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RSS FeedsShree Paradkar: The word `refugee´ was not said in Monday´s election debate. That speaks volumes about the leaders´ priorities
(The Star Food)


8 october 2019 22:40:26

Shree Paradkar: The word `refugee´ was not said in Monday´s election debate. That speaks volumes about the leaders´ priorities
(The Star Food)

We can often judge a nation’s priorities not just by who said what in a key election debate, or how they said it, but by what was not said.Monday night’s federal election debate — the only one in English with all candidates — was so insular that not only was a discussion on foreign policy absent, there wasn’t even one on how global geopolitics impact the nation.At a time when the world faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with 70 million people displaced worldwide due to war, persecution, climate change and the like, it’s astonishing that Canadian policies on asylum seekers were not a topic deemed worthy of debate, particularly since the parties have divergent views on it.The word “refugee” did not come up once, not even in the section on polarization, human rights and immigration, among those vying to be leader of a country that holds an average of 7,000 people in detention centres every year, many in provincial jails.Last Friday, dozens of people rallied outside the Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto asking Canada to stop expanding immigration “holding centres” — de facto prisons — and escalating their security levels. They were part of around 10 such rallies across the country, said Maya Menezes of No One is Illegal, which organized the protest in coalition with If Not Now, No More Silence and Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) Toronto. They rallied to support Montreal’s Solidarity Across Borders, whose protests have included blocking access to construction of a new detention centre in Laval, Que.As long as there have been people on Earth, they have travelled — migrated — from place to place. Closed borders and the concept of criminalizing movement is a modern phenomenon, one that began to be more strictly imposed in Canada after the 9-11 attacks in the U.S. in 2001.Yet, it appears, people who win a lottery by being born in, or moving to, a rich country lik ...
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