Wednesday, September 9, 2015 10:45 pm ·  0 Comments
How does one picture change the world, and how does the life of one innocent child make the connscienousness of a community rise into action? What was it about that child at that moment? I don’t believe we will ever really know. However, whatever it was, it was felt in Oakville’s Town Square.
On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM hundreds of residents came out to indicate their desire and passion for Canada’s immigration system to move faster in order to provide a safer passage for Syrian Refugees to Canada.
The Interfaith Council of Halton came together late last year in order to sponsor a Syrian Refugee family of four. This entailed Christians, Jews and Muslims working together for a common goal, a truly Canadian reality. They pooled their resources, and it took them over 4 months to get the paperwork required by Immigration Canada. They are well educated, and are used to ploughing through bureaucratic paralysis. The paperwork was accepted, and then they were told it would be another 17 months before their Syrian family might make it to Canada.
This is not a unique story, but unfortunately a common story when it comes to Syrian Refugees who have sponsors, paperwork, and finances organized. However, what came next no-one expected, that devastating picture. It made the Mike Duffy Trail go away, and for the first time in my memory, Immigration became a political issue.
It demonstrated to the world, that Canadians and, in our community’s case, Oakvillians care a great deal about the suffering of others. We are willing to accept the realities of checks and balances, but what we aren’t willing to accept is unreasonable suffering due to roadblocks.
I was proud to be among the crowd in Town Square chanting “Let Them In”. It was heartening to see so many care so much about people who are so far away.
If want to show your support there is a petition that you can sign which will be sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking that the process be speeded up. Here is the link: Petition for Syrian Refugees