By Constance Guindon
By Constance Guindon
Ottawa- While the US fights to keep it’s borders open and welcoming, Canada’s new Immigration, Refugee and Citizen Minister is reveling in his country’s opposite stance.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s new Immigration, Refugee and Citizen minister, has gone on record in Parliament saying that Canada will remain “open to people, open to talent.”
A product of the Canadian immigration program himself, Hussen came to Canada from Somalia with his family when he was a teenager. At a time when borders and perspectives in the west are in danger of shrinking, Hussen believes whole heartedly in Canada’s “opposite approach” to its immigrants and refugees.
During an interview on CBC Radio’s The House,he expanded on this Canadian approach saying, “As more and more countries are taking a different approach, of closing their borders, or not being open to new people or ideas, we’ve chosen the opposite approach, which is being open to ideas, being open to people, being open to talent, being open to skills and investments… and we’ll continue to have that tradition.”
The Tweet Heard Around the World
As reported by Canada’s CBC television network, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wasted no time in getting the Canadian point of view across to the world following President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration and refugees on January 27. Less than 24 hours later Trudeau had tweeted: “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.” The tweet went viral immediately, amassing more than 427,000 retweets.
The tweet was quicklyfollowed by a proto of Prime Minister Trudeau welcoming a Syrian child to the country in December with the hashtag “Welcome to Canada.”
Asked how Canadians felt about the now famous tweet, Minister Hussen had this to say: “I think the Prime Minister expressed the clear sentiments of Canadians. It was a clear expression of our progressive tradition of being an open country.”
In the Pipe for 2017
As Hussen’s interview on The House continued, it was revealed that Canada is expected to welcome 40,000 refugees alone in 2017. Regardless of what happens south of the border, there are no plans to adjust this figure.
As for the Canadian immigration and refugee programs in general, the immigration minister had this to say. “We have programs in place to attract and retain skilled immigrants and international students and we will work harder to do that. We will also continue to remain committed to being an open country to those seeking protection.”