Saskatchewan

People rally for refugees outside Regina City Hall

While previous rallies have been held along Victoria Avenue in the city's downtown, Monday's rally will be held in front of city hall, as city council is scheduled inside.

Organizers want city council to pressure federal government to accept more refugees

Weekly rallies in support of Syrian refugees have been held in downtown Regina all September. (Lauren Golosky/CBC)

For the fourth week in a row, people rallied in downtown Regina during rush hour in support of refugees.

While previous rallies have been held along Victoria Avenue in the city's core, Monday's rally was held in front of city hall, around the time a city council meeting began at 5:30 p.m. CST. While other rallies brought out bigger crowd, only 20 or so people attended the one outside city hall. 
A group of 20 or so rallied in front of Regina's city hall Monday. They called on the city to pressure the government to allow more refugees into Canada. (Lauren Golosky/CBC)

In a press release, organizers of the weekly rallies say they are "calling upon City Council to join in these conversations taking place across Canada and to put pressure on the Federal government to allow in more refugees."

The organizers want Regina to join other Canadian cities, like Vancouver, where the mayor held a public forum earlier this month to discuss how the city could best help refugees. 

Ammar Abbas attended the rally. He says Regina could take in more than 20,000 refugees.

"I feel that we have bigger hearts and we have very nice, friendly people," he said. "The economy has always benefited from immigrants."

"I really hope that if we have more immigrants, especially Syrian refugees, that they'll be contributing a lot."

Abbas says the city should join the conversation, despite immigration being a federal issue.

"I always feel that it's a global issue and more and more a humanitarian problem so everybody has to chip in," he said.

"[City politicians are] our first line of sight in terms of politics. They are the people who we vote (for), who we know and they can influence the federal (government) to change the policies." 

Rally organizers say they are collecting signatures for an online petition. They will officially present that to city council at a later date. 

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