Let’s welcome refugees during Canada’s 150th

Canada is a nation of refugees. Me, you, all of us. Emigrants, Imports from around the globe

Canada is a nation of refugees. Me, you, all of us. Emigrants, Imports from around the globe. Welcomed by the aboriginal peoples who first settled this land, to help us through our first winter.

Since them we have asked for people to settle here, the French offered free land and an opportunity for a new life for the poor & disadvantaged. As did the British after them. Some had the choice

between prison and Canada, But our land seemed so uninviting at the time some chose prison instead.

But they came, by the millions, British, Germans, Dutch, Russians, Chinese (despite the head tax) and they built Canada. The railroads, farms, business’s big and small. Had families and we grew.

A country that is admired for it’s tolerance and acceptance. In fact other countries call on Canada for our Peace Keeping Troops for their unique acceptance or everyone without prejudice.

From the boat people of Viet Nam to the Draft Dodgers of America, refugees fleeing war torn Europe, Iran, South Africans, (both black and white).

There has been controversy when “they” came.But “they” settled and became citizens and part of the mosaic that is Canada.

And we are a better nation for it because of “them”.

Yes, they need to be screened and go through the necessary bureaucratic process just like many before us. But those fleeing fear and prosecution and injustice deserve a fair hearing in Canada.

And a chance for a better life for their families. As my family did when we came from Holland in 1951.

We were welcomed by those that came before us, let us welcome them now.

Our slogan for Canada’s 150th birthday should be welcome to the world. For that is what Canada is truly famous for.

Gerard Janssen

Qualicum Beach