How Will the Syrian Refugees Affect Calgary’s Economy?

The Syrian refugees have been in the news a lot lately and have generated a lot of discussion about how many we should take in Canada. It all started before the federal election with the Liberals and Justin Trudeau pledging to take in 25,000 before the end of 2015. That was a politically motivated number that they surely knew that they could not achieve with all the logistical problems and proper screening that needed to be done.

However, the Liberals and many in the media didn’t hesitate to label anyone that questioned their number of 25,000 a bigot and a racist. Brad Wall who is arguably the most popular premier in Canada was criticized for asking some very good questions about how the refugees would be vetted. He was later vindicated when the government was forced to admit that they could not safely bring in that many people that soon.

Now that we are a week and a half into 2016 the refugees are starting to trickle into Canada, including Calgary. Now, with the local economy suffering from the collapse in oil prices, the unemployment rate is going up and from most accounts, will probably continue to rise for the first half of the year. Will the new arrivals be able to find jobs and look after themselves?  I realize the numbers coming to Calgary are small, but people that are already here are having trouble finding jobs, so how will someone that doesn’t speak English and may not have any skills, fare in this economy?

Well, they will probably get by on some government assistance and be forced to take some lower paying jobs in the service industry such as the fast food industry and the cleaning industry. I don’t think a couple of thousand Syrian refugees coming to a city the size of Calgary will have much effect at all on our ability to find a good job. We need to welcome them here, and hope that the federal government did their job and properly and researched each and every one of these people before they let them into Canada.

If even one of these people ends up doing something bad, it will cause a lot of Canadians to reconsider their generosity when it comes to opening up the doors to refugees. ISIS has proven to be very capable with technology such as twitter and other social media to get their message out, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they are trying embed some of their terrorists into western countries to act as a sort of Trojan horse. Again, we need to put our trust in the federal authorities that are responsible for vetting these people. I know it is tough to trust the government not to screw things up, but in this case we have to.


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