Friday, February 08, 2008

Stupidity Exists in Canada as well!

Friday's Urban Legend: FALSE

The following email message is going the rounds in Canada. Of course it's a favorite of the right-wing bigot crowd—here's an example [Kinda like Woodstock . . .for terrorists, see comments]. But the message has also suckered lots of otherwise intelligent people. It was sent to me by a friend who has finally learned to check with the urban legends website before spamming his email list. (A small victory for rationalism! ).

CANADA PENSION - A Must Read: only in Canada.

Do not apply for your old age pension.

Apply to be a refugee. It is interesting that the federal government provides a single refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00 and each can get an additional $580.00 in social assistance for a total of $2,470.00.

This compares very well to a single pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Canada for 40 or 50 years, can only receive a monthly maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!

Let's send this thought to as many Canadians as we can and maybe we can get the refugees cut back to $1,012.00 and the pensioners up to $2,470.00, so they can enjoy the money they were forced to submit to the Canadian government for those 40 to 50 years.

Please forward this to every Canadian you know.
As if to prove that people can be really stupid, the Canadian letter has morphed into an American one by merely substituting "America" for Canada. See the site for an example of similar email letters [Refugee Whiz].

As usual, has done the homework. They have outlined the history of this urban legend and traced it to the source. They have posted a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that explains the real situation.
Refugees don't receive more financial assistance from the federal government than Canadian pensioners. In [a letter to the Toronto Star], a one-time, start-up payment provided to some refugees in Canada was mistaken for an ongoing, monthly payment. Unfortunately, although the newspaper published a clarification, the misleading information had already spread widely over e-mail and the internet.

In truth, about three quarters of refugees receive financial assistance from the federal government, for a limited time, and at levels lower than Canadian pensioners. They are known as government-assisted refugees.

We have to remember that many of these people are fleeing from unimaginable hardship, and have lived in refugee camps for several years. Others are victims of trauma or torture in their home countries. Many arrive with little more than a few personal belongings, if that. Canada has a humanitarian role to accept refugees and help them start their new lives here.

For this reason, government-assisted refugees get a one-time payment of up to $1,095 from the federal government to cover essentials — basic, start-up needs like food, furniture and clothing. They also receive a temporary monthly allowance for food and shelter that is based on provincial social assistance rates. In Ontario, for example, a single refugee would receive $592 per month. This assistance is temporary — lasting only for one year or until they can find a job, whichever comes first.

This short-term support for refugees is a far cry from the lifetime benefits for Canada's seniors. The Old Age Security (OAS) program, for example, provides people who have lived in Canada for at least 10 years with a pension at age 65. The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is an additional monthly benefit for low-income pensioners. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP), or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) for people in Quebec, pays a monthly retirement pension to people who have worked and contributed to the plan over their career. In July 2006, Canadian seniors received an average of $463.20 in OAS benefits and $472.79 in CPP retirement benefits ($388.94 in QPP). Lower income OAS recipients also qualified for an average of an additional $361.94 in GIS benefits.

[The map depicts the important settlements of American refugees who came to Canada in the 1800's. Most of them traveled north via secret routes with the aid of American sympathizers. The route came to be known as [The Underground Railroad]

1 comment:

  1. The first thing I noticed in my feed reader was the headline, and "Friday's Urban Legend: FALSE". And I thought: I didn't know there was a UL to that effect, but I'm glad to find out it's false.

    Then I read the body. Oh well.