Ahmed Hussen, our MP and the Minister of Immigration, is still refusing to answer direct questions in the House.
This week, Michelle Rempel (CPC) asked him about the failure of more than half of Syrian refugees to find jobs, and how much that has cost the provinces.
Hussen did not answer. Instead, he told her how much the feds (not the provinces) have provided—not how much the refugees have cost.
Rempel pointed out that he did not answer the question, and posed another:
My question is very simple. How much will the government pay in Canadian taxpayers’ dollars to support its ill-fated refugee plan?
Hussen said that Canada is consistently praised for being compassionate (the thirteenth time he has mentioned that this year!) and said (for the fourth time) that the Liberals would “take no lessons” from other parties.
He then brought up Mexican visas for no discernible reason.
Donald Trump’s repugnant policies reached right into Weston this week. Our MP, Ahmed Hussen, who is the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, had to deal with the prospect of dual citizens, permanent residents, and in-transit travellers unable to go to the US after Donald Trump signed a travel ban.
Bizarrely, Hussen even had to consider whether he, the Minister of Immigration, might be unable to travel there.
Asked about his own situation and whether he worried that he might be blocked from travelling to the U.S. because of his birthplace:
“Yes, I was born in Somalia, but I took my oath of citizenship to this country 15 years ago. And I’m a Canadian. I’ve spent most of my life here and I continue to be proud of our country our ability to be generous and to view those who seek protection.”
Hussen, though a Canadian citizen, fled to Canada as a refugee when he was a teen. Somalia is one of the seven predominantly-Muslim countries whose citizens are now disallowed entry into America.
Though Hussen did not “bluntly denounce” Trump’s policy, he did say “Canada is a country of immigrants…. We have always welcomed people in need and will continue to do so.”
Laura Albanese, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, reiterated that commitment today in a news release. She said:
I spoke to the federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, and reiterated Ontario’s open door stance with respect to receiving immigrants and refugees from all countries, irrespective of race, ethnicity or faith.
We will proudly continue to welcome people from all parts of the world as we continue to create economic security and opportunity and develop the diverse and inclusive communities where all people thrive.
Edna Harding is bringing a little joy to the world this Christmas season; she and a group of volunteers from Central United Church are sponsoring two Syrian refugees. Edna says the project is “daunting, financially and time wise”, but “it’s part of what my faith moves me to do.”
Central United is partnering with three other churches (Westway, Windermere, and Roncesvalles United Churches) to put together a private sponsorship. They are sponsoring a 24-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son.
The woman and child, whose names are not yet known, fled Syria and are living in a Beirut refugee camp. The UNHCR said that they need urgent resettlement.
Edna and the other volunteers will be responsible for every aspect of their care for at least a year. “You take them by the hand from the minute they arrive!” she says.
Harding is ready though; she and the other volunteers are waiting for the call to tell them the pair is en route. They expect it will be very soon—perhaps in January. In the meantime, she says they would love to find another volunteer who speaks fluent Arabic. Financial contributions would also be welcome.
If you are moved to help, send me an email, [email protected], and I’ll put you in touch. I’m sure you could also call the Central United at (416) 241-9049.