Peter Showler: Canada can do more

Canada 1September 8, 2015 – Reported by the Ottawa Citizen – The image of a small boy, drowned on a Turkish beach, flashes around the world. We learn that the boy, Alan Kurdi, is a refugee from Syria, drowned along with his brother and mother, during an attempt to reach Greece. We also learn that the boy’s aunt in Vancouver had wanted to bring the family to Canada. Suddenly refugees are an election issue. Canadian media is filled with information and misinformation. The prime minister addresses the crisis, offering sincere condolences to the family but insisting that the primary solution is to end the Syrian conflict. He also says: “Certainly we are doing everything we can do.” Ending the war is the obvious solution but the prime minister’s second assertion is incorrect. Canada is doing far less than it can do. The prime minister said that under his government’s tenure, two and half million people have come to Canada. The number is correct but the message is misleading. He has conflated immigrants with refugees. Canada accepts about a quarter-million newcomers annually, consisting of three distinct classes: economic immigrants, family members of Canadians, and people seeking refugee protection. Historically, the refugee class comprised approximately 13 per cent of the annual immigration flow. Under the Conservative government, that number has fallen to less than 10 per cent…story continues below…

Source: Peter Showler: Canada can do more | Ottawa Citizen

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