Opinion: Canada must protect its border

Opinion: Canada must protect its border

When a hospital emergency ward tends to patients seeking help, it usually strives to assist those in greatest need – a practice referred to as triage.

Canada’s system of admitting afflicted newcomers should share the same goal. The Trudeau government, knowing loose immigration laws are a magnet for a sizable bloc of voters, has jettisoned such compassion in advance of this fall’s election.

It has revoked a policy put in place by Stephen Harper’s government that recognized not all refugee claimants experience the same desperate conditions. It distinguished between asylum seekers from so-called safe countries such as the United States and those fleeing strife-stricken parts of the world.

The idea was to streamline a congested system that neither serves applicants nor Canadians. The applications of asylum seekers from 42 nations that do not normally produce refugees, and display respect for its citizens, were to be accelerated.

Their claims were to be heard within six months and weren’t subject to the same appeals other applicants enjoy.

Such claimants could also only work in Canada for six months and weren’t eligible for the full range of health benefits available to other refugees.

The measure seemed a reasonable attempt at discouraging abuse of Canada’s compassion. Presumably, people with an imagined grievance wouldn’t be as likely to seek the generosity of Canadian taxpayers if they knew their case would be dealt with swiftly.

More importantly, the country’s efforts could be focused on continuing our unparalleled reputation for opening our arms to those in need.

Trudeau’s earlier decision to turn a blind eye to irregular asylum seekers crossing the border between Canada and United States by land never did meet this test. It has eroded the principle of a sovereign nation controlling its own borders.

Now, the government is treating an asylum application from an American in a hissy fit over Donald Trump’s presidency the same as it handles the case of someone arriving from a country where true oppression exists.

Today, Americans amount to the third largest number of so-called refugees. The numbers will only grow larger.

The Harper policy was well intentioned, but sadly, it didn’t lead to a speedier handling of asylum-seeking cases. But neither has Trudeau’s management of immigration.

The Canadian Press reports refugee claims have tripled over the past four years.

In 2015, the year Trudeau was elected, there were approximately 16,000 asylum seekers. Last year, there were 55,000 claimants, most of them younger males, and many of them from the United States.

Canada will always welcome those in need of shelter. It’s what we do. It makes us stronger.

But further clogging up the immigration system, all the while allowing people to walk across the border unchecked, doesn’t help anybody.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

Just Posted

road consturction
Road closures at Red Deer hospital next week

Red Deer drivers are advised of road closures in the vicinity of… Continue reading

A gofundme account has been set up for Lilac the husky, of Blackfalds. (Photo from gofundme)
Dog ends up in coma after a walk in Blackfalds

Dog finds a baggie that likely contained drugs

Red Deer man reported missing

Red Deer RCMP seek public’s assistance

An attendee of the Maskwacis memorial held on May 31, 2021, for the 215 school children found in Kamloops, B.C. the week before, holds a teddy bear. <ins>The grandstand was filled with 215 bears to represent the lost children. They were offered to residential school survivors at the end of the memorial. </ins>(Photo illustration by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

A large number of supporters were out Saturday at a rally intended to bring awareness about including Hinduism in the grade 2 portion of the K-6 draft curriculum. As it stands now, Hinduism won’t be taught until grade 6 in the proposed draft curriculum. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Video: Rally to support adding Hinduism to draft curriculum draws crowd in Red Deer

The Hindu community in Red Deer came out in droves on Saturday… Continue reading

Inuk elder Reepa Evic-Carleton light a qulliq, a traditional oil lamp, at a public ceremony to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the bank of the Ottawa River behind the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, June 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai
Singh blasts Liberal ‘hypocrisy’ on National Indigenous Peoples Day

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he believes the Liberal government… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

OTTAWA — Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada will… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Canada to unveil travel rules for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents

OTTAWA — Canada is set to detail what quarantine rules citizens and… Continue reading

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, October 17, 2016. Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of a new Las Vegas National Lacrosse League franchise. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash join forces with Las Vegas lacrosse team

League’s 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022

Orlando City and Montreal Impact players take a knee before their MLS match, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
CF Montreal finds two new home venues as Gold Cup comes to Fort Lauderdale

Exploria Stadium has been Toronto FC’s home field this year

Police and firefighters respond after a truck drove into a crowd of people injuring them during The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors, Fla., on Saturday, June 19, 2021. WPLG-TV reports that the driver of the truck was taken into custody. (Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Officials say deadly Pride parade crash was not intentional

Driver and the victims were a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family

FILE - In this April 18, 2017, file photo, a conference worker passes a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook is launching podcasts and live audio streams in the U.S. Monday, June 21, 2021, to keep users engaged on its platform and to compete with emerging rivals.(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
Facebook launches podcasts, live audio service

Handful of podcasts will first be available to people in the U.S.

Intricate cloth masks with Indigenous design made by Teresa Snow. Facebook/ Masks4Maskwacis
‘Masks 4 Maskwacis’ wins Northern Lights Volunteer Award

The group received recognition for their efforts to support their community during COVID-19.

Most Read