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Former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board explains why she won’t sign petition against Syrian migrants

Opinion: No, I won’t sign a petition asking for a pause in Canada’s plan to bring in Syrian refugees

Thousands of Syrian migrants from going north into Europe because they have no chance of getting “asylum,” violently attacked the Macedonian border on Thursday, November 26, while others have openly threatened Europe with death if the border was not opened for them. The violence started after a banner was unfurled for the press and border guards to read which contained the words “open or die.”

What a difference a week makes.

“Sign the petition, demand that Trudeau pause his dangerous refugee plan!” screeched the email on my screen a few days ago.

I started to read: Canadians were urged to put the refugee plan “on pause” because of the Paris terror attacks and also because “at least one of the terrorists was a so-called refugee.”

So if one of the terrorists was “a so-called refugee,” then all 4.2 million Syrian refugees (based on United Nations estimates), 75  per cent of whom are women and children, are now potential terrorists?

The answer is a resounding “yes” for the 30,000 Canadians who have signed this petition. My signature was needed to “assure the safety of Canadians” and to “guarantee terrorists will not be brought into this country.”

Since the new cabinet was sworn in, the Trudeau government has repeatedly stressed its commitment to ensuring that security checks are done for all Syrian refugees. That had been good enough for Canadians, but that was then.


Within hours of the passport’s discovery, some European leaders had already declared that the welcome mat for Syrian refugees should be rolled up and cast into the trash. The mayor of Quebec City announced that he had requested that no young men be accepted as refugees in his city — but orphans, they’re okay. He has since said that he may have misspoken. The possible involvement of a Syrian refugee in the terror attacks seems to have cast a dark shadow of suspicion over all Syrian refugees.


(…)ISIS, not Syrian refugees, poses the real threat to Canadian security. Such analysts as Robert Fiskand Thomas Friedman have suggested that Saudi funds support ISIS. In 2014, Canada approved a $15 billion deal to sell the Saudis armoured vehicles and failed to prepare a human rights assessment that Canadian law requires for arms sales.

Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia because they fund ISIS and deny human rights?

Now, that’s a petition I might sign.

Mariam S. Pal is a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board. She lives in Montreal.


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