A solution in search of a problem

September 7th, 2016

Certain federal and provincial opposition politicians in Canada have come out with fresh ideas on immigration over the past few weeks. First, federal Conservative Party leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch attracted attention with a proposal to screen would-be newcomers to Canada for “anti-Canadian values.” Then, in Quebec, Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault held a press conference in which he called for a massive reduction in the province’s annual immigration intake.

In both cases, a perceived threat to values and traditions was cited as the reasoning behind the policy proposals. In the case of Leitch, she later stated, “I don’t think it’s intolerant to believe in a set of values that we expect everyone to share here and include those people who are coming to visit or immigrate to Canada.”

Canada already has robust legislation in place to counter things that might be anti-Canadian. These are our laws, and newcomers are already vetted to see if they have acted against these laws when they submit their police background checks during the application process. So what exactly is Leitch trying to get at here? The fact that the interim leader of the federal Conservatives, Rona Ambrose, has publicly stated that she does not support Leitch’s idea should tell us something about the likelihood of such an idea succeeding.

As for Legault, he said that, “We can’t be naive. There are, in reality, threats, people who don’t believe in our values.” Legault has also recently mused about what would happen to a person who had moved to Quebec and insisted that the “burkini” was part of their faith, Legault was clear: “They don’t get citizenship, that’s all.”

Fortunately, Leitch and Legault’s ideas don’t seem to have gained much traction with the general public. The majority of Canadians — both recent newcomers and long-established citizens — agree that immigrants to Canada strengthen our society, encourage diversity, and build our communities.

The federal Immigration Minister, John McCallum, and his Quebec counterpart, Kathleen Weil, have both said that overall immigration numbers are scheduled to go up. All the while, Canada and its provinces are by-and-large governed by leaders who don’t view newcomers as a threat to identity and values. Quite the opposite, in fact, and long may that continue.

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5 Responses to “A solution in search of a problem”

  • On September 13th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    A quick glance south of the border should tell us all we need to know about embracing populatist, anti-immigrant sentiment.

  • On September 23rd, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    just out of curiosity would you have an statistical information on the views of older citizens are with respect to immigration vs. The younger crowd who are say 40 and under? I am not sure I accept your premis that we are such an inviting country given recent world events. Sweden and Germany were pretty inviting and look what’s going on there. I am an immigrant to this country BTW. A very grateful one but I came here 60 years ago at age 2. The world has changed.

  • On September 29th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    By the way, the subject of that intolerance, I firmly believe that Canada could learn a lot from the Russian experience about what kind of immigrants are welcome in the cultural ambit, I think that learning would be positive for Canada future if this wonderful country wants to preserve its culture and identity.

  • On September 30th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    I am a civil engineer jurisdiction of Geodasie Syrian nationality
    I like working very much within the specialist
    But I live with my family, refugees in Lebanon, here are forbidden on the Syrian engineer work, and I do not have money to Oaahmanha with my family, even food aid from the UN has deprived us of them !!!!
    So I hope that you will help me in the asylum or immigration to Canadian, perhaps we live like humans
    Here is a summary of the situation in which I lived with my family in Syria during the war and after he emigrated to Lebanon
    In the name of of Allah the Merciful
    Location: a small village in the province of Homs, the short area in the country was called Syria. This village was called Alsalumah, before being erased from the earth, but they are still etched in the memory and conscience of its people, who are forced to leave them under the bombing of aircraft, tanks, artillery and all kinds of weapons. I had a modest house, which encompassed all my memories with my family, large and small, we have built the sweat of the brow. We used to live in peace and harmony until the events began in March of 2011, in the city of Deraa. Soon, events moved to the city of Homs, which call it the capital of the revolution. Events accelerated dramatically, and moved to Homs, including the short area completely and surroundings. We see militants barriers everywhere, and hear and see the battles going day and night. And began the series of raids and inspections of both parties: kidnappings, robbed at gunpoint, looting of property, child abduction and financial extortion, kidnapping of government vehicles by government employees at gunpoint, and with it began the state of fear and panic runs in our souls. Do not sleep do not work no stability to Amdarc not know what to do in front of this new reality we have in every sense of the word. In one of the raids on the village in the 11th month of 2011 they compiled the men in the town square, and began torturing limit death. They entered the burned farms where cows, sheep and birds alive. They were taking pictures of those poor animals with mobile. As well as the torture of men and children. And they arrested the youth and took them to unknown destinations. Even plants have not been spared heavy Mganzrathm and their vehicles. When they arrived at our house with their tanks and Mganzrathm, children feared an intense fear, so that our son Khaled fainted and lost consciousness. And it became hysterical state of fear. This situation affected the growth and thinking. My wife was pregnant and in the latter best known as a result of the acceleration of events, and the seriousness of movement, day and night, we have to provide a date of birth, and we had a Caesarean section Bmhvy light Homs. That was under hearing the shelling and sniping. It was nervously tense, so we did not we stay in the hospital only a few hours, only the operation period, and a little beyond. That was in the 21 \ 12 \ 2012. Of course in this period he began fighting intensifies, and the shelling began growing on us from all sides. Even prevented us from sleeping in homes often we slept out in the cold, for fear of destroying the houses we have. Many of our neighbors and our friends killed in this period. Then we started to think about migration from the village to a safer place. In February of 2012 we left our house with all its contents until Obustna, and we left to Damascus Yarmouk area, we rented a home when a woman, this woman who was dealt inhuman treatment: exploitation, gloating, superiority, arrogance and contempt, although she was of Palestinian citizenship , which is a refugee in Syria in 1948, she was taking taxi home $ 300 a month, and we needed for $ 300 monthly expense, too, while he was Mdjuli does not exceed $ 400, where he was pragmatic center in Homs, and residential in Damascus and I would travel to Homs twice a week, so as not to persecute me from my work, and I was frequently forced to arrest, and temporarily detained at the checkpoints, and I often see acts of heinous murder in front of me, and opened fire, which was killing many people in front of everyone’s eyes, and without that one can do anything Thing . Even the ambulance was forbidden, and many of the wounded were dying before our eyes, without being able to offer them the most basic types of assistance an ambulance ???? !!!!!!!!. For example, not limited to the two killed in front of me in a taxi, and the blood bleed I do not know if they are still alive, yet, at the time I did not dare even to consider them hard. That was on the road to Damascus, Homs region Shinshar. On my way home from work. My cousin was killed a young man in this way .osrkoa his car, then later arrested his only child, and my cousin are also accompanied by his cousin disappeared four years ago. Also about twenty young men of my relatives were arrested, including my brother (Loay is married with three children, was arrested three years ago and is still his wife and children were waiting for him, if he was alive, I wish it to be, my mother was grief on him and severely children Fmrdt him very sick what led to her death on 22 \ 5 \ 2016. I could not attend her funeral last Odalla fear of death or arrest). In the fifth month of 2012 began the events move to the Yarmouk area, specifically the black stone area and the regions of Babbila and Yalda, we see helicopters bombed day and night, and hear the sounds of artillery and rockets showered on us from all sides, and prior to that a little There were several huge explosions were aimed at centers the security of the government, the severity of the explosion Hall we would go out barefoot, naked from the house we do not know where to go !!!!!!, and in the first six months of 2012, we decided the second migration, from Damascus to Deir Atiyah area Rural Damascus, after a long night was a real war which used all kinds of weapons, and only when we are out Bulbasna the next morning after he calmed down a little bombing, the streets of the camp filled with the smell of death, fire, fire, burned-out cars Broken Homes are still burning, charred bodies still in the car, all run away from the camp, but to Where ????!!!!!!!! It is important we walk Speedway South Annex and there were atrocities: dead bodies everywhere, cars, buses and buildings that are still burning stench of death filled the road championships, sounds sniping and shelling around us. But the question in any mode we went out ??? !!!! Was acknowledge receipt of a pick-governmental type of Mazda, which rode about twenty people from Damascus to Deir Atiyah, we got Deir Atiyah do not know where to go does not dwelt no food homeless. We decided to B on the sidewalk or in the garden, like many until we find shelter, and fortunately we met some of our friends, who were housed in the basement area of about 80 meters swimming common toilet and one residence in which 23 people for a period of more than a month, we were the Department of sleep at night and the other part sleeps during the day. After more than a month of suffering and found the basement area of 60 meters also shared bath and toilet. Astojrnah at about $ 200, our number 14, who has been the only this time, we stayed there until the 9 month of 2013, the situation was not much better than that of Damascus, or from Homs. All of Syria has become almost a war zone, arrests and shelling and car bombs everywhere, massive protruding bombings in Deir Atiyah was signed, the first targeted a customs post and Red Crescent Societies, which killed nearly 40 people were killed or wounded. With the destruction of huge buildings, and the second aimed at the Directorate Bdirattiyh building, also it has killed 25 people, among the dead and wounded, with massive destruction of property, of course, during this period we are under house arrest in that basement .ommnoa get out of it unless absolutely necessary .azdad fear and anxiety, deprivation and hunger eats away our minds and our bodies, the lira exchange rate has dropped to 200 compared to the $. No longer Mdjuli out of office is enough, start debt series, it became owe each month, about $ 200, and the situation became unbearable with the beginning of Alshahraal 9 of 2013 we decided to third immigration, but this time it was more bitter: It was outside the homeland dear Syria safer this mother who Ahtdhantna 45 year. With this painful forced displacement we lost everything we had in Syria, we have parents, friends, memories and even our dreams were lost, we no longer have anything in Syria lost all. Nothing. ???????????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, It was destroyed completely the short area and surroundings. It was Depopulation and steal everything, unfortunately. On 13 \ 9 \ 2013 Nzhna to Lebanon, and that we had what it Nnzhna !!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a death in Syria merciful than flee to Lebanon. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Unfortunately we did not find anything, I live not to aid, not even human compassion did not find him, quite the contrary they Armqonna stares of hatred, and hatred, and gloat, exploitation and revenge. In all its forms hideous, they were and still are Kalohouc that Tantzerfraisha, they were and still Aatoron to do anything offends us all lowliness and meanness and baseness. They forced me to take out my children from the adult school for $ 200, then I did not have anything from them. Of course we came to Lebanon, which preceded us by some of our relatives from Syria, housing them a house does not exceed 100 square meters, our number was 15 people. You register with UNHCR U N, publicly we get some help, but unfortunately, assistance has been too scarce not negligible. At this time I began to look for work, but they told us that the engineers, lawyers and doctors from non-Lebanese, banned from working in Lebanon. After much effort I got a job at half the salary, however, I accepted, but only a couple of months I am working. It has some Lebanese workers filed a complaint to the Lebanese security, which led to our class work, threatened us with eviction outside Lebanon if we went back to work again. Of course at this time I could not teach four of my children, adults taken out of school, and kept the little ones. Then began my son Mohammed is the 17-year work salary cheap to fill some of our needs, we continue to so until June 2015, where they cut us food aid from the UN. Then I got to know a young man Oskna at home versus maintaining it and some furniture, but at any moment can leave the house because Offered for sale. As a result of what we were to him of the events we were all psychiatric diseases, including, in particular, in addition to general weakness, anemia, decrease the weight, a permanent headache, and …. and ….. it is important for us now live in security and safety, like other human beings, complete the boys’ education to free them from the clutches of ignorance and backwardness, live from honest work and a dignified profession. In conclusion you my sincere thanks and gratitude to me and my family. Ahmed Razzouk

  • On September 30th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    The pot is “still cooking” as regards immigration in the U.S. Things in America are starting to unwind.

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