Blaney: Stability only solution to refugee crisis

 “Attack problem at its roots”

By Robert Frank

Partisan posturing over how many asylum-seekers to accept might help Canadian politicians to get elected, but it won’t stem the flood of humanity fleeing Middle-East madness, Steven Blaney told The Suburban.

Neither will it provide lasting relief to the 99 per cent of Iraqis and Syrians who have suffered four years of relentless rape, torture, murder and forced conversion at the hands of Islamic extremists, the Public Safety Minister observed in an interview. Helping thousands while leaving millions to suffer merely puts a band-aid on a gushing wound.

“In Syria alone, there are seven million displaced people,” he reminded. “Give [refugees] support, but we’re also working on a longer-term solution by attacking the problem at its roots.”

“We’re dealing with refugees,” Blaney said. “We’re providing a humanitarian response at record levels. But as long as political instability there remains, the flow of refugees will continue unabated.”

“That’s why we’re part of a coalition with the Americans,” he explained. “If we want to cut the number of refugees, we have to put an end to the political instability—the barbaric régime, the terrorist régime—that is the core of the problem.”

Even though Canada has been at the forefront from the outset, he observed, for the past four years almost no one noticed that Canada took the lead in providing relief.

“We’re the top donor,” he declared during a campaign stop in Chomedey, home to a large Middle East population. “We are giving a record amount in humanitarian assistance. It’s up to $800 million, just for the Syria and Iraq region, since 2011. Prime Minister Harper visited refugee camps in Jordan and Syria.”

“Canada welcomes the largest number refugees ever,” Blaney added, “more than it ever did under the Liberal government.”

The country is the world’s favourite refugee destination. Canada is the only country that puts them on a citizenship track. After a couple of years, they can enjoy the same rights as any other Canadian, and Canada’s criteria for convention refugee status is amongst the most generous.

Stand up to Islamic State

“That’s why I stood up in the House of Commons not only [to vote] to send military support but also extend the [Iraq] mission to Syria,” he said. “If you look at the little boy [who died fleeing Turkey], his father said that he decided to leave Kobane, [Syria], because Islamic State attacked Kobane.”

“Who stood up in the House of Commons to bring peace back to Kobane?” Blaney asked rhetorically. “The New Democratic Party voted against extending the [military] mission to Syria.”

“The single most important [Conservative government] decision was to send the military,” he continued unrepentantly. “You have to stand up and send troops abroad.”

Blaney suggested that any prospective NDP government has painted itself into a corner by voting against the military option.

“How will you address the critical situation of Islamic State after you opposed it?” he challenged NDP politicians.

150909 Serge Haddad - Steven Blaney - Roland Dick

Canada leads world in helping Syrians, Iraqis, said Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney (centre) after meeting Lebanese-born Laval les Îles Conservative candidate Roland Dick (pron. ‘deeke’, right) and his official agent Serge Haddad (left).

(Photo © Robert Frank)

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