A Bizarre Story

Canada Border Services Agency officers identified the phenomenon but when the PBO asked for data, CBSA said it is not being tracked.
Canada Border Services Agency officers identified the phenomenon but when the PBO asked for data, CBSA said it is not being tracked.

While a politician may wish something to be true, simply saying it in the House of Commons does not make it so.

Bill Blair, the newly-minted minister for border security, made a claim about the refugee system in question period Thursday that cannot be supported by the available facts.

“The system is working,” he said.

He was responding to questions about a new report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, which pegged the cost of “irregular” — for which read “illegal” — migration at $340 million for the cohort of migrants who arrived in Canada in 2017-18 – a cost-per-migrant to the federal government of $14,321. (That does not include provincial expenses, which Ontario claims come to around $200 million. The PBO estimated a similar amount for Quebec. The federal government has reimbursed the provinces a total of $50 million.)

Technically, Blair is correct. The refugee system is working — in much the same way the Russian military’s Antonov Flying Tank worked during the Second World War.

In that case, the plane could leave the ground and drop a tank by parachute, albeit without crew, fuel or armaments. It worked. It just didn’t work well — and the project was rapidly abandoned.

The federal government should adopt a similar approach and go back to the drawing board.

The PBO report is revealing, and not just for the cost estimates. In fact, it emerges in a footnote the costs are likely more than $14,321 per migrant — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada estimates the number at $19,000.

But during its investigation, the PBO team elicited some interesting responses from government departments that show how bizarre the migrant story has become.

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See Also:

(1) Irregular migrants will cost Canada $340 million and rising, says PBO

(2) Security report on Trudeau’s problem-plagued India trip set to drop within days

(3) Feds ponder troubling cure for fake news

(4) Tory senator says he heard 18 months ago MP Grewal was under investigation, questions why PMO didn’t act then

(5) Trudeau’s strange affinity for Cuba

(6) Alberta left out in the cold as Liberals fret over vote-rich Ontario

(7) Can more trains really save the Alberta oilsands? Here’s what you need to know about Notley’s plan

(8) USMCA: Canada, U.S., Mexico officially sign new trade agreement

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