Refugees in Canada

A Report by Sherry Chaudhry


Refugees are people who are forced to flee their home due to major threats or forms of persecutions, whether on an individual basis or a group form. These people are forced to leave their own country based on their faith, religion, military purposes or even their values. Refugees can always be an asset to the country they seek refuge to which means that they provide a stable and well economy, as well as decreasing the unemployment rate. There are some really well known celebrities who have taken asylum and have been a major asset to their new country.


Refugees would follow the model of distance decay because many refugees do not have the economic resources to travel long distances and end up seeking asylum in countries very close to their home countries. Not all the refugees that seek asylum are poor, most of them have been threatened or persecuted. Refugees are sometimes a really big asset to where they seek refuge. Karl Marx, a famous political theorist who has been part of this whole course "Challenge and Change" was a German refugee.

History and Background

Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol help protect them. They are the only global legal instruments explicitly covering the most important aspects of a refugee’s life. According to their provisions, refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country and, in many cases, the same treatment as nationals.

20th June, the day when the National Refugee Day is celebrated. Representatives from all over the world re-unite to come together as one and celebrate the well being of million of refugees.

Who are Refugees?

Refugees are people who have been threatened or persecuted for reasons of faith, religion, nationality, membership of the particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country or his/her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country. Refugees always carry some basic necessities and aren't always that poor or struggling.
A Brighter Future - Journey to Canada: Stories of Refugees

Steps on Becoming a Citizen from a Refugee

Some basic steps include:

  • register yourself at the border
  • if you decide to go through the Peace Bridge (Buffalo, USA to Toronto, Canada) you must wait to get called
  • you can either stay where ever you like or with the immigration of Canada holding facility
  • once you're called, you must report to the designated office to be registered
  • once you are registered, you go through trials and some health tests to make sure you oppose no threats to civilians
  • once you are cleared with all the major testing then you go with who ever is there to pick you up. If in some cases nobody is there to support you then you are held in a government holding center until you find a job and help support yourself
  • in order to become a permanent resident, you must apply for a PR card and you must have the required funds to receive one
  • when you are given the PR card then you are eligible to apply for Citizenship and the immigration system of Canada gives you 2-3 years to prepare for the test (you must write the test if you are 14 and older)
  • when you successfully pass the test then you are considered a Canadian citizen

Karl Marx

Karl Marx who is a famous political theorist, who mainly focused on the economy, history and society. He was a German refuge who talked about how the country's economy depends on the amount of people it has. This relates to refugees because the main significance of refugees are that they boom up the economy by a lot. Karl Marx believed in a high number of people producing high number of beneficial items which once again includes the economy.

Significance of Refugees

Refugees have always been an asset to a country they seek refuge into. One of the major affects that refugees have on the world is a drastic increase in ones economy, it can either boom up the economy by a lot or it can downgrade ones economy.

When refugees enter a country they instantly compete with the local immigrants/citizens for scarce resources such as land, water, housing, food and medical services. Rapidly their presence leads to a high demand for natural resources which includes education and health facilities, energy, transportation, social services and employment. However this sometimes causes inflationary pressure on prices and even lower wages. More refugees means more construction has to be done, and this usually leads to higher rent accommodation prices, which really benefits the property owners but then again it hits hard to the poor and low middle class people. Refugees can have a really great impact on an individuals life, most of the refugees only affect the lives of the poor because they are the ones that get affected mostly by these situations. When there are more people it means that there is going to be a really high demand for necessary products which includes food, clothes, and other everyday items which are put into an individuals lives, which now leads are a major increase in prices and then again it does not benefit the poor people at all.

Objectives of the Refugee Act ( Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

Some major refugee laws include:

  • granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger
  • to fulfill Canada's obligation with respect to the refugees and affirm its commitment
  • to help maintain safety of Canadian and its society.
  • to promote international justice
  • boom the economy
  • to support the self-sufficiency
  • reuniting people with their Canadian families

News Report Regarding Refugees

This report which was published on the Toronto Star regarding the increase in the housing prices.

Most of the refugees live in the GTA in Ontario, and just because of that, GTA has the lowest housing prices. Refugees come with almost no resources with them so they demand whats affordable for them. Currently studies show that 74% of the refugees come settle in GTA due to diverseness and welcoming behavior shown by the local community.

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Graph Analysis

By gathering all the results from the surveys it is set and clear that people can not distinguish between refugees and citizens by just looking at them. This means that it is just the title that makes them different from others. I surveyed different aged people and has come to a point that the older the surveyors are the more hatred they have towards the refugees. One major point that most people brought up during interviews was that they weren't quite happy with the fact that the Canadian government gave refugees money every month to support themselves. People argued that the taxes they pay go towards refugees and some of the people take benefits from it.

One interviewee told me an incident where he came across with a refugee that was a asylum seeker and he caught him working a cash job as a delivery guy at a local restaurant and he was also getting money every month from the Canadian government to support himself. People complained that these are the people that make "refugees" look really bad in everybody's eyes.

Overall the results from the surveyors were positive and people like the fact that more and more people are deciding to come to Canada, Toronto mostly is all about multiculturalism and known for its diverseness whether it is through immigration or through seeking asylum.


By combining all the results, i have come up to a conclusion that my hypothesis was accurate according to all the information that i inputted. An overall look shows that not all the refugees that claim asylum are poor, but however they must have a reason for leaving their country. The cases are sent to the Citizen and Immigration Canada to be approved. The refugee laws change every year depending upon the circumstances. Each year the Canadian government allows up to one hundred thousand refugees in, making sure that they get the necessary needs and education to later benefit their society.

If you take a look at this deeply then you will also see that all the labor jobs are done by refugees, giving an advantage to the citizens who are doing the white collar jobs. Recent studies (see work cited) show that 80% of the taxi drivers and other laborers are non-citizens of Canada, and the other 20% are people who have been laid off and can not find a job.

Refugees have in most cases always been an asset to the country they seek refuge to. They increase the social value of the country as well as booming up the economy which leads to a stable workforce.