Story by Norm Richards
I've wondered and felt concern like many others in Canada since the newly elected government has committed to accept twenty five thousand Syrian war refugees into Canada before the end of the year just forty days from now. I want to know more. I didn't think I'd find many answers. Meanwhile, I could end up with militant neighbours if you belief what you see and read on the Internet. I've seen the pictures of hundreds of thousands of young men moving across Europe in search of safety and freedom. At the same time disturbed by the countries rejecting them and putting up barbed wire fences to keep them out. What is wrong with people for doing that? Our national newspaper are running stories which beg reading to better understand the issues. Mark MacKinnon, Doug Saunders and Joanna Slater are some of the authors.
The men running across Europe today are men with hopes and dreams. They want safety for themselves and for their families too. Don't they? I see actions against them that demonstrate indifference and intolerance. Yes, I know some of the those counties have their own problems. But their actions speak loudly. They may as well say, "We don't want extremist groups coming into our country!" Well, who does? But have you taken a look at who they really are? I just hope, however, that the newly elected government here knows what they are doing and are smart about it. People seeking asylum from oppression is what I believe these people are. What I've been asking USA governors through Facebook comments is; have they considered that? I'm not sure they read my comments. I spoke with a landed immigrant USA citizen to Canada the other day what he thought. He said the US governors who are against Syrians coming into their state are right wing politicians who appose President Barack Obama and his call for accepting refugees. Kind of says it right there. Where do they go from here? We have our own challenges in Canada as well. It's to find a way to get 25,000 refugees into Canada in 40 days. I read today, some have arrived.
What can we expect when more get here? If other people who come here are any example of integration into our society, things are possible. China sends their children for education while buying houses on the west coast to house them while these kids get an education. Historically, when the west needed tilling, migration from Europe expanded farming and land occupation in a rapid and permanent way. When Jewish owned clothing factories needed workers, Filipinos were hired to take those jobs. They discovered these folks were friendly and caring. Hospitals are large employers for immigrants from the Philippines. Now, even decades later and generations in, those immigrants are successful and prosperous. The taxi services are dominated by another ethnic culture. These people contribute to the economy in a substantial way. I'm pretty close to the street, so to speak. I hear many different languages daily in my city. Among themselves they speak there mother tongue but function well in English as needed. We are a mosaic from other lands here in Canada. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I worked in the aerospace industry where many UK workers were recruited and settled in this country before and after the war. People from all over the world have come to Canada to find prosperity. Can refugees make it? Why not. Governments just have to welcome them, facilitate their arrival and makes things possible for them. The rest is up to them and us to know and understand them. Integration is not impossible, it's necessary. How do you build workable nations without it? Not by force that is for sure.