Canadians expect and deserve more from their government
FTLComm - Tisdale - Monday, August 16, 2010
Few Canadians who know where their ancestors came from can condone the behaviour of the federal government. One minister tells us we need more prisons in this country because of "unreported crime" and another tells us that nearly 500 migrant refugees are criminals and possible terrorists. We deserve better from elected officials.
Long before the ship had been intercepted and brought into harbour the federal minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews said that those on board were "suspected human smugglers and terrorists" There was no benefit of the doubt and just to make sure the jails were made ready to receive the some 490 men women and children who had been at sea in a small cargo ship since May. In a story from CBC today the government was doing everything it could to prevent the press from covering the hearings for these people.
One way or another everyone but Canada's First Nations people came to Canada some as settlers, some as economic refugees and some fleeing for their lives. We Canadians are a nation of immigrants, my family got its start here in the spring of 1912 and those who have come before and since have made it a complex and remarkable country. Even Albertans came to Canada, many from the United States seeking opportunities here that were not available in the 'land of the free and home of the brave'.
When the war in Vietnam ended Canada welcomed thousands to the country, people who had no place to go and they just like others before them have made a positive contribution to this land. It just seems that after the bitter civil war in Sri Lanka we should be setting the rightwing neo-conservative Republican ideals aside and dealing with refugees from their in a much more humane and appropriate manner.