During the recent long drawn out Canadian election campaign then candidate Justin Trudeau promised to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada before the end of the year. Now that he is Prime Minister Trudeau, in a refreshing change from many newly elected officials, he is vowing to make good on his promise. Many consider it to be an unmanageable undertaking to relocate so many in such a short time, but he remains steadfast in his resolve.
Now a new ripple has arisen in the wake of recent terrorist atrocities in Paris. Word that one of the attackers made his way to Paris posing as a Syrian refugee has caused significant trepidation among those who were either against the plan to bring refugees to Canada, or were wavering. Yet Trudeau still maintains he will fulfill his campaign promise; perhaps he is even more determined.
“It didn’t take the tragedy in Paris for us to suddenly realize that security’s important,” Trudeau said. “We’ve known for a long time, and we continue to be very much committed to keeping Canadians safe while we do the right thing to engage responsibly on this humanitarian crisis.”
It seems to me that we must keep open our door to legitimate refugees. But like a cottage, we also need a very fine screen door through which the process of winnowing out impostors – including terrorists – can be undertaken to maximum effectiveness.
To that end the CBC reports that single men, – unaccompanied males – will not be included. Families, women and children will start arriving in Montreal and Toronto in the near future.
According to The Red Cross the current refugee situation is at crisis level. These families must be given appropriate shelter. Even before the events in Paris there was some pushback to the refugee plan; what to do with the refugees being one of several considerations. Montreal has, within the last several months, moved three large hospitals to a new localized campus. The old buildings are empty. many could be housed in the former hospitals at least temporarily.