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Harper's Conservatives Seem to Have Forgotten a Cherished Tr

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:41 am
by Oscar
In Canada, Harper's Conservatives Seem to Have Forgotten a Cherished Tradition about Refugees

[ http://www.informationclearinghouse.inf ... e42942.htm ]

Harper’s been talking oddly of ‘old-stock Canadians’ – effectively excluding hundreds of thousands

By Robert Fisk September 23, 2015 "Information Clearing House"

The Independent - "Europe’s refugee epic reached as far as the frozen heights of the Rockies yesterday, in a gentle, very Canadian way. At an international economics conference in the grand old town of Banff – snow already dusting the slopes of Mount Rundle far above us – Dr Tom Thompson of Olds College, the largest agricultural school in Alberta, came up to ask me how he might bring Syrian refugees to his university.

“It is our Canadian tradition, to help refugee families,” he told me. “I’d love to help.” I put him in touch by phone with international agricultural advisers in the Arab world, including Beirut.

He meant what he said. Just as, on the other side of the mountains on squeaky-clean Vancouver Island, the leader of Canada’s Green Party – two MPs in Ottawa, perhaps another 10 after the 19 October national elections – wants to help the Arab refugees streaming up the landmass of Europe. Elizabeth May was herself once a refugee lawyer (she used to help ship-jumpers in Halifax port) and wants Canada to shine in its response to something her country has always cherished: helping the world’s poor and oppressed. Canada took in the huddled masses of Vietnamese boat people – 55,000 of them – in the 1970s. So why not the Syrians, and Iraqis, and Afghans, today?

But here, alas, we must report a sordid and bigoted tale deep within a country famous for its multiculturalism. Stephen Harper’s weird Conservative government – its security laws fear-mongering their way through a population normally famous for its generosity – is even more reluctant than our own beloved David Cameron’s Cabinet to take in the families fighting their way from the death-pits of the Middle East.

Harper’s been talking oddly of “old-stock Canadians” – effectively excluding hundreds of thousands of Canada’s new Muslim population from the country’s modern history, and virtually second-tiering their citizenship. His immigration minister, Chris Alexander – desperately trying to claw back any shred of the Canadian Conservative Party’s principals – has been talking these past few hours of taking in more than an earlier figure of 20,000. This was also an attempt to clean up his own reputation after scolding a television journalist and the media in general for not paying attention to the crisis – when he had himself been refusing all interviews on the subject.

Canada has made plenty of offers of help to Christian, Yazidi and other minority groups fleeing Isis territory over the past year, but precious few for the latest and far more formidable exodus, on grounds that are perfectly clear to millions of Canadians: they are Sunni Muslims.


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