The best way to perpetuate poverty is by spending on arms and military, and the best to fight terrorism is by fighting the basic needs of humanity, because hunger and poverty perpetuate crime.
.- Oscar Arias
Refugee crisis: charity begins at hom
Re: Academics urge ‘radical expansion’ of refugee aid, Oct. 13
Academics urge ‘radical expansion’ of refugee aid, Oct. 13
In the same issue of the Star where a very small minority of “academics” call for expansion of Canada’s dollar commitment to bring more people here from Syria, there is an article that states that “here” we have between 9 per cent and 29 per cent child poverty.
I live in Toronto. Every day I see homeless persons – men, women and sometimes children – begging for money. Again, begging for money. Thin emaciated, with rotting teeth, from poverty. Behind the Eaton Centre, in the shadow of a church, are the names of homeless persons in Toronto, who died on the street, many without identity on them, unknown persons. Many frozen to death.
At times it feels like I am in the Rohinton Mistry novel, “A Fine Balance.” Not to mention the deplorable conditions for Canadians on reserves.
A different approach to the refugee crisis would be for Canada to put pressure on countries around Syria to accept more refugees. For example, how many have been accepted by Saudi Arabia?
The balance of what would have been spent to bring and resettle hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to Canada could then be used to eradicate poverty and homelessness in Canada. For our own citizens, no less.
I am an academic and I do not urge radical expansion of refugee aid before a radical expansion of aid to Canadian homeless persons and a radical expansion of aid to Canadian persons living in poverty.
Small groups of “academics” led to sign petitions, do not speak for the majority of “academics,” nor for the majority of Canadians. And they most certainly do not speak for me.
Mario C. Estable, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Ryerson University
The 400 protesters correctly state that “offering aid to displaced people [is] written into Canadian DNA” and cited how we helped fleeing Hungarians, Czechs, Vietnamese and Kosovars.
To that list we can proudly add what our ancestors did, at great risk to themselves, to rescue slaves via the Underground Railroad.
Terry Poulton, Toronto
Four hundred academics are asking for substantially more aid to refugees. At the same time, the headline of the GTA section of this newspaper reads that “one in four children live in impoverished households” in Toronto.
There is a saying in French: “Charité bien ordonnée commence par soi-même.” The message is clear: aid should be given at home first. A government’s responsibility is to its own citizens first.
Likewise, let the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries look after their own.
May I suggest to those academics that they are welcome to look after the refugees themselves.
Claude Gannon, Markham
Thank you Joe Fiorito. Stephen Harper’s inability to bring Syrian refugees under threat of death to Canada now reminds me of our government turning back Jewish refugees during World War II. Have we learned nothing about how to treat minorities?
C. Roach, Toronto