A plea for com­mon sense

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Eddy Merx is preparing for the worst be­cause he says, “I don’t know if the gov­ern­ment can do any­thing at all.” It’s a sad com­men­tary when the ex­pected an­swer from our gov­ern­ment and its bu­reau­crats is ‘no’ to sen­si­ble and le­git­i­mate pe­ti­tions and re­quests from its cit­i­zens.

Why can’t we ex­pect — or de­mand — that gov­ern­ment do the right thing in this and other sim­i­lar cases? Why do we ex­pect the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to take the easy way out and deny a com­pas­sion­ate plea in this case?

The Abram-Vil­lage man and his five chil­dren must gain per­ma­nent res­i­dency sta­tus by Feb. 25 or be de­ported to Ger­many. Red tape, in­dif­fer­ence and bu­reau­cracy are work­ing against them. There is a long list of rea­sons why an ex­cep­tion should be made in this case. But rules and check­lists make things com­fort­able for bu­reau­crats who rarely take into con­sid­er­a­tion the re­al­i­ties of the sit­u­a­tion.

The gov­ern­ment is send­ing ex­tra of­fi­cials to refugee camps and fast-track­ing ap­pli­ca­tions and back­ground checks to ac­com­mo­date Syr­i­ans be­cause of the ur­gency of the sit­u­a­tion and to ful­fil an elec­tion prom­ise. There is no rea­son why the rules can’t be amended to as­sist the Merx fam­ily.

It’s silly to ex­pect a fa­ther to up­root his five chil­dren and move them back to Ger­many just so he ap­ply to come to P.E.I. What a waste of time and money to make this tremen­dous per­sonal sac­ri­fice. And then there is no guar­an­tee of a favourable de­ci­sion or even when a de­ci­sion will be made.

The Merx fam­ily and the com­mu­nity of AbramVil­lage have done ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble on their end. It will come down to a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion and it’s time for Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter John MacCal­lum to make the right choice and let some of those ‘sunny ways’ shine in Abram-Vil­lage for the Merx fam­ily.

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