The plan to accept 2,500 Syrian refugees into the Lower Mainland by January
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, millions of Syrian refugees remain in the process of finding a better life outside their home country. While Germany has over 57,000 accepted applicants and is on track to reach 100,000, Canada has made a pledge to host 25,000 across our nation.
Surprisingly, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll, only 42 per cent of Canadians moderately or strongly support the plans to go through with providing support for the Syrians in need.
While travelling to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Manila, PM Justin Trudeau said to National Post: “We’ve known for a long time, and we continue to be very much committed to keeping Canadians safe while we do the right thing to engage responsibly on this humanitarian crisis.”
While he is attending worldwide meetings, there seems to be a disagreement back on Canadian soil. Across Canada, municipalities and regions have been pushing back in a plea to not rush plans. Notably, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall made a counter argument to the Globe and Mail: “Surely, we do not want to be date-driven or numbers-driven in an endeavour that may affect the safety of our citizens and the security of our country.”
His isn’t alone with his concerns, as Premier Christy Clark voiced hers to Global News, suggesting that “settling outside of the Lower Mainland could mean a warmer welcome for Syrian refugees.” Ironically, the BC population outside the Lower Mainland has responded not in accordance with the same viewpoint.
“It’s northeastern BC that concerns me right now,” said petition organizer Hailie Hambrook to Global. “We’re all in a struggle right now. I think they need to go to places where the unemployment is much lower.”
Eyob Naizghi, the Executive Director of MOSAIC BC, a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering immigrant and refugee communities across Canada, chimed in, saying that he agrees that the best infrastructure for assisting their settlement beginnings should be in the Lower Mainland.
According to CBC, Metro Vancouver stands by its promise to disperse refugees across neighbouring cities, projecting 900 in Surrey, 600 in Coquitlam, 540-600 in Burnaby, 300 in Vancouver, and 120 in New Westminster by the end of January.