Syrian refugees arriving in Canada are still a hot topic issue in many parts of the country, including southern Alberta. Many Canadians have accepted the fact something needed to be done to help save the lives of 25,000 refugees fleeing their war-torn homes, which included children. We would expect the same in return by another country or countries if the roles were reversed. But, with that, comes great responsibility and growing pains for the country, as it adapts to this influx of new Canadian residents. Welcome home. Others may not be so welcoming with open arms.
Recently, in the media, Canadian residents have pointed out Syrian refugees just arriving in Canada seem to be getting better treatment than Canadians who have lived in Canada their entire life. Point taken, and a point that shouldn’t be taken lightly by federal politicians. It’s true, many Canadians are not getting adequate health care or are not receiving adequate compensation if a Canadian is a senior, disabled, unemployed due to the downturn in the economy, a veteran and the list goes on. That, shouldn’t be in Canada.
All Canadians need to feel as though they are being cared for by its government. Sadly, this isn’t the case, at most times. Sure, money is thrown at the problem, just like it has been with the Syrian refugee crisis, but what does that do in the long run? It is only a band-aid and how long will it take for the wound to heal without risk of infection?
Many Canadian residents need to look back in time, as their forefathers and mothers decided to move to Canada for a better way of life, much like Syrian refugees anticipated the move. Families moving to Canada is what founded this country and many others across the globe. Whether it was from England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, China, Japan, Africa, Vietnam, Lebanon, Mexico or Syria — Canada, as a country, put out the vacancy sign to allow those who needed a new start — a chance.
It’s not easy and it will take some time for the process of Syrian refugees to get settled in and be part of the Great Canadian Advantage — and that is, Canada is simply a great caring nation of do-gooders and “pay it forward” people. Yes, there will be some mistakes made by the powers that be and not every Canadian will be happy with what needs to be done to help those in need of a helping hand at this time in history. Governments around the world will also need to remember to also take care of those who need it most that have called their country home for a lifetime. In Canada, lifetime Canadians need to feel as though their needs are being met too. And with good reason.
As always, Canada will persevere and be a starting point for many families needing a fresh start, as it has always been. That is one thing to be grateful for, as a Canadian.
But, both federally and provincially, governments need to make sure all Canadians have proper health care, have jobs with a good paycheque, have a humble home with creature comforts, are able to purchase food and other items to live comfortably and within their means, and can go to sleep at night knowing they are not in harm’s way.
Many Canadians, including Syrian refugees new to Canada, may have to face the reality of waiting in line for hours at an emergency room or not having enough money to cover needed medicine, or may at some point be unemployed due to lack of work or experience without a paycheque coming in for the necessities of life.
Or they might not be eligible for a mortgage to buy a new home or may be close to living on the street due to no work, or a family may have to utilize a local food bank to survive.
Or a family may feel unsafe because of all of the above and not have a house to call home or a bed to sleep in at night — this is not acceptable in a country such as Canada, but it is a possible outcome for some if governments forget Canadians, of all walks of life, need to be cared for.