He’s got it exactly right

Thomas Walkom, writing in the Toronto Star, gets it 100% right when he tells the story of “Rahaf Mohammed … [the] … 18-year-old Saudi wants to escape the constraints of her family, her native country and her religion.

He tells the story, somewhat improbably in places, of how the young lady, despite being, she claims, under close, almost prison-like, family supervision managed, while on holiday to Kuwait, with her family, managed to obtain an Australian visa and board a flight to Bangkok. She was detained by Thai authorities but then mounted a successful social media campaign and was declared, by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to be a legitimate refugee and he path to Australia seemed open, although the Australian government insisted that she pass through their screening process, first. The Canadian government, Mr Walkom said, had no such quibbles and invited her to come to Canada, unscreened ~ although we’ve just seen that screening by the Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration does go seriously wrong.

Thomas Walkom lays out the reasons why this is problematical:

  • First, he says, “the Liberal government’s decision to grant her refugee status virtually sight unseen — in effect, letting her jump the queue — is unwise … [because] … It confirms what many critics of the refugee system have charged — that it is unfair, driven by politics and open to manipulation;”
  • Next, he asks, “Would she have made it to Canada if she had been less adept at social media? Would Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have personally welcomed the teen at Toronto’s Pearson Airport if Mohammed, who no longer uses her family name Alqunun, were not an international media celebrity? … [and] … Would she be here at all if she were, say, an 18-year-old Rohingya woman without a social media following who was trying to escape ethnic cleansing in Burma?” The questions, he says, answer themselves;
  • For Mohammed, this is a clear win,” he says, and “A similar case two years ago, in which a Saudi woman flew to Manila to try and claim asylum in Australia did not work out as well. That woman was sent home and never heard from again;”
  • And he adds, “For Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, it is also a win. It burnishes Trudeau’s feminist credentials and manages to poke Saudi Arabia’s autocratic regime in the eye without Canada having to give up lucrative arms sales to that country;” but
  • He concludes, and I agree, “For Canada’s beleaguered refugee system, however, this story is not good news. It demonstrates that the rules don’t matter if the subject has enough media appeal. It is a reminder that when it comes to accepting asylum seekers, politics dominate.

That’s exactly right. I have no opinion on the merits of this young lady’s claim but it is abundantly clear that Team Trudeau doesn’t care … they saw a good public relations story and they ran with it, policy and procedures and nationals security be damned. And that’s what … that ALL that this government is about: public relations and photo ops. They have failed, again and again and again, to keep their political promises, but they are always at the front when the cameras are clicking.

Team Trudeau understands that Canadians are generous by nature and want to help those in need. Perhaps Ms Mohammed’s need was very real and even so urgent that she could not wait to be vetted, but I suspect that most Canadians will this for what it is: a phoney public relations exercise in which young Miss Rahaf Mohammed is nothing but a prop in the Trudeau re-election campaign. Team Trudeau has, as Thomas Walkom says, misused and abused Canada’s refugee determination system for short term political gain.

It’s well past time for a change.

One thought on “He’s got it exactly right”

  1. At this point in time what is the most effective path to pursue if you wish to immigrate to Canada? In my travels I have met many people who desired to be Canadian citizens. Most were physically fit, educated, spoke English or French and wanted a chance for a better life. An application to immigrate to Canada would cost them a months salary and in six months they would receive a rejection letter. Although some applicants are accepted there are other avenues for immigration to Canada with a higher chance of success.

    “Crash the Gate” as concert goers would say. Arrive to Canadian Territorial Waters on a small ship crewed by human smugglers. There is a good chance that even the human smugglers will eventually be allowed to stay in Canada. Arrive at the Canadian border, at any place other than an official point of entry, and just walk across. Even if you just flew to the United States from Africa and took a taxi to the border. In the time it takes to process the claim these people will be established in Canada and not likely to be sent back to the country of origin.

    Use the Internet to create a high profile for yourself, your group, or your situation. Not only will you get a fast track into Canada there is a good chance that all of your travel costs will be covered. You will have to meet with our Prime Minister, or a reasonable facsimile, for a photo op when you arrive. If not at the airport then a private photo op in his office on Parliament Hill. Would some of these people not be better accommodated in a country that has a culture/climate similar to what they are accustomed to, or is Canada the only alternative? Is our current Goverment canvassing the world to seek out the immigration candidates with the highest profile and consequently the best photo op?

    Immigration is a necessary part of the successful development of any country. Done correctly it will enrich life for all of its citizens. Population migration will become more significant in the near future as the world population continues to increase. The areas of the planets surface that can support human life will continue to shrink. Add to the mix increasing regional conflicts as some areas revert back to tribal / clan conflicts. Despite our best efforts it is not possible for Canada to solve the worlds problems or accommodate all of the refugees. Canada must continue to do our share, but we require a long term vision on the issue. We need a clear/concise immigration policy that outlines realistic long term objectives. This policy needs to be fair to the citizens of Canada and to ‘all’ of those who wish to become citizens of Canada.

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