On September 3, 2015, I watched a video of our Honorable Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivering a speech in parliament. He referenced some accomplishments such as safer streets for Canadians, more development of raw resources, and an on-track budget. With some patriotism in his voice, he exclaimed that Canada is the best and the first country in the world. Perhaps I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to be a Canadian but those words struck me as a little curious. If Canada is the country that we all know and believe to be so much better, why would he even need to mention it? Was this a flag to wave in the faces of viewers, voters and other nations that are only second, third or tenth on the list compared to Canada's first position? For the last few years, I haven't paid much attention to politics but the present events and the way we Canadians respond to them have raised concerns. That little red wagon might still be a lot better than Johnny's blue wagon, but gee why do I hear that squeaking in the wheels?
On Friday, September 4, 2015, Abdullah Kurdi buried his two sons and wife after they drowned off the coast of Turkey when their small dingy capsized. An image of Alan, one of the drowned boys, lying on the sand face down sparked a global outcry. Consequently, 70% of Canadians feel Canada should do something to alleviate the European crisis. Millions of migrants are travelling from war-torn, impoverished countries through Europe and on to their chosen destinations. Eckhart Tolle aptly defines responsibility as "the ability to respond". As it is, when these kinds of events occur around election times politicians look for ways to take advantage of public opinion to seize votes. If elected, The New Democratic Party would process as much as 10,000 applications per day. According to Angus Reid polling, Conservatives are less than half committed (10,000 in three years) and have said they bear "no responsibility" to help European nations. We often think about our money like pieces of a pie with only so many to go around. Recently I overheard a woman gossiping in angry dismay about an immigrant with children receiving a monthly $3000 government cheque. I just felt happy for the immigrant that she is being cared for, but some ultra-Conservatives feel that most immigrants just want to "rip off the system" saying Canada will go bankrupt. Some immigrants do that but most are apprehended; however, take a look at what Canadians spend on their vehicles and then decide for yourself who is doing the ripping.
…look at what Canadians spend on their vehicles and then decide for yourself who is doing the ripping.
Immigrants ripping off system
When news of the Alan Kurdi's drowning emerged, BBC mentioned that the family had applied, but Canadian immigration refused them. Afterwards, Canada immigration said they had sent an incomplete form back to the family. The last story I read was that Canada immigration found no record of any application and that the family planned to travel to Germany instead. Mr Kurdi is now placing the blame on Canada.
Italy's foreign minister, Paola Gentilioni, pleaded for international help. At the same time, a Canadian frigate was patrolling in the Mediterranean, but they refused to assist sea-bound migrants because it had no orders from Ottawa to do so. The United Nations estimate that 2850 people (Lifeline Syria) have died this summer, even though 381,412 (over 75% women and children) have successfully reached Greece and Italy. While thousands of migrants wait in unbearable humid conditions, the European Union (EU) has yet to come up with a plan, insisting all the migrants must register according to the EU's rules. The defense minister, Jason Kenney, says Canada has no responsibility to help on the migrant issue.
England boasts about how many immigrants have already settled in the UK, now citing the obvious overwhelming numbers. One BBC commentator even suggested that if the migrants were white there wouldn't be a problem. Hungary wants to avoid any contact with the travellers, so they partly accomplished this by fortifying their security using 150 miles of razor fence along its southern border. Their refugee camps are deplorable with a sprinkling of food or water.
So what does all this mean? It proves again that man has not changed one iota from the territorial species he is. It's always the old law: Encroachment without permission means confrontation or death. The refusal of Canadians and others to reach out to these refugees using available means, irrespective of their numbers, is a collective unconsciousness on a global scale so no one can be held responsible. If we could be observers of our thoughts and actions, no doubt we could awaken to this present moment need and deny our ancestral fears and suspicion. This migration is bravery, flexibility and determination in true form. How we can learn! As it is, we will probably only see about 1% on Canadian shores.
Will any light shine on those deemed irresponsible? We are referring here to the denial of basic human rights including food and shelter and perhaps a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well. Not only the Syrian crisis, I cannot fully express my disappointment with the present administration at what must be a prime example of man's inhumanity to man. I will consider my vote carefully before I go to the polls in October. ©
Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net