September 30th, 2016

Refugee crisis doesn’t mean the sky is falling

By Lethbridge Herald on October 5, 2015.

Re: Letter to the Editor from Margaret Giesbrecht, Sept. 20 Herald.

Calm your fevered brow, dear lady. Take a Tylenol and see your doctor in the morning. I believe I can say with certitude that the sky will not fall as there is no sighting of “displaced people” (your quote) on Highway 3.

As a former refugee, it appears that you have forgotten the explicit connotation of that heinous term, used formerly as a demeaning term for refugees of a particular origin who came to Canada after the Second World War. Does it not follow that there exists a responsibility on your part, as much as it does of me as an immigrant, to repay that unwritten debt, if not in financial ways then in finding alternate means to do so? On this hangs the meaning of what constitutes a human being and a citizen.

I find curious the use of a rhetoric of exclusion (i.e. us and them) evident in your letter in relation to refugees merely looking for all of the things we prize and take for granted. Isn’t this why you came to Canada?

To further invoke charitable efforts as a panacea in response to the plight of refugees on a scale not witnessed since World War Two appears to this writer to be an opinion devoid of light, logic or fact. I refute such a position as simplistic, narrow, legalistic and missing the weightier points of the law which are justice and mercy … not sacrifice.

Further, inference on your part that your political party’s ideology constitutes the only responsible position in relation to the complexity of the current refugee situation in Europe is at best na-ve.

Equally, I find that your apparent lack of understanding of the multiple long-term cultural, social and economic benefits of refugees in relation to all Canadians beggars belief.

In contrast to your opinion, as expressed in your recent letter, I have found that Canadians of all stripes, creeds, colours and convictions are bewildered by the incomprehensible suffering of this modern-day exodus of many hundreds of thousands of innocent people, children in tow, wandering in Europe or interred within tent cities. They are destined to remain traumatized for a lifetime by the effects of drought, famine, internecine conflicts and civil strife, poverty and death.

Their plight surpasses the imagination of those who may never have experienced, or may have forgotten, the meaning of homelessness.

Gerald Morton



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