By Steve Saideman
Lots of folks criticize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about being more about style than substance (see his Vogue pics), but the style can be substance. How Canada has welcomed the first batch of refugees could be seen as a photo opportunity. And 25,000 refugees can be seen as too little.
However, it can also be seen as a vital effort in the war against ISIS/ISL/IS/Daesch.
The videos and pictures counter the messaging by our adversary that the West will not welcome Muslims into their country, that the West is hostile, and all that. And the images are going viral.
By Valerie Percival
The Syrian crisis is no longer contained. Millions of refugees have fled into neighbouring countries. Tens of thousands are walking miles across Europe in search of safety and compassion. Yet the world seems paralyzed – incapable of a coordinated response.
Canada shares in that paralysis. The recent announcement from the government recognizing Syrians as “prima facie” refugees, appointing a senior coordinator and scaling up immigration staff is welcome. Yet the government changed its policies begrudgingly, with a cap of just 10,000 refugees by the end of the year and 46,000 by 2019. Their talking points remain constant, reminding Canadians that an influx of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria could undermine Canada’s security and way of life.
Such a parochial approach is inconsistent with the facts. Canada is a rich country. We are also a nation of migrants. Refugees fleeing war and oppression have long contributed to Canada’s material wealth, social capital and promise. And Canada’s security has always been best served by extending a hand to those in need.