Which is the real crisis?

Dear Editor,

Recently, an Angus Reid poll reported that the majority of Canadians think that illegal crossings of our southern border have reached a crisis point.

Here are the facts: we received 31,000refugees since the start of last year. More than usual but that’s happening everywhere.

The UN reports that last year, Canada got only 0.2 per cent of the overall refugee population in the world. A challenge? Yes. A crisis? No. We

have a system and it works: real refugees will be welcomed; liars and criminals will be deported.

As for people coming to Canada illegally, yes, some had no choice. Under an agreement with the US, refugees who are already in the US will be automatically denied entry to Canada because we officially consider them to be already safe. But let’s get real.

We know what the US is doing to refugees, and it’s far from safe (especially for kids) so some chose to get arrested and make their case. This is understandable and, again, not a crisis.

Meanwhile, in the same week as the Angus Reid poll, two American researchers reported that they had discovered three million tweets directed at Canadians that had been generated by Russian troll farms, proving that Canada is definitely a target in Russia’s clandestine — and very effective — attack on western democracies.

The Russian goal is to get us worked up about whatever relatively small issue is making the news — refugees, pipelines, etc. — so that politicians are so busy doing damage control that we fail to respond to the real threat: Russian aggression. Russian fake news was right-wing, left-wing and just plain upsetting (like turkeys being tainted with salmonella).

Why is Russia attacking Canada? We are a strong partner in the alliance of democracies, and we supported sanctions on Russia, particularly Putin’s inner circle, in retaliation for malicious cyber activities, attempts to subvert Western democratic elections, the  invasion of Crimea, violent interference in Ukraine, and it’s vile support to the Syrian regime in bombing its civilians.

These sanctions stop Putin’s buddies from a number of activities — including getting loans — that would allow them to do worse.

It seems incredible that the President of the United States is cooperating with the President of Russia to destroy western democracies.

The fact that Russian interference in the US helped get Trump elected, and Canadians are now falling for the same tactic, is the real crisis.

What can we do? Don’t let ourselves get upset over things that don’t matter. Whatever issue worries us, we should imagine the very worst that could happen.

Some of these scenarios are troubling but survivable. Some will destroy democracy. Some will kill us. Let’s stay calm and make sure we focus on the real crisis.

Nora Abercrombie

Beaver County, Ab.

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