Let's help refugees embrace Canada

Lets_help_refugees_embrace_Canada_Montages.jpg

OP-ED

by Candice Malcolm

Toronto Sun
March 11, 2016

Going camping or attending a summer camp is a quintessential Canadian experience. Kids get to explore the great outdoors, learn important skills, meet new friends and make lasting memories.

But juxtapose the happy Canadian summer camp experience with that of newly arriving Syrian refugees.

When Syrian children think of camp, they likely think about the United Nations refugee camps that have been set up for those fleeing a civil war. Over four million Syrian refugees now live in these makeshift camps, and in many cases, the living conditions are miserable and dangerous.

But a group of Canadians are working to change the way some of these Syrians – particularly Syrian girls – think about camps. Thanks to a generous new initiative, some Syrian girls will have the chance to attend an authentic Canadian summer camp this year, free of charge.

The Glen Bernard Camp near Algonquin Park in Ontario has been operating a girls-only summer camp for 95 years. This year, to celebrate their anniversary and to welcome Syrian newcomers, the camp has announced it will sponsor a few dozen Syrian girls, aged 11 to 13, to attend the camp this summer. All costs will be covered, including registration fees, equipment and supplies.

“We're so proud to be able to play a role in helping build a new life for these newcomers," said Jocelyn Palm, owner of Glen Bernard Camp and Order of Canada recipient.

It is an admirable initiative, and hopefully one that will be replicated across the country. There is no better way for young women to make friends and gain confidence than attending a camp like Glen Bernard.

Regardless of what you think about the Trudeau government’s Syrian refugee policy, or the many blunders the government has faced in meeting its election promise, it’s now up to Canadians to take over and help these Syrian newcomers settle in.

This is especially true given that the government’s own refugee agencies have asked Trudeau to hit the pause button. These resettlement groups are so overwhelmed by the sheer number of refugees coming into Canada, they are failing to provide important services that help newcomers adjust to life in Canada.

But it’s the private sector – charities, churches, businesses and individuals – not the Trudeau government that has stepped up to help.

Everyday Canadians are taking over where the government has failed.

A good immigration policy relies on integration and engagement, and it’s up to all of us to make sure newcomers to Canada feel welcome.

If refugees and immigrants are ignored and left to form isolated communities, it can cause long-term damages for everyone. This has occurred in Canada in the past, and continues to create problems in cities across Europe.

Canada should learn from past mistakes, and work hard to engage all newcomers, both new and old, whether they are Syrian, Somali, or South American.

We can be critical of government policy, but when it comes to welcoming refugees to our communities, we should do what we can to help these newcomers cope with the challenges of moving to a new country.

The more we engage and welcome new immigrants, the more they will understand what it means to be Canadian, and feel part of the Canadian family.

That’s why it’s our job to welcome Syrian refugees into our communities and help them integrate into Canadian life. The folks at Glen Bernard summer camp are doing their part, and we should all follow their lead.

Image credit: Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
SEARCH
PODCAST

Canada's State of Trade: Getting Our Goods To Market

May 17, 2018


On today's Global Exchange Podcast, we continue our series on the state of Canadian trade in a world of growing populism and protectionism. Today's episode, recorded during our February 13th State of Trade conference in Ottawa, features Bruce Borrows, Jennifer Fox, and David Miller in conversation with the Wilson Center's Laura Dawson about getting Canadian goods to international markets.


IN THE MEDIA

Between Trump, Iran and North Korea, Canada’s G7 has a high potential for chaos

by Chris Hall (feat. James Trottier & Colin Robertson), CBC News, May 18, 2018

The struggle Trudeau could face if Kinder Morgan walks away from Trans Mountain

by Robert Tuttle & Michael Bellusci (feat. Dennis McConaghy), Bloomberg News, May 18, 2018

Canada 'a laughing stock': Experts react to Trans Mountain indemnity

by April Fong (feat. Dennis McConaghy), BNN Bloomberg, May 18, 2018

AUDIO: NAFTA update

with Danielle Smith (feat. Sarah Goldfeder), Global News Radio, May 18, 2018

VIDEO: NAFTA Deadline Day (@ 3:00)

with Don Martin (feat. John Weekes), CTV Power Play, May 17, 2018

VIDEO: Deal or no deal on NAFTA: Canada and U.S. send mixed messages

with Rosemary Barton (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC The National, May 17, 2018

Trump’s 'submission' strategy is not working so expect NAFTA talks to drag on

by Kevin Carmichael (Feat. Eric Miller), Financial Post, May 17, 2018

Backstop deal may be last hope for TransMountain pipeline, says former oil executive

by CBC News (feat. Dennis McConaghy), CBC News, May 17, 2018

Stuck with limited oil export options, Liberals may regret B.C. tanker ban

by John Ivison (feat. Dennis McConaghy), National Post, May 17, 2018

Feds OK early start to construction of navy’s new supply ships

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Dave Perry), The Canadian Press, May 17, 2018


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 421-7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 4K9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: contact@cgai.ca
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2018 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email