This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, December 14, 2015

No Obligation To A Predecessor : Canada Is Back!

Under the recently-past Conservative government led by the inestimable Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada, the plan was to rapidly accelerate refugee screening and selection with a view to resettling 20,000 government-assisted refugees by the end of 2016. A reasonable aspiration, giving the enterprise sufficient time to ensure that screening would be properly managed and reliable in its outcome. As for privately sponsored refugees brought to Canada by community, church groups or relatives, no limit would be set.

Along with the millions in funding already allocated in aid of Syrian refugees an additional $100-million was to be set aside to support further the United Nations' Refugee Agency helping Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to manage their burgeoning refugee camps. When the Conservatives lost the October 11 election and the Liberal Party of Canada came in, the new government distinguished itself immediately by efforts to upstage whatever the previous government had done.

Trudeau greets refugees
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets newly-arrived Syrian refugees Lucie Garabedian, centre, her father Vanig Garabedian, second left, mother Anjilik Jaghlassian, second right, and sister Anna-Maria Garabedian, right, at Pearson International airport, in Toronto, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

It would sponsor refugees and bring them into Canada before the end of 2015. "Canada is back!" chortled the new prime minister to his adoring admirers and to the international community, enthralled itself by the vision of a youthful, celebrity self-boosting prime minister. In point of fact, without the two previous Ministers of Immigration, Jason Kenney and Chris Alexander, who meticulously performed all the preliminary work with distinction, the government of Justin Trudeau would have had no starting point.

Minister Kenney acted as a  trail-blazer in setting a new standard for Canada's resettlement of gay Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis years ago. Canada has been known to take in more immigrants and refugees than most other developed countries on an annual basis, irrespective of which political party was in the ascendancy of power. And, as it happens, the new Liberal government's declaration during the election of its intention to bring everyone in by year's end had to be altered, given two additional months.

Canadians, it must be said, are open-heartedly welcoming Syrian refugees. Even from among Jewish congregations sponsorships of Syrian refugees have emerged. In the Yukon an impressive fundraising dinner succeeded in raising enough funds to sponsor a Syrian family. An interfaith and community group effort to sponsor 50 Syrian families has been led in Guelph by the president of a home-appliance manufacturer and retailer. That retailing president, Jim Estill, will himself contribute the bulk of the $1.5 million project cost.

The University of Albert and the University of Ottawa are both offering scholarships for Syrian students. The former Conservative government had already brought in about 1,800 Syrian refugees before the election. These are Syrians whom the international community mostly cites Islamic State atrocities as bearing down on them leading to their flight, but in actual fact in the last year alone Baathist President Bashar al-Assad had over 20,000 barrel bombs unleashed on his citizens.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human rights those bombs killed about 7,000 civilian Sunni Syrians, with an additional 400 killed by Russian bombs since September alone. The new Prime Minister of Canada is averse to having the Canadian military act in any combat role against the Islamic State, and nor has he been heard to state any considered condemnation of Bashar al-Assad for creating millions of Syrian refugees.

But he is up front and centre, beaming for the cameras as the saviour of Syrian refugees because Canadians, at least almost forty percent of them, had the good sense to throw out his predecessor and bring in the champion among champions, a man of rash decision-making who never seems to consider long-range consequences, but whose photogenic likeness nauseatingly appears everywhere.

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