Governments weigh security with speed to settle Syrian refugees
"We're talking about a terrorist war zone a lot of people are coming from. We will make sure we are also protecting Canadians from the security risk. And there is no contradiction. We will do both. We will help refugees. We will also protect Canadians on security. And we are committed to doing both of these things. - PM Stephen Harper on screening Syrian refugees
On the campaign trail yesterday, Conservative leader Stephen Harper faced question after question about the Syrian refugee crisis... and just how quickly Canada can accept more refugees.
Security concerns are a major part of the hold-up, according to Mr. Harper. But the opposition wasn't having it.
Amnesty International has been watching the refugee crisis with growing alarm... and last week its Canadian branch asked Stephen Harper to expedite the settlement of Syrian refugees to Canada.
Alex Neve is the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. He was in Ottawa.
Letter to PM from Amnesty International Canada
Amidst all the calls for refugees from Syria to be settled here in Canada as quickly as possible, my next guest says striking a balance between humanitarian assistance and security at home is crucial.
Martin Collacott is a former Canadian ambassador to Syria and Lebanon. He also oversaw counter-terrorism policy for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa. We reached him at home in Vancouver.
Gar Pardy has been watching the refugee crisis unfolding and has thought a lot about security. He was Canadian Ambassador to five Central American countries and was director general of the consular affairs bureau in the Department of Foreign Affairs for 11 years, until retiring in 2003. Gar Pardy was in Ottawa.
How would you like to see the government handle the refugee crisis right now?
This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal, Marc Apollonio and Sujata Berry.