Critics in Canada – and not just Conservatives – warned during the recent election campaign that new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal who has replaced long-serving Conservative Stephen Harper, might have to think better of his pledge to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees to the country as quickly as possible.
Undeterred, Trudeau dismissed security concerns about an influx of refugees. He even discussed the possibility of providing airlift services to get them to North America.
Trudeau dismissed suggestions his plan would compromise Canadians’ security as many of those seeking refuge in Europe and North America are coming from a territory controlled or affected by the violence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, whose leaders openly call for terrorist attacks on Canadian soil.
People fleeing Syria can be properly assessed by employing more case workers, increasing screening capacity and “looking at the possibility of airlifts,” Trudeau said.
His vow: to admit 25,000 refugees before 1 January 2016.
But that was in October. Now it’s the latter half of November, and the fledgling Trudeau government is hitting the three-week mark. It’s also 10 days after the 11/13 attacks in Paris.
The Canadian government is to release its new refugee plan on Tuesday, 24 November. And CBC reports that the plan will have one key feature (if somewhat modified, described below): no single men will be admitted.
The federal government’s much-anticipated Syrian refugee plan will limit those accepted into Canada to women, children and families only, CBC News has learned.
Sources tell CBC News that to deal with some ongoing concerns around security, unaccompanied men seeking asylum will not be part of the program.
That’s not an absolute prohibition, however. You may have already guessed which single, unaccompanied men will be allowed into Canada under the new plan:
Gay men will be among the Syrian refugees the government is willing to bring to Canada under a plan that will primarily welcome only women, children and families. …
But the government is aware that gay men escaping violence in the region could be persecuted, and therefore plans to include them in the selection process aimed at rescuing some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees.
The farther-left New Democrats (NDP) came out promptly to criticize the Trudeau government for the selective approach to refugees.
It’s an interesting data point, however, to see that the (somewhat) mainstream-left Liberals of Canada are willing to adopt a policy that’s basically just sensible.
Of course, there will be nothing to stop Islamic extremists from telling Canadian screeners that they’re gay, if that will get them into the country as single men. But the Canadian move – assuming Trudeau sticks with it – has the aspect of “good security,” as the experts design it. No one measure is foolproof, but multiple measures working together can make your home, car, person, or country a harder target than others, and help to discourage potential attackers.