It’s sad when pundits…or hacks as in the case of Todd Lihou of the Seaway Media try to make hay on the suffering and misfortune of others.
I just read a very strange and bizarre editorial by Mr. Lihou on the Syrian refugee crisis and his suggestion that there’s plenty O room here in Cornwall.
He cites how we lost population in a recent census without really understanding why, or even worse gerrymandering his data to come up with a loony position. He cites Cornwall having jobs when in fact we don’t really.
The biggest complaint of why people leave here, especially our youngest and brightest, is a utter lack of opportunity, especially if you’re not connected to the shrinking cliques that hover around City Hall.
Cornwall, like quite a few small towns in rural Ontario does have racist undertones. It’s boggling in that most of the guilty don’t even realize it and don’t consider themselves racist. Terms like “rag head”, “nigger”, or “Jew me down” are quite common. There’s a tolerance for the most part, but the racism is still there. It’s kinda weird in that nobody wants to harm or hurt anyone, but it’s always in the room. It’s a kinda polite ingrained form of racism.
When you confront them or call them on this then the real hate comes out as has been seen in local social media pages. Mr. Lihou cites what sounds like something like extortion in threatening to “out” a local restauranteur who posted such comment.
I think Canada should come to the aid of all refugees as is necessary including opening our doors to true refugees that want to make their homes in our country, but does it make any sense for us to bring in 25,000 bang bang to feel good? There are many wars currently ongoing and have been many over the last decades, under Liberal and Conservative Federal governments. Never has there been such a call to bring in so many refugees at one time.
Here in Cornwall we get a flood of evacuees from Kashechewan when they get flooded out. The government of Canada flies them into Cornwall where they tear up the NAV CAN facility. They are controlled in some ways; IE which parts of NAV CAN they can attend, and then after a week or so they are flown back home.
That costs an awful lot of money and impacts the community in many ways. And these are our own residents, not from the other side of the planet.
Again, we need to help the refugees, but a few questions first.
- Why aren’t the countries near Syria taking these folks in?? They have a common language and culture for the most part and some are actually related.
- Is bringing these people to Canada the best way to assist them or could we not help them temporarily over there until things calm down? Do all of these refugees really want to resettle permanently in another country?
- Will the government be covering the extra burden on communities with extra amounts of refugees? For example I have lived in Cornwall now for 12 years and still do not have a doctor. Clinics and the hospital are crowded (and at least one substandard). If Cornwall had an influx of a few hundred permanent families could we support that infrastructure without additional funding?
There are many factors to look at no matter which refugee crisis we face. What’s odd is that there are many, yet Syria is attracting so much attention?
Clearly this has been a political potato with people like Todd Lihou trying to sound like they have a clue about what they are writing about, but the bottom line is that there are many ways to help refugees including bringing them to Canada, but the impact and issues of this have to be clearly looked at.
According to Wikipedia a refugee is:
“A refugee, according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence. Such a person may be called an “asylum seeker” until considered with the status of “refugee” by the Contracting State where they formally make a claim for sanctuary or right of asylum.”
the article adds:
“At the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide 14.4 million under UNHCR‘s mandate, plus 5.1 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA‘s mandate). The 14.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate were around 2.7 million more than at the end of 2013 (+23%), the highest level since 1995. Among them, Syrian refugees became the largest refugee group in 2014 (3.9 million, 1.55 million more than the previous year), overtaking Afghan refugees (2.6 million), who had been the largest refugee group for three decades. As of February 2015, Turkey hosts the most refugees of any country, having 1.7 million Syrian refugees, whilst Lebanon and Jordan have by far the most refugees per capita, at c.25% and c.11% respectively. Pakistan is second, hosting 1.6 million Afghan refugees. According to the UNHCR there are 200,000 to 500,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and only 32,355 of them are registered.[“
Maybe, just maybe, our tax dollars may be better served by assisting the countries like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan than bringing refugees to Canada en masse?
Again, if they want to come to Canada and become part of our country great, that’s super, and let’s accommodate them, but let’s not play politics and dump 25,000 or more distressed people into communities (or even worse, temporary detention centres) to make some of us feel good.
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