Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Harper Cons set up our refugee system to fail 

It's now clear that the Harper Cons set up our refugee system to fail.
They can pretend to have compassion but they don't have to actually admit any of those pesky refugees to Canada. Win-win.
Because three years ago they changed the rules to make it all the refugee's own fault that they can't get in -- now, they can say that the refugees just didn't have their paperwork done right and so what can we do? /shrug/
Compare and contrast: in 1979, the Canadian government bent over backward to fast-track desperate refugees:
Mike Molloy was the Canadian government official who oversaw the airlifting of the Vietnamese boat people and removed bureaucratic obstacles. “The motto out there was not ‘do the thing right,’ it was ‘do the right thing,’” the 71-year-old, who lives in Ottawa, said in an interview.
...“When the government said, ‘Go,’ the civil servants knew we had clear instructions.” Many of the refugees were on remote islands in southeast Asia. Mr. Molloy sent over teams totalling between 20 to 25 people to process the applications. They worked fast and in rough conditions – no bathroom facilities, rats crawling over them as they slept.
“Typically, you had about 12 minutes per case. You had to figure out who they were, and make a guess about whether they were capable of landing on their feet.” A written explanation of why an applicant was expected to succeed in Canada and a description of the family composition constituted the entire visa, he said. “That’s it. There was no intermediary paperwork.” Only medical papers and a security clearance were needed before final acceptance – usually no more than eight weeks after the interview.
“When the sun went down, they would light oil lamps and they would continue until they couldn’t keep their eyes open,” Mr. Molloy said. A small team at the Anambas Islands off the coast of Malaysia interviewed families amounting to 1,200 people in four and a half days, and when they began to pack their bags, they realized thousands of people had gathered. “The refugees stood up and gave them a standing ovation.”
He said another difference from today is that the Canadians tried to keep extended families together. “If there was an old granny, she’s an asset. Brothers and sisters, bring them along. We know from experience that when refugees arrive, if their family is intact, they have a better chance of establishing more efficiently.”
Mr. Molloy said he had “fantastic” assignments in a career that included being ambassador to Jordan, but the highlight was the Vietnamese-refugee project. “We never lose with refugees. Refugees arrive with no place to go but up.”
The Harper Cons don't agree.  The Conservative base don't like all those poor people cluttering up the country. Better we should be admitting more teenagers to work at MacDonalds and protect business from having to raise Canadian wages.
So the Harper Cons deliberately set up our refugee system to fail:
The refugee groups say they have repeatedly called on Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and the government to exempt Syrians from the rule — which says the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) or another country must first designate a person as a refugee before immigration officials will consider letting them be privately sponsored to come to Canada....Then-immigration minister Jason Kenney implemented the new rule in October 2012 as part of a broader Conservative government overhaul of Canada’s refugee system....Briefing notes obtained by the Citizen say the change was intended to protect against fraud, but also to deal with a large backlog of applications from private sponsors while speeding up applications. “It is anticipated that this regulatory change will reduce G5 submissions by 70 per cent,” reads one memo to Kenney.
The goal wasn't to help people, it was just to reduce the number of applications.  The results has been to slow-track our refugee system
The government pledged in 2013 and in January of this year to take in a total of 11,300 Syrian refugees, and Mr. Harper promised during the election campaign to bring in another 10,000 from Syria and Iraq over four years. But just 2,347 have been resettled in the past three years, and the current process has so many bureaucratic stumbling blocks that refugee advocates doubt the target will be reached.
And the Harper Cons can blame the refugees for not completing the paperwork correctly, so its their fault not ours.
I tell you, it used to be a lot easier to be proud of Canada.

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