This past Saturday, my wife and I noticed a small group of about five people standing downtown in front of city hall, holding signs claiming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a traitor and other such sentiments.
Although we did not see a sign specifically targeting immigration, we feel that was the group’s real target.
Therefore, allow me to take this opportunity to help them, and others who may share their views and similar sentiments, to know the facts and, hopefully, open their hearts to the many refugees and displaced people suffering on this planet.
United Nations figures show there are 6.5 million internally displaced persons and 6.3 million refugees in the world, with 85 per cent of refugees finding refuge in the poorest countries on the planet and 66 per cent of refugees spending more than five years in exile. In 2016, Canada welcomed 58,435 (1.7 per cent) of the 3.4 million new refugees for that year.
Canada has a responsibility under the UN to allow due process for the immigrants who cross into Canada at places other than official border crossings. Many of these people are then deported when they fail to meet the refugee criteria.
Let us remember that 20 per cent of all Canadians are foreign-born. That’s more than 7.5 million of us. Far from being a liability, these newcomers help strengthen our unique culture.
Diversity is our strength.