Election 2015: Candidates outline Canada’s role for refugees

Saanich-Gulf Islands: Candidates asked what should Canada’s role be in dealing with international refugees?

  • Oct. 13, 2015 6:00 a.m.

The Saanich News asked the candidates in Saanich-Gulf Islands the question: What should Canada’s role be in dealing with international refugees?

 

 

Elizabeth May – Green Party

The current system for bringing refugees into Canada is wholly inadequate to deal with the worst migrant crisis since the Second World War. Greens believe that special measures, like temporary resident permits, should be utilized to meet the scale of this crisis, and that we must work together to fix our broken refugee process.

Recent changes have unconstitutionally terminated health benefits for refugees, detained record numbers of refugees and their children in prison, arbitrarily for “irregular arrival” by boat, or sometimes for years without charge.

The Green Party will overhaul Canada’s refugee protection system. We will end the shocking practice of detaining refugees, restore funding for refugee health care, and commit to taking in tens of thousands more refugees. Canada should immediately increase the number of Syrian refugees welcomed to Canada to 25,000, while committing to bring in 40,000 over the next five years, conditional on security clearance. We will also strengthen human rights protections for prospective immigrants and repeal recent changes that encourage rapid deportation, to restore Canada to a safe and inclusive society for new Canadians.

 

 

Tim Kane – Liberal

Like other Canadians, I have been shocked and disappointed by the Harper Conservative government’s lack of compassion for families fleeing Syria.  Canada was once known around the world for our civility, our integrity and for our generosity.  Individual Canadians and many groups and associations are responding to the crisis and it is deeply shameful that our federal government is resisting the international call to action.

I am proud that Justin Trudeau has committed to accept 25,000 refugees from Syria through immediate and direct government sponsorship.   Certainly we must be sure that the people who arrive to build new lives here do not pose risks to our security, but the procedures and protocols exist.  All it takes to protect our security while providing a constructive solution to this humanitarian crisis is political will.

 

 

Alicia Cormier – NDP

Canada should be a force for peace and development. The human tragedy unfolding in Syria is horrifying and unacceptable. Lives are hanging in the balance, our focus must now be on saving lives and Canada must act, now.

The NDP will work to: Get 10,000 government-sponsored refugees out of harm’s way and on the way to Canada by the end of this year through appointing a Syrian refugee co-ordinator, pulling resources from various departments including Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration and other departments;  Increase presence of Canada’s diplomatic and immigration officials in the region to accelerate processing of refugees; Work with Turkey and other affected countries to remove bureaucratic obstacles to resettlement and end Canada’s policy of discrimination, to treat all refugees equally.  We will also fast-track private sponsorship, with no cap, to bring as many people as possible to Canada and increase Canada’s contributions to humanitarian assistance agencies, including the UNHCR, based on the needs on the ground, and help co-ordinate the response of the international community to the Syrian refugee crisis.

 

 

Robert Boyd – Conservative

Our Conservative government is following a balanced, compassionate approach while safeguarding Canadians’ security. The prime minister has stated the crisis must be addressed at all three levels: confronting ISIS militarily, providing humanitarian aid, and through refugee resettlement.

 

Canada has also contributed more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to humanitarian relief in the region. And we announced early in the campaign our commitment to bring in additional persecuted religious and ethnic minorities.

 

 

Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read