Canada’s Refugee Policy: A Calculated Risk – OpEd

Many persons across the world would have been surprised to read the welcome invitation from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the refugees who could not enter the USA due to the immigration ban ordered by President Donald Trump.

A few hours after such invitation was sent by the Canadian Prime Minister, news came that a mosque in Quebec was attacked by terrorists resulting in the loss of valuable lives. One wonders whether the Canadian Prime Minister will have a rethink on this invitation after receiving news about this terrorist attack in Quebec.

The Canadian Prime Minister has said that diversity is the strength of Canada. The Toronto Mayor Mr. John Tory also echoed the views of the Canadian Prime Minister, stating that Toronto is the most diverse city in the world and no one should be excluded from entry on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality.

Certainly, there should be many Canadians living in Canada and elsewhere who would be wondering whether Canada should become a free for all country, which would inevitably mean that anyone irrespective of their background, political views and even extremist ideas would be welcomed in Canada. The anxiety of such persons would be that such open invitation would inevitably destabilize the society, create conflict of interest and sow the seed for unrest and disruption in the long run.

It is already suspected by many that Canada is becoming a receptive place for protesters and agitators from several countries who have grouped in Canada to carry out the disruptive activity against the targeted country. Many separatists from different countries are reported to be operating from Canada in clandestine manner and the affected countries have brought this to the attention of the Canadian government on several occasions in the past.

Certainly, it is a civilized behavior of any country or any political leader to be benevolent towards the citizens of other countries and receptive to their problems. At the same time, the government also need to take care that an element of in built unrest would not be built in the country due to the entry of persons with questionable background and conduct and who could become the full fledged citizens of Canada in due course.

It is true that Canada is an under populated country with vast natural resources and manufacturing and intellectual capability. However, despite this advantageous and favorable conditions, it would certainly be a calculated risk for Canada to go about shopping for human beings .

It is particularly surprising that Canada has not learned a lesson from the experience of west European countries due to their liberal policy towards the entry of refugees from Syria and other countries on compassionate ground. Many Germans are sore about such approach and policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel , whose decision to allow refugees has already created social tension and unrest in some areas in Germany.

It would have been appropriate if the Canadian Prime Minister and Mayor of Toronto would have exercised greater care before extending invitation to refugees without check and control. President Donald Trump is trying to exercise check and control in permitting the refugees, which is appropriate from the point of view of long term social stability of the USA.

Should Canada adopt an alternate strategy of building a country of refugees and what would be the cost for Canada in the long run due to such hasty policy?


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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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