September 23, 2015

Harper creates refugees and spreads racism

A rally outside Immigration minister Chris Alexander's
office in Ajax, Ontario.
Here Rebel Youth publishes an interview with Drew Garvie, the Communist candidate in Toronto's University-Rosedale riding and General Secretary of the YCL. The raw interview was with a UofT student publication.

What initiatives do you think U of T students and administration should be taking on the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

Students and the University of Toronto should raise their voices and demand Canada welcome refugees, that we end Canada’s participation in the wars that create these crises, and that we dump the Harper government as a first step towards a country with a democratic immigration policy and a foreign policy of peace and disarmament.

It is positive that there is a strong outcry against the Harper government’s shameful record of immigration reform which is designed to strip migrants of their rights and block them from citizenship. Part of this is an exclusionary refugee policy and racist rhetoric about “bogus refugees” which has led to a 50 percent decrease in the number of refugee claims and a 30 percent drop in the number of accepted refugees. The Communist Party of Canada takes the position that no one is illegal. This means we need to immediately stop deportations of immigrants and refugees, and reverse the cuts to legal aid for migrants. We need to stop demonizing and criminalizing refugees entering Canada.

Stats on refugees from new report:

What is your view of Harper’s concern that we must vet Syrian refugees carefully to prevent terrorists from entering the country?

This is a cynical attempt to foment fear and racism for political gain. As Harper helps facilitate the corporate agenda of the lowering wages and living standards of the majority of Canadians, the Conservatives and their friends on the ultra-right try and channel people’s anger and fear into racist sentiments and fear of terrorism. The truth is that terrorism is not a large danger in Canada, and even less so terrorism from Muslim fundamentalists. The majority of terrorist attacks in Canada over the last two decades have been carried out by right-wing extremists. Where are the warnings from the government about these dangerous ideologies? Actually, the Harper government helps to nurture these kinds of racist ideas by promoting thinly veiled Islamophobia in their campaigns against refugees, in their promotion of their wars overseas, and in their justification for repressive measures at home, like Bill C-51.

How many Syrian refugees do you think Canada should strive to admit?

Canada has accepted waves of refugees in the hundreds of thousands in the past. Canada has also denied refugees and sent people to their deaths. We must demand the government puts the necessary resources in to meet the demand. The decision of how many should be made on the basis of how many wish to make Canada their home.

Do you think Canada’s military involvement compromises our foreign policy on Syrian refugees?

Yes. The crisis in Syria was created by the imperialist intervention of the United States and other Western governments and their allies in the region, notably Saudi Arabia and Israel. They have been arming reactionary groups inside Syria for four years and have done a lot to create a civil war in the region. The Harper government’s participation in the illegal bombing of Syria and its uncritical support for the United State’s policy of divide and conquer in the region must be ended immediately. Stopping the war and welcoming refugees is the best and only way to truly help the people of Syria.

For the Communist Party's statement "Canada helped create the crisis - now we must welcome refugees", click here:

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