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Tilson’s petition political fodder

December 23, 2015   ·   0 Comments

I was surprised to read in your most recent publication that our Member of Parliament David Tilson is tabling a petition in the House of Commons calling on the Liberal government to hold an emergency debate on its plan to allow 25,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in Canada.  It would appear from this action and the quotes attributed to him and members of his staff in connection to the petition, that David Tilson opposes the Liberal government’s intention to accept these refugees. 

Yet David Tilson served as the Chair of the Standing Committee of the House of Commons on Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism since 2008 according to his website.  Holding this position, one would think, David Tilson should be supportive of expanding citizenship, sensitive to the plight of the immigrant and enthusiastic about multiculturalism and yet now, less than 6 months later, David Tilson is petitioning the Liberal Government to have an emergency debate about receiving 25,000 Syrian immigrants. 

This past July, David Tilson missed the Canada Day celebrations in Caledon Village and Amaranth because he was attending the ceremony to grant Canadian citizenship to immigrants in Orangeville. He seemed very supportive of expanding citizenship, sensitive to the plight of the immigrant and enthusiastic about multiculturalism then, so what has changed?  Only that the Liberals are in power now and David Tilson and the Conservatives are not.  The lives of Syrian refugees should not be the fodder used by David Tilson to feed the forces that seek to divide us.

In the election of October 19, 2015 over 27,000 citizens of Dufferin Caledon voted for David Tilson and the Conservatives, while over 23,000 citizens supported me and the Liberals.  David Tilson and the Conservatives won here but nationally the Liberals captured the majority of the seats and included in the Liberal campaign platform was the promise to attempt to accommodate 25,000 Syrian refugees.   One thing that I admired about the Conservative provincial government of Premier Mike Harris was their determination to honour their commitments to the citizens of Ontario.  David Tilson was part of the Harris Government, so why now is he petitioning the Liberals in power, to break their promises to Canadians and not attempt to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees? Only because the Liberals are in power now and David Tilson and the Conservatives are not. 

Syrian refugees are leaving a war torn country where their suffering and loss has been the collateral damage of fighting factions, they should be welcomed in Canada with gracious hospitality, not used by David Tilson, to wage war on a duly elected Liberal Government.  He is making these Syrian refugees collateral damage in Canada when he should be helping them resettle in Canada; that is what I am doing. 

Ed Crewson

         

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