Say Canada accepted 35,000 refugees this year. We have a population of 35 million. That is 35,000,000. If you do the very challenging math, it tells you that we would add one person for every 1000 Canadians. Who would notice?
Could any randomly selected group of 1000 Canadians support one more person? It would be a trivial problem if Canadians wanted to do it. To provide an average standard of living for each new family would cost each of the 1000 Canadians about $1.50 a month.
It is a trivial problem in another sense: Canada’s population over 15 years of age increased by 24,400 in July alone. It increased by 293,300 over the last year. The number of full time jobs in the country increased by 54,400. (Part-time employment fell , so the net number of jobs added was just 12,000). It wasn’t a particularly good month. Net employment grew by 193,300 even with a recession in the first two quarters. If 25% of 35,000 refugees were job seekers, and if they added no new jobs they would take up just 4.6% of the jobs created in a bad year.
The truth is that Canada could easily handle 100,000 refugees in a single year. The truth is that 100,000 refugees would make a stronger Canada. They would increase demand so that existing businesses would make money. They would create jobs, just as every other wave of immigration has. They would become friends, too.
In 1910 Canada took in 400,000 immigrants. the population in 1910 was about 7 million. That would be like taking in 2 million today.
The challenge isn’t completely trivial, of course. adding 100,000 people would be like adding three new towns the size of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Campbell River, British Columbia, or Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. But to put the number in proportion, Toronto alone absorbed 81,600 new people in the last year, equivalent to 2 and one third cites the size of Prince Albert, Campbell River or Moose Jaw. Montreal added 28,700 full of people. Vancouver (not Greater Vancouver) added a Campbell River of newcomers to its tiny area.
We can help if we want to. It would not strain our resources or disrupt our economy. And we would be in good company. Tiny Germany took in over 40,000 asylum seekers in 2014 alone, which was more than any other country. that year. Tinier Sweden accepted a higher percent of applications than anyone else (76.6%) and as a result has more than 3 asylum seekers for every 1,000 of population.
We could manage that many. Let’s do it.