On the advice and insistence of Conservative MP and Immigration Critic, Michelle Rempel, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration held an emergency meeting the week of July 16th and they will continue to meet throughout the summer.
At issue is the inadequacy of the Trudeau Government’s response to the increased number of asylum seekers crossing into Canada.
Canadians expect our refugee system to be safe, orderly, and compassionate. Unfortunately, what we are experiencing now, and have been for a number of months, is insecurity, chaos and a lack of sincere empathy.
Thousands of illegal or “irregular” border crossings have been occurring since the Prime Minister irresponsibility tweeted “#WelcomeToCanada” in January 2017. Twice as many refugees are being admitted into Canada than the system was designed to handle.
While I do not want to cast blanket aspersions, some of those coming into our country may have criminal records.
Without proper background checks, which cannot be done before one crosses illegally, persons that pose a safety risk to our citizens may be slipping into Canada.
The newly appointed Minister for Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction will certainly have his hands full as he takes on this huge task of trying to stem the tide.
Actions, however, speak louder than words. Only time will tell whether the new Minister can, in fact, take control of this illegal and dangerous situation and his appointment isn’t only for show.
We have yet to see the mandate for this Liberal created department which is being craved out of the current Public Safety portfolio.
This queue-jumping has also created an unfair situation where those waiting in refugee camps or facing persecution in dangerous places around the world must wait longer, as more and more scarce resources are being spent processing people crossing into Canada from the U.S.
This two-tiered system is compromising the integrity of our immigration system while putting those patiently waiting to be legally approved to come to Canada at further risk.
It is not compassionate, nor fair, when individuals who have been brought here on humanitarian grounds, are forced to live in homeless shelters, university dormitories, and tent cities because this country is ill-prepared to handle such volumes of asylum seekers.
The Syrian refugees, who a majority of Canadians overwhelming supported being brought here, are now facing housing shortages, particularly in Toronto and Montreal.
The Mayors of these two large cities have been requesting federal financial assistance to redress the situation. Saskatchewan and Manitoba have also been asking for some additional funding.
To date, Trudeau’s only solution – as it is with so many issues – has been to use more taxpayers’ dollars to manage the crisis, instead of resolving the issue with a fully costed plan.
My colleagues and I will continue to call for policy solutions that go beyond simply spending more money or making token appointments.
We want to see our immigration system run on a safe, orderly and compassionate basis that prioritizes the world’s most vulnerable and that ensures when refugees are brought to this country we can, in fact, support them.
Questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns? Write me at 4945-50th St., Camrose, AB, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin. Sorenson.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hon. Keven Sorenson, MP
Battle River – Crowfoot