Sunday September 06, 2015
Should Canada open its doors wider to take in more refugees?
The drowned body of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach this week has become a symbol of the global migrant crisis. Should Canada open its doors wider to take in more refugees?
There can be few around the world who have not seen the heart rending picture of the three year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi face down on a sandy beach on the Turkish coast drowned after the boat he was in capsized.
It is an image that this week became a symbol of the migrant crisis that has seen millions on the move, fleeing war in Syria and Iraq. And escaping persecution, conflict and destroyed economies in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and other vulnerable countries.
Alan Kurdi's story is particularly poignant here in Canada because his aunt, who lives in British Columbia, was trying to find a way to one day bring that branch of the family to join her.
The story dominated the election campaign this week - and all the party leaders have been reflecting on the part Canada has to play in responding to the global refugee crisis.
Today we want to hear from you - What can be done to cope with the pressing needs of the world's millions of migrants who are on the move and in search of a better life?
Four million people from Syria alone, that's nearly a fifth of that country's population, have fled since the war began in 2011.
On Friday the head of the UN refugee agency urged for a "mass relocation program" for refugees now camped out in European railway stations and ports, marching along highways and crammed into rickety boats in the Mediterranean.
Should Canada be doing more to help?
A poll this week shows that most Canadians think that Canada should do more - but some are uncertain about the economic burden this will bring. Today we want to hear your thoughts.
What is the role of private sponsorship in all this? The immigration Minister Chris Alexander today called on private sponsors across the country "to come together as Canadians and do one of the things this country does best which is to resettle refugees from dangerous places."
Our question today: "Should Canada open its doors wider to take in more refugees?"
I'm Andrew Nichols on CBC Radio One and on Sirius XM, satellite radio channel 169 this is Cross Country Checkup.
Political columnist for the National Post based in Ottawa
Former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the former Ambassador to Syria, Lebanon and Cambodia.
Adjunct professor with the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. and former head of federal refugee resettlement programs for the region of Ontario.
- Refugee crisis: Hungary says it will bus hundreds of refugees to Austrian border
- Migrant crisis: Europe must settle 200,000 refugees by end of 2016, UNHCR says
- 'How to sponsor a Syrian?' is Canada's top Google query on refugees
- Refugee crisis, drowned Syrian boy shift focus of Canada's election campaign
- Refugee crisis: Canada must do more, Harper's policies have failed, rivals say
- Refugee crisis: Hungary reopens Budapest train station, triggering new standoff
- Chris Alexander pauses his election campaign in wake of refugee crisis
- Father of Alan Kurdi, drowned Syrian boy, describes desperate ordeal to save family
- ANALYSIS: Little Aylan Kurdi, washed ashore, suddenly refocuses Syrian tragedy: Nahlah Ayed
- Migrant crisis: Should pictures of a drowned Syrian boy be shared on social media?
- Most Canadians believe their country should do more for migrants: poll
- John Ivison: Migrant crisis suddenly the biggest issue in the election campaign - and Harper's on the high wire
- Terry Glavin: Canada is watching Syria die
- Aylan's deadly journey: The three-year-old boy and his family fled a home town rocked by ISIL attacks
- Kelly McParland: Syrian crisis is a chance for Canada to show its generosity
Globe and Mail
- Immigration Minister Chris Alexander 'flat-footed' on refugee crisis
- Family of drowned boy did not apply for asylum: Ottawa
- Boy on the beach reminds us that the migrant crisis is also Canada's crisis
- Globe Editorial : Migrant crisis? No, Europe is facing a moral crisis
New York Times