Friday, 22 July 2016

Trudeau Government's Policy on Syrian Refugees is Ludicrous

I have a friend from Syria who used to live here in Toronto.  We met each other through work and eventually became very good friends.  A few years ago, however, she was deported from Canada because she got bad advice from an immigration consultant.  She went back to live in Syria's capital, Damascus.  About one year later, the Syrian civil war began and my friend's life has been in danger ever since.  She wants desperately to come back to Canada, but until now she has been stonewalled in her attempts to return.  Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has seen fit to bring in thousands of other refugees from Syria in a matter of months. So my friend who speaks fluent English and who has lived here, worked here, volunteered here and paid taxes here can't come back. But thousands of other Syrians who have never set foot in this country, don't speak either official language and are unfamiliar with Canadian values and customs?  No problem, bring 'em in!  That's the Trudeau government's logic.  

The fact that my friend can't return to Canada pisses me off enough.  But what's worse is that the Trudeau Liberals just let thousands of refugees pour into the country without a plan to feed, clothe and shelter them.  Indeed, many of the Syrian refugees who have arrived in Canada are having to rely on food banks and other assistance from humanitarian organizations since they're getting little to no help from the feds.  Yet Trudeau's government has decided that it prefers to take in government-sponsored refugees rather than privately sponsored ones, which is why private sponsors are still waiting for what seems like forever to get their applications processed.  Does this sound stupid to anyone else?

It also doesn't make sense that our federal government is seemingly not interested in helping some of Syria's most vulnerable refugees - ethnic and religious minorities.  In an article in today's Toronto Star, opposition politicians condemned the Liberal government for sitting on their hands and doing nothing to help Syria's Yazidis, a religious minority group that has been relentlessly targeted by the so-called Islamic State terrorist group (see: MPs clash over how Canada can help Yazidis).  They are the victims of genocide, yet the Liberals won't rush to bring any of them into Canada as they did with the thousands of refugees already here.  

So let's summarize the Liberals' priorities when it comes to Syrian refugees.  Who is not a priority? Anyone like my friend who has already lived here and contributed to Canadian society; privately sponsored refugees who will rely on support from their sponsors rather than on handouts from government and humanitarian organizations; and lastly, members of ethnic and religious minorities, like the Yazidis, who face genocide at the hands of terrorist groups like Islamic State.  Who is a priority?  Government-sponsored refugees, who will arrive in Canada with little scrutiny and rely almost exclusively on meager government support and handouts from humanitarian groups.  

By now you might be asking, why are the feds' priorities so mixed up when it comes to Syria's refugees?  The answer is that the Liberal government doesn't really care which refugees come into this country, so long as they think that these refugees will vote Liberal come election time, should they become Canadian citizens.

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