POLITICIZING OF REFUGEES MUST STOP

PressReader - LStep Channel - POLITICIZING OF REFUGEES MUST STOP
For decades, Canada had an im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem that was the envy of the world. We wel­comed hun­dreds of thou­sands of im­mi­grants per year from coun­tries all around the world. Along the way, we also in­vited tens of thou­sands of refugees in their mo­ment of need.This wasn’t just about open­ing our doors wide open though, with­out any thought to how it was done. We did all this on our own terms, set­ting the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and the vol­ume of ar­rivals based on what was best for our na­tional in­ter­ests. This ap­proach has largely been a suc­cess.The past few years have seen Canada aban­don this ap­proach and, not un­sur­pris­ingly, Cana­di­ans have be­gun to lose faith in the sys­tem.And it’s hap­pened in large part thanks to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s sim­plis­tic at­ti­tude to­wards im­mi­gra­tion.Things got off to a bad start right away, with Trudeau pledg­ing to ad­mit a fixed amount of Syr­ian refugees on a rushed time­line. This had the ef­fect of strain­ing both our se­cu­rity screen­ing and our so­cial ser­vice agen­cies. No one was well-served by this ap­proach. And it was all done for po­lit­i­cal gain, for Trudeau to pos­ture that he had a big­ger heart than for­mer PM Stephen Harper and for­mer NDP leader Tom Mul­cair.Then there’s Trudeau’s fail­ure to man­age the il­le­gal bor­der cross­ing at Rox­ham Road. The cross­ing is now quasi-per­ma­nent, with dozens of peo­ple en­ter­ing Canada every day. The big prob­lem with this is that they’re en­ter­ing on their own terms, they’re self-se­lected mi­grants. And they’re aban­doned to mu­nic­i­pal so­cial ser­vices once they do cross.Then there was Trudeau’s re­cent at­tempt to try to slip the UN Global Com­pact on Mi­gra­tion past us with­out any pub­lic de­bate.You’d think Trudeau would ap­pear con­trite. In­stead, he’s rev­el­ling in the op­por­tu­nity to scrap over these is­sues.Dur­ing a re­cent year-end in­ter­view with The Cana­dian Press, he rolled out his now com­mon re­frain on im­mi­gra­tion ac­cus­ing every­one but him of fear­mon­ger­ing and mis­in­for­ma­tion. He hec­tors peo­ple to get them on­side with his views.Good luck with that ap­proach.Trudeau needs to stop the politi­ciza­tion of this com­plex is­sue. We need re­sults and hon­est dis­cus­sion. Not self-serv­ing par­ti­san­ship.

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