City of Lethbridge Says Refugees Are Not Terrorists
You may have heard about the Syrian refugee crisis that has escalated over the last few months. Syrians are fleeing the terror and war that they face every day and it has fallen upon other countries to take these refugees in. Canada is one of the main countries that are taking refugees in and they have sped up their processing time.
The city of Lethbridge will welcome over 200 Syrian refugees over the next 6 weeks. Lethbridge is one of the five cities in Alberta that are accepting refugees. Key players from the city of Alberta, including the Alberta Health Services and other agencies, have launched a steering committee focussed on creating a strategy.
“What the city has done is called together an initial meeting of agency and community leaders in our community to make the decision to work together in a systematic way to lay out the carpet for Syrian people to come to Lethbridge,” said Diane Randell, from the city’s community and social development department.
Justin Trudeau is refusing to bend on his promises that he will accept 25 000 refugees by the end of the year. Some provincial and municipal leader are worried about Trudeau’s commitment and the possible security issues involved with taking in so many refugees.
“So we know that it’s not the people wandering Europe with their cell phones. We know that’s not where people are coming from. They are coming from refugee camps in countries surrounding Syria. It’s important for people to know that refugee does not equal terrorist,” explained Randell.
Lethbridge Immigrant Services has said that refugees wanting to come into Canada will undergo three separate screening processes before they are able to enter Lethbridge.
“When we hear immigrants are being fast tracked, it doesn’t mean they are glossing over their security checks,” said Sarah Amies, with Lethbridge Immigrants Services. “It means they have twice as many people on the ground in countries neighbouring Syria to process people coming here.”
The city has said that there are plans in place for when the refugees do start to arrive and there will also be seminars set up to educate the public.
“My suggestion to folks is—in terms of countering negativity in social media and around the coffee pot at work—is to provide reality and positivity and education when we can,” added Amies.
Amies has also said that the refugees are fleeing the same terror behind the attacks that took place in Paris and Canada needs to reach out and help where it can.