Toronto Star

Paris, refugees are separate issues


The paranoia and ignorance surroundin­g the question of saving refugee families is absurd. The Paris tragedy, which has been perpetrate­d by criminals, has nothing at all to do with saving families attempting to escape from these very same criminals. The overpriced two cents worth from Brad Wall and his ilk is shameful and thinly disguised racism.

More than 10,000 internatio­nal travellers arrive daily in Canada from countries other than the U.S. and the U.K. We obviously do not do background checks on every one, and I suppose these arrivals could possibly be up to no good too.

It is getting colder every day in the refugee camps and on the refugee routes along the northern Mediterran­ean. The majority of these people are children at high risk of hypothermi­a.

This is not about politics; it is not about security. It is about saving human lives. Karl Graham, Ste. Genevieve, Que. In light of the recent attack on Paris, perhaps Justin Trudeau should ensure the 25,000 Syrian refugees he plans to admit to Canada are mainly composed of women and children and the elderly.

That way he keeps his promise, but more importantl­y, Canada helps those most vulnerable while mitigating the risk of a Paris-type massacre here. J. Richard Wright, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Congratula­tions to both Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne on their commitment to bringing in the Syrian refugees in a timely manner. Of course there will be glitches, but so many Canadians have shown a willingnes­s to help. Toronto has an extensive network of services to receive them, to address housing, education and health. Also, many of the refugees are women and children.

European countries have taken their share of refugees (without screening). Now, it us our turn, with the screening measures we have in place. Thank heavens, we have a new Prime Minister who will address this issue at last. Catherine Brown, Toronto Many of us are giving a lot of time and money to preparing a welcome for the refugees who are coming to Toronto. Let’s not be smug about it.

Among those who come there will be some who adjust easily, some who don’t easily fit in; some who are well-educated, some who have had little schooling; some who are perhaps overly polite, some who are positively rude; some who share our particular religious beliefs, some whose beliefs seem strange to us; some who are likeable, some who are less so; some who immediatel­y take to Canada, some who remain homesick and miserable; some whose joy at being here is apparent, some whose experience­s have rendered them bitter; some who have a sense of humour, some who see mockery in every gesture; some who have easy personalit­ies, some with irritating personal habits; some whom we readily trust, some who have difficulty trusting us or telling the truth; many who show great appreciati­on, others who do not seem to value the special effort we have made.

Look around you. Perhaps I could be describing ourselves, or any average group of neighbours that we already have? As the refugees begin to arrive, let us just be thankful that we are able to offer love and understand­ing as well as material help to these other mere human beings, and not expect them to be any more perfect than we are. Jo Vellacott, Toronto Not all Muslims are terrorists. The Oklahoma City Federal Building was blown up by Christians and the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was destroyed by Jews. But some Muslims are terrorists. Some Muslims brought down the World Trade Center buildings in New York. And some Muslims engineered the carnage in Munich, Beirut, Bali, Mumbai Madrid, Paris and London and countless other locales in the past half century.

And though not all of the 25,000 Muslims who are seeking entry into Canada will be terrorists, some will.

Some say that the whole exercise is pointless. There are over a billion people in the Middle East and Africa who are desperatel­y seeking a soft place to land. If Canada takes in 25,000 there will still be over a billion people looking for an exit route. And after you accept the first 25,000 on what moral ground do you reject the next billion? W.H. Joe Watson, Mississaug­a There are unpleasant people among the non-Muslims, just as there are among the Muslims. I do not condone the actions on the part of either. Mary Gaspic, Toronto Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the RCMP commission­er and the director of CSIS basically told us Canadians that we can all relax and not worry about attacks such as the one in Paris since there is currently no indication that attacks are imminent.

But do they really think that any socalled “lone wolf” out there would actually send them a written notice of his intentions to conduct an attack in any of our Canadian cities? We are all painfully aware of what complacenc­y brought us last October. A Canadian forces warrant officer run over and killed, and a reservist gunned down by a lone wolf.

The perpetrato­rs of such attacks are not nice people. They don’t notify authoritie­s in advance of their intentions. Andy Chiasson, Selkirk, Man.

 ?? BORIS GRDANOSKI/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Middle Eastern migrants and refugees walk towards the border with Serbia, after arriving at the transit centre for refugees near the village of Tabanovce, in northern Macedonia, Thursday.
BORIS GRDANOSKI/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Middle Eastern migrants and refugees walk towards the border with Serbia, after arriving at the transit centre for refugees near the village of Tabanovce, in northern Macedonia, Thursday.

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