need. If we treat them with kindness and respect then they will return the favor by positively contributing to our society in some way therefor benefiting everyone.We must remember that once most of our ancestors were in the same boat.(pun intended)Sarah 🙂

  18. Canada is an incredibly wealthy country and we have a responsibility to give people the chance of a better life, but we cannot forget about our responsibility to our own citizens as well. When you think about it, it comes down to a balance between head and heart. We should do our very best to offer the opportunity of a better life to as many people as possible, in order to do that we must make sure we can actually provide that. By taking in everyone without any rules or processes, we are also taking away opportunities for current citizens of Canada. We can’t forget the head when we use the heart. When people wish to seek a better life in Canada, we have to consider what they could bring to better influence Canada’s society. We have to take in to consideration what skill sets they bring, whether they have family in Canada already, or if their lives could be endangered by not coming to our country because of war, famine, displacement, or political conflict. By giving certain priorities to people who either have or are experiencing these things, we are not only bettering Canadian society but also giving help to those who need it most. For example, if someone decides to come to Canada to escape life as a refugee, and they pass all rules and processes as far as being a good citizen, they should be given priority. Once these people get here we also have to make sure that our infrastructure can support them and give them such opportunities. Once they arrive here they are the responsibility of Canada and Canadian tax payers. When people seek a better life in Canada, we must make sure they follow all rules and processes but also that we have a bias to helping as many people as possible, including our own citizens. Hannah

  19. Canada is an incredibly wealthy country and we have a responsibility to give people the chance of a better life, but we cannot forget about our responsibility to our own citizens as well. When you think about it, it comes down to a balance between head and heart. We should do our very best to offer the opportunity of a better life to as many people as possible, in order to do that we must make sure we can actually provide that. By taking in everyone without any rules or processes, we are also taking away opportunities for current citizens of Canada. We can’t forget the head when we use the heart. When people wish to seek a better life in Canada, we have to consider what they could bring to better influence Canada’s society. We have to take in to consideration what skill sets they bring, whether they have family in Canada already, or if their lives could be endangered by not coming to our country because of war, famine, displacement, or political conflict. By giving certain priorities to people who either have or are experiencing these things, we are not only bettering Canadian society but also giving help to those who need it most. For example, if someone decides to come to Canada to escape life as a refugee, and they pass all rules and processes as far as being a good citizen, they should be given priority. Once these people get here we also have to make sure that our infrastructure can support them and give them such opportunities. Once they arrive here they are the responsibility of Canada and Canadian tax payers. When people seek a better life in Canada, we must make sure they follow all rules and processes but also that we have a bias to helping as many people as possible, including our own citizens. Hannah

  20. I think that we as Canadians should accept these refugees. It shouldn't matter if they were criminals in their home countries. If they have come to Canada to escape cops because they were spies, we should let them stay. If they do anything bad here, we can either send them back or give them our own punishment. But we can't turn our backs on people who have come seeking help and might desperately need it.~Becca

  21. i think we should send them back because of they could have desieses and it could spread into canada. for all we know they can be terrorist and that would threaten the safety of every canadian citizen. jae

  22. Posting on behalf of SF via email:In my opinion, the Tamils should be allowed to live in Canada once they have been screened. It is true that we do not want terrorists living in our society; however the actions of the Tamil passengers do not suggest terrorism. There have been no reports of the Tamils attempting to avoid screening, and they allowed themselves to be escorted to Canada by the Navy. They were not captured by the Navy, which is a distinction worth making. The Tamils also paid $50,000 for a berth on the ship, which was by no means comfortable. The mere act of crossing the sea to Canada proves that they are already committed to Canada, and we are not going to be overwhelmed by a couple hundred people. Though the voyage may be deemed human smuggling, the Tamils are not here to be sold as slaves, which is the usual action associated with that term. They are refugees and just because they did not take the normal route does not mean we have reason to deny them refuge. The law states that anyone who has a valid refugee claim is allowed into our country, and that includes the Tamils.Furthermore, this is not the first boat that has arrived from Sri Lanka. Last October we received another boat, akin to the Sun Sea, and there have been no terrorist attacks because we admitted that shipload of refugees. If they are not associated with the Tamil Tigers there is no reason to turn them away. Not only that, but it is our duty as one of the United Nations, and as Canadians to give help and security to those who are in need of it, and the Tamils are no exception.

  23. I think the Tamils shouldn't be given refugee status, although it is highly unlikely they pose any threat to Canada they didn't follow the correct process. They may infact be in danger but they should not be treated as refugees. There is a process to follow if you want to be a refugee and the Tamils did not follow it. The Tamils should either be treated as people who want to become immigrants but are not refugees or be sent back. Sam

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