Let me open this column by saying that my heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of the horrible acts of terrorism that happened on Friday night in Paris.
One of the things that has always made me proud to be a Canadian is how we always seem to support those who have gone through dark times or tragedies regardless of whether they are close or far away.
That is why I was especially proud when arenas across the country held a moment of silence to honour the victims, even a Minor Midget ‘AAA’ game that I happened to be covering in Lindsay. As well, there were candle light vigils being held around the country.
It never ceases to amaze me how we as a people can step up and support those dealing with pain, even if we don’t directly know them. It is also comforting to know that regardless of the hard news that we deal with every day, that many Canadians continue to show a great compassion.
Now, I do hope that these attacks do not put a damper on Canada’s, and even a Scugog church’s , plan to support Syrian refugees.
I believe most of those applying to enter our great country as a refugee are, by very definition of the word, victims of not only the civil war that has ripped apart their country, but of ISIS attacks as well. Just like every plan, there are risks, but we as Canadians cannot just be stuck looking over our shoulders worrying that there may be an attack here. We need to help.
Just like supporting the victims in Paris, we cannot just turn a sudden blind eye to those who are also going through their own hard times, just because there is a possible security threat. Plus, looking at the country’s lengthy process to screen potential refugees, it looks pretty solid.
New Song Church has started an initiative to sponsor refugee families, and have already seen immense support from a Port Perry High School group as well as the Care and Share permaculture garden at the fairgrounds. I would hate for an initiative like this to loose steam because of fear.
From what I have experienced from being in and around the North Durham area for many years, there are many compassionate and caring people so I hope the population will be as accepting if or when someone from outside our borders eventually wants to enter the community that many call home.
For now, I would leave the border security worries with the members of our Federal Government that have been tasked with just that.
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Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy