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October 28, 2017 2:31 am

Candidates Weigh in on the Syrian Refugees Crisis

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – It’s day two of our special election coverage examining the views of local candidates.

And this time the candidates in the ridings of Cariboo-Prince George and Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies have weighed in on the most pressing international issue of the day – the Syrian refugee crisis.

Specifically 250 News asked each of them: What do you think should be done to address the Syrian refugee crisis? (answers in alphabetical order)

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies:

Elizabeth Biggar, Green Party: This is a humanitarian crisis and we need to act now to help. We should use our military to help bring refugees to Canada, while maintaining high security in screening, ramping the number of refugees to 40,000 over the next five years. We need to live up to our commitments to the UN High Commission for Refugees.
We need to stop bombing Syria and go back to become the peackeeping nation that we once were.

Todd Keller, Libertarian Party of Canada: States should not meddle in the political activities or internal conflicts of other countries, this is what leads to refugee crises. Libertarians acknowledge the self autonomy of the migrant refugees to seek safety. A good Libertarian would take a refugee into their home to prevent the State from having to foot the bill for their relocation. I have personally given this help to people in the past at my home in Fort St. John, BC. I suggest people open their homes and help turn this problem now.

Matt Shaw, Liberal Party: I think we have to do our part to help in this crisis. A Liberal Government would take 25,000 Syrian refugees and spend an immediate $100 million to process and settle them in Canada. Having said that, I also believe that this is not the last such crisis we’re going to see. Canada is a very desirable place to live and is well known throughout the world as a haven from all sorts of oppression. We have to be clear on what our future strategy is going to be with regard to refugees. While we want to be humane and compassionate, we can’t make the mistake of overwhelming our capacity to integrate refugees, like has happened in some countries in Europe. We have to be prepared and realistic about what we can do and how effectively we can do it.

*Note   Conservative incumbent Bob Zimmer and NDP challenger Kathi Dickie in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding declined  the opportunity to respond.

Cariboo-Prince George

Tracy Calogheros, Liberal Party: This crisis is just that, a crisis. Crises require decisions and immediate action. While simply housing refugees will not solve the problem, it will ease the crisis being faced by individuals. The reason why this has resonated so broadly with Canadians is that we are a country made up largely of immigrants, the children of immigrants and in many cases of refugees. We need to bring large numbers of Syrian families to Canada, quickly. We can screen these people in conjunction with other international organizations for security and begin to address the immediate human crisis. Claiming that this is impossible is simply not true.
We must also work with our UN partners to address the root of this problem. Canada’s role has traditionally been that of peacekeeper, but military action alone will never solve the problems confronting the region. We need to find an international consensus on the best approach to the region for long-term peace and then pursue that peace in the role that makes sense for Canada.
Sheldon Clare, Independent: Ensure that refugee applications are dealt with as quickly as due process will allow. We must ensure that refugees accepted in Canada are properly screened to avoid bringing in criminals or potential terrorists, and to determine that those accepted are either in danger, or will provide economic benefit to Canada.

Adam De Kroon, Christian Heritage Party: We should be ready to help and accept more Syrian refugees. But at the same time we need to make sure the refugees we are bringing in are real refugees whose lives are threatened by staying in Syria, and not people trying to get into Canada under the pretence of being refugees. There have recently been reports of Saudi Arabians and Iraqis going into Syria, throwing away all ID and then getting into other countries as refugees while many real Syrian refugees are still left there. One way of trying to prevent this would be for our Embassy in Syria to process refugee claims in Syria where the basis of the claims can be properly verified.

Trent Derrick, NDP: The United Nations Special Rapporteur has called for the West to resettle one million Syrian refugees over the next five years—that would make Canada’s share nine thousand Syrian refugees per year. Canada must act now to assist with this ambitious and very necessary agenda.
The NDP plan to bring Syrian refugees to Canada includes bringing ten thousand government-sponsored Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of this year. We’ll respond to the UN Special Rapporteur’s request with a plan to settle nine thousand refugees each year, for the next four years. An NDP government will restore Canada’s reputation as a compassionate, respected player on the world stage.

Todd Doherty, Conservative Party: I support the government’s commitment to take in 25,000 refugees from Syria over the next four years. I also support the very recent announcement that we will match donations made by Canadians in response to the crisis in Syria. This builds on our significant response to the crisis. Canada is already one of the top providers of humanitarian aid to the region, one of the top countries in resettling refugees, and Canada is participating with our Allies in the international coalition taking the fight to ISIS.
Richard Jacques, The Green Party: Canada should open its Foreign Diplomatic missions to Syrian Refugees applicants and expedite the process to enable families to exit the region sooner then later. We should utilize our military transport aircraft currently in foreign theater of operations to transport those most in crisis to safety on Canadian soil.

Tomorrow’s question: Would you press for revisions to Bill C-51?


I’m starting to wonder if Bob Zimmer and Kathi Dickie can think for themselves.

They all seem to be in the same ball park on this issue. Generally good answers. Although Keller’s thoughts to open our homes to strangers is a bit simplistic. Zimmer must not have got his talking points yet? Kind of sad for a sitting MP not to address this issue in his own words.

Expanding on DeGroon’s thoughts about migrant refugees with money mixing in… anyone notice all the refugees coming out of Greece have smart phones and many can afford to pay huge dollars for taxi’s and human smugglers? The ones with money are the ones that move the fastest and the furthest in the crisis. The ones most desperate are the ones that get left behind… like children, widows, elderly, and single parent families. Thats why any truly humanitarian effort should be going to the source as close as possible to the conflict.

The way I see it Turkey is playing the West using its NATO card to keep NATO out, so they can bomb the Kurds and continue to aid the Sunni militants against the Assad government. Since we can’t declare war on a NATO ally, and the humanitarian crisis is ground zero in isis territory… then I think responsible NATO countries should spearhead UN humanitarian zones within Syria and Northern Iraq; and go in with heavy firepower to protect these zones from any isis thoughts of getting involved. Put one base right outside of Raqqa and show these thugs that they are nothing but losers, and they don’t scare the world one bit. If Russia and a core of NATO allies are on side with this, then isis will melt away into the night and Turkey/Israel/Saudi wouldn’t dare continue with this dangerous game of destabilization in the region with all the eyes and ears on the ground watching what is going on.

I think its only a matter of time before there is a UN humanitarian mandate to deal with war refugees in country.

I don’t know about Kathi Dickie , but Zimmer will only parrot what Harper tells him to say, every time.

Mostly all uneducated politicians from what I can see. None of them recognize that most of these people are coming not from Syria, but from Turkey and other countries where there is no war, or dangers.. therefore they are not refugees but illegal immigrants.

Tracy Calogheros absolutely frightens me with her comments, she’s a born and raised Lib obviously. Hey Tracy, ever been out of Canada and seen the devastation the immigrant crisis has brought upon places like Sweden and Germany? Sweden has no identity left, they are all but gone.

You do realize the war has been going on since 2011, right? Do you realize these people have more on their backs, at this moment (iphones, solar chargers, free monthly plans from the U.N, designer clothing) than our natives and welfare recipients in Canada?

What will any of you do with 10-20000 refugees? Who will pay for it? Why do we want all these able bodied men who won’t fight for their country, in Canada? They won’t defend out nation, they are mostly unemployable asylum seekers that will not build the future canada. You know why the masses of refugees/immigrants have left Finland and headead towards Sweden and Germany again? Finland cut the monthly payment refugees get by half, so they are all leaving in droves to countries that pay them more, to do nothing for a month.

Do you know how much they got in Finland? 882 USD per month. They are walking away from that.

‘A 1,500-kroner monthly bonus will also be offered to those whose Danish language skills meet the standards required for taking a job or getting an education.’ – Nope, sorry, they do not want to meet the needs of a Danish citizen.. so they flock to countries where you get paid to do nothing, like Gypsies.

You take a look at our Sikh community, the hard work they do, how they assimilate … they come here to find work and be a part of what we offer. Same for the Italians, Germans.. etc

Now do some more research on the Syrians and Turks, and how they refuse to do the same. It’s all about government payments, and lots of kids.

I just love Trent Derrick’s typical NDP response… bring as much over as we can so the NDP can bleed Canadians dry all over again. Normal NDP strategy, no planning, just spend spend spend.

Todd Doherty looks like the only one who ‘gets it’.

Eliabeth probably take them all to her home

Tracy can FIRST start housing our own Canadian first and ensure they have living wage

Trent… gonna build a Reservation to put them all on/?

Todd… Too much of our money leaving the country and yet we can’t support our own fellow man here in Canada

Tens of millions of dollars to help refugees… So everyone can find money for them but lets ignore our seniors, vets, disabled..etc we have refugees to worry about… sorry but I believe in helping Canadians first then see what we can do for others..but we have seen nothing but cut backs for Canadians suffer.. it would be disgusting if this money went to help non-Canadians come here and use our medical.. etc for which they havent paid a cent…..

These refugees just happen to be mostly aggressive young males just trashing everything they are handed. Thank you Harper for not being a bleeding heart opening the flood gates and putting our country in peril.

As mentioned, most of them aren’t ‘refugees’ , they are illegal immigrants fleeing very safe, very civil countries.

Take care of our own, our seniors, the vets, the kids.. the broke education system.

Oh look, today in Sweden the lovely refugees are rioting in the one place that gave them a home :


This isn’t the 1800’s, you can’t roam from country to country without a passport, and medical checks.

Canada first, take care of our kids and people. That isn’t our war.

Looks like we look for problems to get ourselves involved in militarily as well. That costs many tens of times more than helping refugees. I’d rather help some refugee families.

Pg101 you nailed it, it’s all about Benefit Shopping and if we want to Help, we can start right at home, we do not have to go Overseas !

“Canada first, take care of our kids and people. That isn’t our war.”

Well said, indeed! There should be a law to applies to all countries in the world:

If you open a can of worms you can throw away the can, but the worms become your exclusive personal property.

After looking at the choices one has for the upcoming federal election I have decided to go with the devil I know vs. the unknown. I am in full agreement with the conservatives immigration policy. YOU just cant open the floodgates and let people in when there is a crisis abroad. LOOK at the other countries that have created this and have today nothing but big headaches to show for it. YES we do have multiculturalism in Canada to some degree but lets streamline and fix whats broken first before another wave of immigrants wants in



How sad that so many folks commenting here appear to know more about our capacities and capabilities than these two experienced, respected gentlemen.

Leroyjenkins …. When I look at that video, it seems to me that they could take some training from our Vancouver hockey rioters of how a proper riot is conducted…… The USA rioters could also teach them a few things. :-J

What do we call the people sleeping in doorways downtown??they are not refugees but they are homeless. I feel bad for the people from Syria but we have people that are homeless and unemployed in Canada. Questions should be asked how are going to support a large influx of People from another Country? What about health and safety concerns? are we going to have jobs for them and housing? How many have more than one wife? Seems to be a lot of single men. When they find out Canada is not the Land of milk and honey what then? There could be bad with the good , we have to very careful, Canadians should come first.

I won’t be voting Liberal, this refugee crisis is taking over our election.

Ya, the election really was more fun when it was about Duffy, Whallin, Brazeau and cons peeing in mugs.

From what I have heard recently, these refugees are not muslim, but from minority religions. i.e. christian. Sounds like some ethnic cleansing is going on in

It was just on the TV a Muslim woman won the right through the court system that they can keep their faces covered, why? we are free in Canada. Is this in the name of religion ? or male domination.

Leroy I am not defending their actions, but the video you posted looks like a protest-counter protest between the Turkish side and the Kurdish side with the police in between.

Its understandable that the Kurdish side would be more desperate and angry considering the Turks are ethnically cleansing Kurdish areas. Obviously we don’t need this kind of uncivilized behavior in Canada and they should leave their foreign disputes at the door, but with passions where they are and no other avenue for grievance I suspect we haven’t seen the last of that sort of behavior.

Lets hope they screen good if we do bring over refugees from that area, and maybe a healthy mix of Orthodox Christians and Yazidi and other ethnic minorities. Once diluted throughout Canada I don’t think we would see concentrations like they would in a small country like Sweden.

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