Don’t step on any toes
The unpredictable nature of U.S. President Donald Trump is already having a worrisome impact in Canada and on our prime minister. It appears that Justin Trudeau is more concerned with avoiding a confrontation with President Trump rather than standing behind this country’s ideals.
Our PM is proceeding with extreme caution to avoid provoking the new president. When Trump announced his imperial decree a week ago that he was imposing a ban on immigrants and refugees, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for Canada to step forward as a shining beacon of sanctuary and hope.
If the U.S. didn’t want refugees, many of whom had spent years being vetted, then Canada certainly should admit them. Many regions of this country, especially Atlantic Canada, would welcome them with open arms. A year ago, Canada was busy resettling thousands of Syrian refugees. We are ready to do it again.
It’s ironic that Trump’s ban portrays people fleeing terror and persecution as potential terrorists. They left war-town countries to escape death and persecution, only to find the door to freedom suddenly slammed in their face.
Many people affected by the ban are not refugees. They are students, scholars, businessmen and professionals. They would have an immediate and positive impact in Canada.
We have an opportunity to perform an act of human compassion and decency. And there would be immeasurable benefits for this country. It would just take a little encouragement from Canada, such as easing immigration limits and fast-tracking applications, but it’s not forthcoming. We have heard none of this from our PM.
Instead, Trudeau resorted to a brief tweet to comment on the draconian ban that sent shockwaves around the world.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. “#WelcomeToCanada.”
And that was it. At best, it was a non-committal response to a harsh decree.
It’s obvious our PM doesn’t want to attract negative attention from the new U.S. administration. The president wouldn’t be happy to see that his controversial efforts to block refugees from entering the U.S. might be circumvented if they ended up just north of his border. It would be an irritant. And that is something Trudeau obviously wants to avoid.
Until NAFTA and pipelines are addressed, it is apparent that Trudeau will tread lightly and carefully with Trump. So far, the two leaders have exchanged brief phone calls. Until a relationship is established, Trudeau doesn’t want to risk upsetting Trump. Our PM is putting economic factors ahead of principles.
Both friends and enemies are learning not to cross Trump because there are consequences. Well, consequences be damned. Canada has to take a stand for what’s right. This country cannot sacrifice our ideals, nor give in to fear and hate.
Yes, we shouldn’t go looking for a fight with Trump but must not run away from it either.