Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I Am Canadian. My Grandparents Were Immigrants.

The woman who comes in to care for me on Monday mornings is white; she was born in Canada. The woman who comes in to care for me on Wednesday mornings is brown; she was born in India. The woman who comes in on Friday to care for me is black; she was born in Africa.
Notice a thread here? Two thirds of my caregivers are immigrants. They care for me, just as well as the person born here. This country was built on immigration. Like your Blackberry, thank Mike Lazardis, an immigrant from Turkey. Want to meet the Queen's representative in Canada? How about Adrienne Clarkson or Michelle Jean, on from Hong Kong and another from Haiti. Did you enjoy the 2010 Canadian Olympics? John Furlong is an immigrant.
If you fear that there might be a terrorist in the Syrian immigration pool, you should think about the Irish immigration a hundred years ago. There were terrorists in that group. Terror knows no colour nor religion. And you are more likely to get killed by a bear or a moose here in Canada.
We must live up to our responsibility, our challenge, our destiny as Canadians. It is ours to show the love, compassion, and caring which will ultimately destroy terror. I remember a story told to me as a child, where a young, middle eastern family needed a place to stay, the woman vastly pregnant, the man a simple carpenter. They were told there was no room for them, that they would have to go somewhere else.
As a nation we committed the unpardonable sin of turning away Jews fleeing tyranny in days before World War II. Let us not be that closed-minded society once again. Let us not bar the needy. Let us not be that heartless innkeeper. Let us not be those who would turn away those in need out of fear from those they flee.
We are Canadian. Let's act like it.

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