LETTERS: Critical look at refugee crisis

Letter writers address concerns after Canada announced it would accept 25,000 Syrian refugees.


Fleeing Muslim refugees expect mostly Christian Europe and North America to accept hundreds of thousands of them, while mostly Muslim states closest to Syria refuse to accept any of them?

Not only that, it has fallen to Europe and North America to lose lives fighting ISIS, not the neighbouring Muslim countries?

Europe and North America already have their support networks stretched to the limit looking after the increasing numbers of homeless, impoverished seniors, children living in poverty, mental-illness epidemic casualties, addictions sequalae, tragic suicide rates, abusive households, violent crime and needs of youth in care.

Before we endeavour to clean up Middle East fanatical insanity, we should be focusing on the people in need already in our midst.

ISIS is now mixing terrorists in with refugees, making thorough security screening impossible. The ISIS monster knows no boundaries and spreads its sickening virus via home-based computers to be received by any homegrown self-radicalized Muslim ready to carry out their evil in their community, as in France.

Really, is this what Canada needs? We don’t have our hands full already, failing to meet the overwhelming needs of the Canadians already in our midst and being overlooked?

David Bradshaw, White Rock

• • •

My heart goes out to everyone affected by the horrific attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad.

We cannot afford to stay silent when tragedies like this are happening across the world. It’s really a harsh wakeup call that terrorism has destroyed the lives of so many.

I grew up with Canadian values of generosity and tolerance, and I am saddened by many comments about the refugee crisis. It’s worrying to know that the spread of terror is working, and many Canadians are criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to grant asylum to 25,000 Syrian refugees by year end.

Let’s be clear, I expect proper security checks and time to do so, but as the government and experts have weighed in, this is possible with the help of pre-screening by the UNHCR. And it’s been done before, when we accepted over 50,000 Vietnamese in 1979-’80.

As Canadians, we have a moral obligation to accept those in need in this time of utter destruction. The civil war in Syria is a fight on so many fronts with so many armies that the people feel utterly hopeless; they have been driven out of their homes by terrorism and aggression.

I remember proud commitments made by the political parties to help the Syrian refugee crisis when the tragic image of Alan Kurdi’s body caught international headlines, and I ask what changed. The crisis hasn’t improved, and the risk we were accepting is still the same.

We need to think of how many lives will be transformed for the better when we share our country with those who seriously need it.

ISIS wants a division of western societies; they want refugees and religious minorities to feel oppressed by the West, and thus make them prone to radicalization.

If we fear and hate each other, as shown in the arson at the mosque in Ontario, the terrorists have won.

In response to those who say we should be helping our homeless and disabled first, I agree. However, we can help them all at the same time by investing in necessary social services, including expanding mental-health care and targeting the root causes of poverty.

As Canadians we can do so much better. Extending our arms is the only way we can win the war on terror.

Raaj Chatterjee, Surrey

• • •

If I come across a burning, sinking boat, I would rescue the passengers and take care of them until they can be delivered someplace safe.

That doesn’t mean they then get to live on my boat and invite relatives.

Genuine refugees are glad to be somewhere, anywhere safe, near their homeland. Less-genuine refugees are happy to take advantage of a generous dupe, even one a continent and an ocean away.

Canada should select immigrants who will make things better for people who are already Canadian.

If Canada urgently needed an additional 25,000 immigrants before year-end, all it would take would be a YouTube advertisement and we could have a list of 25,000 within the week, all of whom:

• are – and will be – employable

• already speak English or French

• are vetted for security and health

• will not depend on public funding

• don’t come from a religious culture that supports subjugation of women and murder of dissidents.

The prime minister’s ‘refugee’ intake fulfills none of these points.

So, while the answers will become plain in due course, for the moment, I float some questions:

How many will be unemployable, military-aged males? When crime against women and girls goes up in these newly vibrantly diverse neighbourhoods – as it has in Europe – will it be accurately reported? How many of the immediate welfare-recipient adults will be fast-tracked for citizenship, just in time to vote Liberal in the next election? How many will settle in Trudeau’s riding?

Canada’s refugee acceptance should be limited to those who: a) are in immediate danger of extermination, b) have no train-distance country that can take them, and c) culturally pose zero hazard to Canadians.

Syrian refugees do not qualify. They should take refuge near Syria.

David Danylyshyn, Surrey



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