It would be good if we found it surprising that there are some who object to helping refugees because they think we should help people here first. But it’s not surprising, because people have been expressing these types of concerns for ages. There have always been many who struggle with helping people from outside their own community, or country.
I understand how some get upset because they see a lot of attention and money given to refugees, yet there are all sorts of causes locally we could be addressing.
My challenge to those who object to helping refugees, or any other global cause, such as poverty in Africa, is why does it have to be either or? Why can’t we do both? We should do both.
The reason we’re helping refugees is because there’s an immediate urgent need. There are bombs going off in their homeland, in their homes. People are dying. Heads are being blown off. Children are being shelled with artillery. They have nowhere to go if they want to live. That’s why they’re called refugees. They’re seeking refuge.
To be a refugee you need someone willing to provide refuge.
That’s where we come in. Why us? Because we have lots of resources. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t help. Let’s not overplay the it’s a risk to our country’s security to let in refugees card. It’s a manageable and infinitely small risk that is far outweighed by the need to help our fellow human beings.
I don’t disagree about there being needs in our own backyard we should address. I hope we are just as willing to do that too. I’d love to see more Canadians engaged to end poverty in Canada, advocating for a national housing plan to help fight homelessness, volunteering and giving financially to the many worthy causes across our land.
Just because there are many just causes within Canada that need our attention, it doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on refugees. We can do both. Many of the problems in our country have root causes that aren’t easily resolved. They take time. We need to address them. I encourage all Canadians to strive towards resolving them. In the meantime, there are refugees that need immediate help. We can help them. One day, I know they will gladly be part of helping address the other causes in their new country. I’ve seen it happen, time and time again.
I want to be part of a country that welcomes refugees AND helps their neighbours.
I am a part of that country. I love Canada. I wrote a post earlier called Five Great Things About Canada where I highlight the compassion and giving nature of our people. I know that Canadians will rise to welcome refugees and continue to address the inequities in our country.