Category Archives: Wars

The impact of housing refugees

Several Syrian refugees have been housed in several countries during the last months. Generally, citizens are in favor of housing the refugees. However, the impact of housing refugees has not been discussed in a strategic way. There is obviously a cost to this housing.

The sad reality of refugees trying to escape the war in their country. Very often, they take big risks to find a better world.

The sad reality of refugees trying to escape the war in their country. Very often, they take big risks to find a better world.

The housing of refugees has a cost

The federal government of Canada announced the budget that will be deployed for the housing of refugees. The money of this budget comes from taxes paid by citizens. In principle, this money which is now available for the housing of refugees, is cut in other areas and will not be available for these other sectors.

The government doesn’t say that other areas will get less money. The reality is that there is always 100% of the budget invested. If we want to get more money in one area, we have to move it from other sectors.

There is the question of choices. In a society where all people are constantly asking for more money in all sectors, it’s impossible to meet expectations without making cuts. Therefore, there’s a choice to make about priorities.

Could the costs be an investment?

The housing of refugees can be a significant cost at their arrival. However, these refugees are likely to integrate the society and occupy jobs. In the long term, we expect them to contribute to the society and to pay taxes. These amounts could offset the initial cost of the housing. So the refugees could be more an investment than an expense in the long term.

Question of choices and options

Richer countries feel they must help the citizens of poorer countries. This appears to me to be the only option to change the fate of countries in need. However, the help can take many forms. Housing refugees is an option. In the context of the Syrians, we know that they are fleeing the war. Countries could also fight the war to eliminate the source of the problem and to ensure that refugees don’t try to leave their country. Right now, there is the housing of refugees and also the war.


Helping certainly includes costs. Whether it’s housing refugees or participating in the war to eliminate the problem, the costs are significant. These costs imply that we cut in other sectors of the society. No matter which option is favored, we have to house the refugees for the immediate needs and also act in the long-term in the countries of the refugees to cut the source of the problem. Both measures are necessary. The big question now is probably more about balancing everything for helping others with the financial resources that are always an issue in every sector of our society.

Christmas truce of 1914, a story of hope

Christmas truce 1914

British and German troops meeting in No an’s land during the Christmas truce.

A few years ago, I was listening to the radio and the host told a Christmas story. It was a sad and hopeful story at the same time as I had never heard. The story told that at Christmas Eve during the war, soldiers began to sing in the trenches. Soldiers of the enemy clan began to sing in turn. The two clans emerged from the trenches to meet and have a dinner together. The two enemy clans celebrated together in peace. During the days that followed, the routine of war resumed and soldiers of every nation went back to the war with its consequences. This story has changed my way of seeing the war.


What is the Christmas truce?

According to the records, the Christmas truce represents several ceasefires during the Christmas period between the French, British and German troops during the World War I in 1914. The ceasefires were the initiative of soldiers on the front. During this period, the soldiers came out of the trenches to celebrate. Christmas trees were placed along the German trenches. German and British soldiers met in the middle of the no man’s land devastated by bombs to sing Christmas carols and exchange gifts. These events lasted for a short period until the military authorities put an end to the truces.

Christmas truce on Wikipedia

What lesson should be learned from the Christmas truce?

During the holiday season where people are generally more sensitive, these events have emphasized more the true human nature. This nature is often stifled by military orders that come from the direction of the country. The direction of a country is a few individuals who give orders to thousands of soldiers. What soldiers do is not necessarily the reflect of their intentions, but rather what comes from the direction.

If we let the soldiers managing the wars, I think we would not have the same wars. Nobody wants to die at war. Nobody wants to kill strangers and innocent victims. Soldiers are without doubt in the best position to decide about their future. Unfortunately, they must obey the leaders.

This historic event should inspire us. It should become a tool to prevent wars. Like the soldiers celebrating in peace when leaving the trenches, what are we waiting to make each war day, a day of Christmas truce?