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Malcolm

Refugee Resettlement

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Sadly we are seeing increasing reports from Europe that some male refugees are not capable of dealing with their new reality and inparticular the rights that Western Women enjoy. So far reports from Sweden and Germany have reported completely unacceptable behaviour towards women on New Years eve and now the BBC is reporting that immigrant men will be banned from using a swimming pool because of their behaviour towards women.

I have encountered some Muslim immigrants with pretty reprehensible social attitudes who don't appear to be visibly harassing women or worse. I suspect what we're seeing in Europe is every last "Tony Montana" in the middle east making a dash for Europe and blending in with the refugees.

A once in a lifetime opportunity to get into Europe for the low-end criminal element.

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Malcolm

To answer your first question regarding the 'last paragraph'; the Suffragettes acted, attitudes were changed and laws enacted to protect the fair sex. Today a growing force has every intent to reverse those advances and we collectively appear to be encouraging a return to the dark ages.

"Now comes the hard part, how do we bring them all into this brave new world?"

There is too much mass in motion now here in Canada to effect a quick fix, or to reverse direction easily; the fix just isn't going to be very pretty.

Here below is a wish for a Happy New Year being delivered to one of our unclean women at home in Germany.

post-604-0-38895600-1452965323_thumb.jpg

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I have encountered some Muslim immigrants with pretty reprehensible social attitudes who don't appear to be visibly harassing women or worse. I suspect what we're seeing in Europe is every last "Tony Montana" in the middle east making a dash for Europe and blending in with the refugees.

A once in a lifetime opportunity to get into Europe for the low-end criminal element.

There was an interesting study about the composition of the migrants in Europe. Such a large proportion are young men, that it is changing the demographic balance in countries like Sweden (Germany a little less so). So many young men, lacking documentation or programs to either work or even study, become frustrated loiterers. They get into booze and drugs. They congregate and group think takes over, leading to event such as New Year's Eve in Cologne. Are cultural differences a factor, too? Of course, but what has taken place in Europe has relatively little similarity to what is happening now in Canada.

There are four key differences with the Canadian and European experiences. Europe is accessible to almost anyone who can pay smugglers and assume the physical risks. Young men are the fittest and most likely to make the trip. Canada is not easily accessible. No one is smuggling people across the Atlantic, not yet anyway. Secondly, Canada is accepting only the most vulnerable. Not single young men, unless part of a family, and then only rarely. Thirdly, with some exceptions where the local bureaucracy is lagging, the refugees are getting the wherewithal to make a start. The first to benefit are the kids who can enter school immediately. Fourth, and very important, about half the refugees have sponsors - family members or groups. They are helping with everything, food, clothing, schooling, and helping explain Canada to people for whom we must seem very strange indeed.

Here's this week's cover of Maclean's.

http://www.macleans.ca/saving-family-no-417/

Will everything always go smoothly. I suspect not. But then again ,there is a lot around us that has nothing to do with refugees and immigrants that doesn't go smoothly, but we trudge on.

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Interesting approach being taken in the UK regarding the need to learn English. I think the same here would be a great idea but why limit it to women only? I think being deported is too harsh though.

January 18, 2016 6:57 am

David Cameron says Muslim women ‘must improve English’ or face possible deportation
By Danica Kirka The Associated Press

ABOVE: Muslim women must improve their English or be deported says Cameron.

LONDON – Britain’s prime minister says Muslim women must improve their English to better integrate into British society, and suggested some migrants could be deported if they fail to speak the language.

Arguing that community cohesion is the best antidote to extremism, Prime Minster David Cameron on Monday pledged to fund English language classes for female migrants. The 20-million-pound ($28.5 million) fund will help tens of thousands of women facing social isolation and discrimination and emphasize that Britain has expectations for those who want to live in the country, Cameron said.

“At the moment, someone can move here with very basic English and there’s no requirement to improve it over time. We will change that,” Cameron wrote in a commentary in the Times. “We will now say: if you don’t improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the UK. This will help make it clear to those men who stop their partners from integrating that there are consequences.”

Muslim groups reacted sharply to the proposal, describing the plan as a blunt instrument levelled at their expense and focusing on the extremist minority rather than the peaceful majority.

The program aimed at women is meant to end what Cameron called the “passive tolerance” of discriminatory practices and to challenge the “backward attitudes” of a minority of men. Some 190,000 Muslim women in England speak little or no English. Though Cameron acknowledged that problems of forced gender segregation and social isolation are not unique to Muslim communities, he did not mention other groups.

Cameron’s proposal reflects the challenge the country’s leaders face in trying to defuse the appeal that the Islamic State group holds for many young Britons. Some 800 British citizens have managed to enter Syria in the last four years while another 600 have been caught trying to get there.

Parents who are unable to speak English have less of a chance of preventing radicalization of their children, Cameron argued.

Muslim groups protested that they were being singled out.

“The best way to confront (terrorism) it is to build support within Muslims and support the work done across the country, and not lashing out and denigrating Muslims,” said Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation. “The irony of the prime minister calling for more resources to help migrants learn English when his government cut the funding for English classes in 2011 has not been lost on many people.”

Story Link: http://globalnews.ca/news/2460203/david-cameron-says-muslim-women-must-improve-english-or-face-possible-deportation/

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If this investigation yields troubling results for the US, I wonder if we will see restrictions on entry into the US for some Canadians?

Syrian refugee screening set for scrutiny at U.S. Senate committee

Canada defends Syrian refugee screening ahead of U.S. Senate committee

By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 27, 2016 9:37 AM ET| Last Updated: Jan 27, 2016 9:37 AM ET

The Canadian government has fired off a pre-emptive strike before American lawmakers hold a hearing in which the northern neighbour's Syria refugee policy will be on the hot seat.

It sent a note to members of a powerful U.S. Senate committee that has scheduled a meeting next week titled, "Canada's Fast-Track Refugee Plan: Unanswered Questions and Implications for U.S. National Security."

The U.S. Senate homeland-security hearing is, for the Trudeau government, an unwanted flip-side to the praise it received from progressives and foreign media outlets last month when the prime minister personally greeted refugees at the airport.

This will be far less laudatory, judging from the list of witnesses invited to testify before the committee next Wednesday: most have already publicly challenged Canada's plan to quickly accept 25,000 refugees.

The Canadian embassy had also been invited to testify but declined, said ambassador Gary Doer, citing a long-standing practice of avoiding appearances in that partisan domestic political chamber.

'Rest assured that no corners, including security screening, are being cut in order to achieve the government's objectives'

- Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

Instead, Doer sent a note beforehand outlining nine security measures the Canadian government has taken — five specifically related to the Syrian refugee program, and four others involving regular border co-operation with the U.S.

They include the collection of biometric information from refugees; a zero-acceptance policy when doubts surface about any individual candidate; use of U.S. security databases; the prioritization of low-risk refugees like women and families; and the fact that the refugees would be non-citizens for years, and couldn't travel to the U.S. without visas.

"Rest assured that no corners, including security screening, are being cut in order to achieve the government's objectives," Doer wrote in the letter, sent last week.

"Rather, the government has devoted significant resources to this effort."

Doer concluded the letter by addressing a long-standing canard that repeatedly surfaces about the 9-11 attacks, noting that the congressional committee that studied the catastrophe concluded none of the hijackers came from Canada.

In an interview Tuesday, Doer added: "We want to deal with the facts. We're not naive enough to suggest that there's not a lot of politics in this."

Security concerns

In the U.S., the refugees have become a political football in a campaign season where different Republican presidential candidates are proposing a Syrian refugee ban — led by Donald Trump, who has gone so far as to call for a total freeze on Muslims travelling to the U.S.

Of the witnesses invited to testify at the Republican-controlled committee, three are likely to express concern about Canada's refugee approach.

A union representing border guards will argue that there aren't enough border agents to guarantee that the country is protected from terrorist infiltrators.

"It is a source of concern," said Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council. "The nearest agent could be 100 miles away. By that point, you could easily cross into the U.S. from Canada."

Another witness is David Harris, an Ottawa resident who worked for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service from 1988 to 1990, and now runs his own anti-terrorism research operation. Harris has publicly suggested letting in fewer immigrants as one way for Canada to guard against the threat.

American lawmakers will also hear about how vital the Canada-U.S. border is to the economy. The U.S. takes in about 76 per cent of all Canadian exports, and border-tightening measures after the 9-11 attacks affected the flow of goods.

Opposition MPs in Ottawa are warning the government to handle the file carefully.

"I think this (U.S.) committee has been struck because there are legitimate concerns," said Conservative MP and immigration critic Michelle Rempel.

"I think it's incumbent on the Canadian government to assure our largest ally to the south that the screening processes we have put in place are adequate.... Not just for their purposes, but for assuring the Canadian public that all rigour and processes have been put in place."

© The Canadian Press, 2016

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/syrian-refugee-screening-set-for-scrutiny-at-u-s-senate-committee-1.3421692?cmp=rss

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the article on CTV news last night about the Canadian who had been long staying in a hotel has been evicted to make room for more refugees didn't sit right with me. We are looking after these folks better than our own homeless and now we kick the ones with homes out to make room for them. That's not OK with me.

Also the fact that the restaurant and bar have no customers and will have to close down is not a positive.

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Thank goodness we are not faced with the overwhelming influx of refugees that those who live in Europe face. Once again, as in
​WWII the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean has helped us.

Sweden to expel up to 80,000 failed asylum-seekers

Sweden expects to expel up to 80,000 asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected, the country's interior minister has announced.

Anders Ygeman said that charter aircraft would be used to deport the migrants over several years.

"We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000," Mr Ygeman told Swedish media.

Some 163,000 migrants applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, the highest per capita number in Europe.

Of the approximately 58,800 cases processed last year, 55% were accepted.

Schengen: Controversial EU free movement deal explained

Migrants feel chill as Europe tightens frontier checks

EU threatens Greece over border controls

Earlier on Wednesday, Greece's government responded to allegations in a draft European Commission report that it had "seriously neglected" its obligations to control the external frontier of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone.

Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili accused the Commission of "blame games" and said it had failed to act on a programme agreed last year to relocate tens of thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece.

Which countries are in the Schengen zone? _85534869_eu_and_schengen_states_624.png

Europe is struggling to deal with a crisis that has seen tens of thousands more migrants arrive on Greek beaches, undeterred by cold wintry conditions.

The UN says more than 46,000 people have arrived in Greece so far this year, with more than 170 people killed making the dangerous crossing.

Sweden recently introduced temporary border checks in a bid to control the influx of people. Along with Germany, the Scandinavian country is is a prime destination for refugees and other migrants entering the EU illegally.

Sweden earlier this week became the latest of a number of European nations to see tensions over migrants heightened by violence. A 15-year-old asylum seeker was arrested in Molndal, near Gothenburg, after a 22-year-old asylum centre employee was stabbed to death.

Migration officials say 35,400 unaccompanied minors sought asylum in Sweden in 2015, five times the number in 2014.

In neighbouring Denmark, meanwhile, the government this week approved legislation to seize the valuables of refugees in the hope of limiting the influx of migrants.

Some have likened the Danish proposals to the confiscation of gold and other valuables from Jews by the Nazis during the Holocaust

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Some don't want to stay in Canada! Apparently, several weeks in a motel is not tolerable/acceptable and expected a house. They are saying the camps in Lebanon are preferable.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/syrian-refugees-hotel-toronto-1.3418220

Again, these are people who fled to Turkey/Lebanon and were SAFE. Not ideal, but safe. Not sure what Canadians expected.

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Malcolm asks; "Now comes the hard part, how do we bring them all into this brave new world?"

One thing should be clear to all by all now; love, caring, kindness, compassion and the like just isn't going to do it.

To gain a more rounded appreciation of the situation unfolding in Europe for more a year now and a vivid demonstration of just how precariously close Europe is to the edge it’s necessary to step away from the mainstream media and do a little bit of digging.

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Seems that in Sweden it is not "a brave new world" but rather the old non tolerant one.

Sweden masked gang 'targeted migrants' in Stockholm
  • 2 hours ago
  • From the section Europe

Up to 100 masked men, dressed in black, gathered in central Stockholm to attack people from immigrant backgrounds, reports say.

Swedish police say the large gang distributed leaflets inciting people to assault refugees.

Witnesses said the men physically attacked people they believed were foreigners. However, police have not confirmed these reports.

It comes amid heightened tension in Sweden over the migrant crisis.

Some 163,000 migrants applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, the highest per capita number in Europe.

According to Aftonbladet newspaper, the men in Stockholm were distributing leaflets on Friday evening with the slogan "It's enough now!",

The material threatened to give "the North African street children who are roaming around" the "punishment they deserve."

The newspaper published a video showing the gang clashing with police at Stockholm's central station.

Knuckledusters

Stockholm police said in a statement (in Swedish) that the group was handing out leaflets with the intention to incite people to carry out crimes.

One man was arrested after punching an officer in the face. Several others were detained on public order offences and another was found with brass knuckledusters, police said. All had been released by the following morning.

Spokeswoman Towe Haegg told Swedish radio police had not received any reports of violence against people from migrant backgrounds.

However, Aftonbladet interviewed one 16-year-old who said he had been hit in the face near Stockholm's central station. The newspaper also quoted another witness who said he had seen men beating up people who appeared to have a foreign background in the middle of the city's Sergelstorg square.

The men were wearing arm bands in various and have been reportedly linked to football hooligan gangs.

There were scuffles on Saturday between pro- and anti-migrant demonstrators, during which witnesses say foreigners were assaulted.

Tensions have increased after a 22-year-old employee was stabbed to death at a centre for young asylum seekers earlier this week. A 15-year-old asylum seeker was arrested in Molndal, near Gothenburg, over the murder.

Along with Germany, Sweden is a prime destination for refugees and other migrants entering the EU illegally.

More than one million refugees and migrants travelled to Europe last year, most fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The numbers arriving in Sweden have fallen significantly it imposed tighter border controls this year.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said the country would prepare to deport up to 80,000 migrants whose asylum applications were rejected

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tic tock

Any excuse for causing trouble. 100 men go out to punish innocents because of the actions of one. Time to punish them and to the extreme letter of the law. The actions of the 100, remind me of what happened not so long ago in a small town in Arkansas (1957/58) where the great unwashed took action against those who were different and who in their view did not deserve to be considered to be equal.

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My summarization was an assessment, or observation that the formation of groups like the one described in the news story are a telltale sign of a growing malignancy within a given society and not intended to address the particulars of the story Malcolm.

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Here is yet another look at how the resettlement has gone. PM selfie and the refugees

1297606330444_AUTHOR_PHOTO.jpg?quality=8
By Candice Malcolm Wednesday, January 27, 2016 08:21 PM EST

| Updated:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 08:23 PM EST
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets 16-month-old Madeleine Jamkossian, right, and her father Kevork Jamkossian, refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war, during their arrival at Pearson airport in Toronto on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

The sad plight of Syrian refugees continues, apparently, even after they arrive in Canada.

Far from being rescued from harsh conditions and uncertainly upon arrival, a string of media reports this week have shed light on the ongoing difficulties these newcomers face.

The CBC interviewed a Syrian mother, Zaneb Adri Abu-Rukti, who spoke through a translator from a Toronto hotel where her family has been living for several weeks.

“Our kids don’t have anywhere to play, nowhere to go out,” she said. “We feel like we’re just trapped in a prison.”

According to volunteers, some of these refugees are trying to return to the Middle East.

Refugees who were carefully selected, vetted, and flown into Canada, at a significant cost to taxpayers, now want to pack up and go back to refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

Abu-Rukti said her family received more help while living in those camps than they’ve received here in Canada.

During the election campaign, Justin Trudeau told Canadians Syrian refugees needed to be immediately evacuated from the Middle East.

We were told Canada’s best contribution to the ongoing conflict in Syria was to open our borders and allow refugees to come here.

But after interacting with the federal government in Canada, some of these refuges say they’d prefer to return to the refugee camps.

That is a slap in the face to the Trudeau policy.

A CTV report revealed that 600 government-sponsored Syrian refugees are crammed into a budget hotel in Toronto, with little support or communication, and are desperately waiting to move into permanent housing.

In Edmonton, Global News reported a large number of refugees arriving in Canada are “acutely ill”.

Local hospitals are struggling to cope with the needs of many patients arriving in Canada with illnesses picked up abroad.

According to an internal memo, a flu outbreak has “paralyzed” Alberta’s refugee resettlement agencies.

This is what happens when you make up a refugee policy in between taking selfies.

You put Canadian public health at risk. You leave refugees stranded. And worst of all, you risk creating persistent integration problems that could threaten Canadian society.

Refugee resettlement is an incredibly complicated business.

They must be properly screened and then properly welcomed.

Both are equally important.

Newcomers need to be supported by a community that can teach them the language, tell them about our culture, help them find a place to live, and assist them in securing meaningful employment.

Communities of people tend to be better at this than government bureaucrats and contractors.

And yet, part of this debacle is caused by Trudeau’s apparent preference for government-sponsored refugees over private sponsorship, which is facilitated and funded through churches, charities and families.

If done properly, refugees can settle into Canada and achieve impressive economic and social success.

If done wrong, however, refugee communities can form isolated cultural silos beset with high unemployment, crime, and family issues.

How refugees are treated in the first few months is incredibly important to how they settle into Canada.

The Trudeau government’s early refugee blunders may have long-term consequences.

Our resettlement of Syrian refugees could be a true Canadian success story.

Instead, for families like Abu-Rukti, the Syrian mother desperately trying to give her kids a better life in Canada, the government has made them feel isolated and abandoned.

That isn’t the Canadian way.

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Yet another aspect of the resettlement that the Libs. did not anticipate:

Large refugee families prove hard to house 4
Officials mull sending new arrivals to rural B.C.

“I’ve been trying to convince … refugees that it doesn’t make any difference to them, since they are newcomers, where they settle. SHAWKAT HASAN VICE-PRESIDENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES FOR THE B.C. MUSLIM ASSOCIATION

Large family sizes and a shortage of three-bedroom units have meant the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. has been able to find housing for less than a quarter of the government-assisted Syrian refugees.

The remainder are housed in hotels or apartment buildings funded by the federal government through the society.

As of Monday, the society — tasked by Ottawa with resettling all government-assisted refugees to this province — had found permanent homes for only 210 of the 913 Syrians who started arriving in the province in late December, settlement services director Chris Friesen said.

B.C. will likely pass the 1,000 mark over the weekend, when more are scheduled to arrive, he added. An additional 2,500 are expected by the end of the year.

The Immigrant Services Society and Ottawa are now in discussions to send governmentassisted refugees outside Metro Vancouver, Friesen said. They are looking at eight communities in the Okanagan, northern B.C. and on Vancouver Island, he said, but declined to name them as the contracts are not yet in place.

Refugee arrivals to several cities, including Vancouver, were paused last month for varying lengths of time as settlement agencies scrambled to find permanent housing. The Immigrant Services Society now keeps Ottawa informed on how much space there is in the temporary residence hotels and the federal government times new arrivals accordingly, Friesen said.

One in five of the newly arrived Syrians is under the age of 6, and almost twothirds — 61 per cent — are under 18. The average family size is six people.

Shawkat Hasan, vice-president of social services for the B.C. Muslim Association, which has been helping with the search for housing and the resettlement effort, said he met a family with 11 children, and families of seven to nine people are not uncommon.

“To have a big family in two bedrooms, it’s very difficult and it’s not healthy, so they have to have three bedrooms, and having three rooms available or more, it’s a challenge,” he said. “We managed to get one of the big families on a farm. The community in South Surrey-White Rock area offered a big house. They were very happy they settled there.”

The majority of families have settled in Surrey and Coquitlam into units that have been offered by developers, including Concert Properties, which offered 17 two- and three-bedroom units in Coquitlam and Vancouver.

But Hasan said due to the shortage of large, affordable housing units, he is encouraging refugees to consider moving outside Metro Vancouver.

“I’ve been trying to convince … refugees that it doesn’t make any difference to them, since they are newcomers, where they settle,” he said.

He has had housing offers from the Okanagan and northern B.C.

The refugees are housed in hotels and apartment buildings throughout Metro Vancouver while they go through a federal government intake process and receive an orientation. This process normally takes two to three weeks, but some families have been in the hotels longer, Hasan said.

The B.C. Muslim Association has been helping by providing food and meals to the refugees, driving them to appointments to look for accommodations and providing them with donated winter clothes and supplies, he said. The Muslim Food Bank has also been involved in these efforts.

“The main thing is strollers, because those big families I mentioned, they need to move around because they don’t have cars and they cannot move around without strollers. (They mostly need) double ones so they can put two kids in one,” Hasan said.

The B.C. Muslim Association is accepting food, clothing and other donations at its main office at 12300 Blundell Rd. in Richmond, Hasan said, though he asked that donors wishing to contribute food first check the best-before date.

This article was shared by a user of PressReader - an online source of publications from around the world. PressReader contains copyrighted material, trademarks and other proprietary information. Receipt of this article should not be interpreted as grant of any licenses express or implied, to the intellectual property of PressReader or publishers of publications presented. PressReader – Connecting People

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Are the 'orphan' kids arriving being segregated along religious lines, or put another way, is religion hampering the resettlement effort?

Seriously, can families of other faiths, even the atheists, take in 'Muslim' children and relieve the burden on the system, or would that approach constitute some form of egregious sin against Islam?

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One year later:

Syrian refugees' federal government funding reaching expiry date

Families who came to Canada almost one year ago may now avail of provincial programs

Alsalamat also said he’s thankful for all the kindness he’s received from Calgarians in Canada - especially in help with his children's education.

Elizabeth Cameron / For Metro

Alsalamat also said he’s thankful for all the kindness he’s received from Calgarians in Canada - especially in help with his children's education.

By: Josie Lukey For Metro Published on Mon Dec 19 2016

If you ask Asad Alsalamat and his family what they like about Canada, they’ll likely tell you ‘surface’.

The family came to Canada from Syria more than a year ago, from a city in south Syria just beside the capital Damascus where the surface to play on, or even live on was unsafe.

More than a year ago they began their life in Canada, but now, their funds from the federal government are about to expire.

Refugees receive somehwere between $1,200 and $1,400 a month for their first year in Canada. After that, they’re able to apply for additional programs and services to help them further transition themselves into Canada.

According to Alsalamat, even though it’s been very cold, Canadians have warmly helped his family adjust to the change. His children are beginning to speak English fluently with the help of willing teachers putting in extra effort and are being given the chance to have brighter futures.

“Doctor, pharmacist and engineer, this is the future for my kids,” said Alsalamat.

Asad Alsalamat holds his youngest daughter, Layal, 6, at their home in Calgary.

Elizabeth Cameron / For Metro

Asad Alsalamat holds his youngest daughter, Layal, 6, at their home in Calgary.

Other refugees aren’t so lucky.

David Hohol of the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary said after the one year is over, there’s a variety of programs to fall back on just in case.

“They’re on their own and they’ll be working hopefully already and if not they’ll adjust to the workforce or they’ll fall back on Canada and provincial, mostly provincial services,” said Hohol.

Alsalamat, who is currently unemployed, said that’s his plan until his English improves. But until then, he will be taking advantage of some programs like Alberta Works and utilizing his degree in accounting.

“I will make a budget for my family, I am an accountant,” said Alsalamat.

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The history of Canadian immigration is generally unchanged over time: Immigrants who will have a hard time adapting because of language in particular will take menial  or unskilled work Canadians won't do - like drive a taxi at night, or deliver newspapers - so their children can have a better life. That was the experience of other refugee groups dating back to the Irish immigrants of the 19th century. But their children take to Canada very readily. And that up and coming generation that is always pushed by their parents to succeed. I see nothing different here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/17/world/americas/syrian-refugees-canada.html

 

Edited by dagger
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Is this setting the stage for a new wave of refugees or is this just a "feel good" exercise?

Trudeau appoints Bob Rae as special envoy to Myanmar

Rae expected to seek permission to visit region where Rohingya live under 'brutal oppression'

By Nahlah Ayed, CBC NewsPosted: Oct 22, 2017 8:28 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 23, 2017 7:24 AM ET

Bob Rae, seen speaking to the media in this January 2014 file photo, has been named special envoy to Myanmar. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Nahlah Ayed
Foreign Correspondent

Nahlah Ayed is a CBC News correspondent based in London. A veteran of foreign reportage, she's covered major world events and spent nearly a decade working in and covering conflicts across the Middle East. Earlier, Ayed was a parliamentary reporter for The Canadian Press.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is appointing Bob Rae as Canada's special envoy to Myanmar, two months into a growing crisis that has left 600,000 Rohingya Muslim people displaced.

The move comes in response to growing public pressure to act in the face of what Canada and the United Nations have labelled ethnic cleansing of a long persecuted minority in Myanmar. As of Sunday, it's estimated 603,000 Rohingya, mostly from the troubled Rakhine state, have fled to shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh.

The former Ontario premier is expected to seek permission to visit Rakhine state, where Rohingya have long lived under what Trudeau called "brutal oppression."

Rae will advise the prime minister directly on the matter. According to a source familiar with the new role, Rae can play a sharper, more political role within Myanmar without jeopardizing diplomatic relationships on the ground with a government that is prickly about foreign interference in its affairs.

'Promote accountability for alleged crimes'

Myanmar authorities have made it difficult for foreign officials and journalists to visit Rakhine state, recently barring a UN fact-finding mission and only allowing diplomats (including Canada's) a look on a controversial, military-organized visit under their watchful eye earlier this month.

Rae is also expected "to promote accountability for alleged crimes perpetrated against vulnerable populations, including the Rohingya Muslim community, other religious and ethnic minorities, and women and girls," according to a written statement on the appointment.

Thousands of Canadians have signed a petition calling on the government to strip Myanmar's state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, of honourary Canadian citizenship she was given back in 2007.The National

Rohingya Muslim crisis: How it started and why it's getting worse

Suu Kyi, also a Nobel laureate, has disappointed supporters around the world for failing to side clearly with the Rohingya in their plight.

The true power in Myanmar lies with the military, which retains control over key ministries such as home and border affairs.

Canada has called on both the civilian and military arms of the government to end the violence and allow humanitarian access to remaining Rohingya populations.

The longstanding tension in Rakhine state escalated on August 25, when Rohingya militants attacked security forces, killing several. The military responded with overwhelming force, and with the support of Buddhist nationalist mobs, have burned down villages and killed an untold number of Rohingya.

The UN's human rights office now says the military's actions preceded the August 25 attack, and were intended to drive Rohingya out for good.

Though they have lived in Myanmar for generations, Rohingya Muslims are considered foreigners by the authorities and are not entitled to citizenship. They are denied basic rights to freedom of movement and education.
 

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With all the problems Canada has, why does trudeau need to stick our noses in other peoples business? Is he attempting to distract us from his own ineptness?

  

 

 

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