Letter: Just what do refugees get?

Dear Editor,

I am getting tired of seeing the same old racist e-mails that decry the generous amounts of money being given to incoming refugees, while allegedly cheating our veterans and homeless of their rightful financial care. Some of these have the refugee receiving over $2,400 per month in free money, given by our government.

There is also a rumour circulating that the World Bank is somehow subsidizing Canada and other countries for accepting refugees.

I have heard comments that the figures are fanciful, having been dreamed up by right wingers intent on stirring up discontent with any and all forms of government in Ottawa. I would be happy to see a detailed, researched article by one of your journalists on this subject.

My questions:

1. Can anyone in journalism shed some light of reality on the amounts offered to refugees, for basic upkeep and housing?

2. And for how long does this financial support continue?

3. Is any of it repayable?

4. Any truth to the rumour of payments to the Canadian government by the World Bank, for accepting refugees?

I thank you for your consideration.

Wayne Boylan, Aldergrove

Editor’s note:

Privately sponsored refugees do not receive resettlement assistance. Their sponsors have agreed to fund their care, lodging, settlement assistance and social support. Normally that support goes for 12 months or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient. That can be more or less than 12 months.

Government-assisted refugees can receive temporary support for clothing, food, shelter and basic household needs, including household goods, linen and furniture to start their new life.

Under the Immigration Loans Program, some refugees can get a loan to pay for the cost of medical exams abroad, travel documents, transport to Canada, and housing rental, telephone deposits and work tools. The loans must be repaid.

The BBC reported in October that the World Bank is looking at obtaining funds from wealthier nations in the Gulf region to provide financial help to Lebanon and Jordan because of the significant financial burdens of Syrians fleeing to those nations. The United Nations helps with funding when refugees live in temporary camps which are typically in countries adjacent to the conflict zone. Canada has none.


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