Statement Against Brad Wall’s Open Letter to the Prime Minister
This statement is in response to Premier Brad Wall’s letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding Syrian refugees dated November 16, 2015.
Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism rejects Wall’s sentiments about welcoming Syrians fleeing violence back home. We believe there is ample support for incoming refugees and reject Wall’s statement and the spirit of this statement as it is fear mongering and an attack on an already victimized and marginalized population.
Wall’s “seal the border” attitude produces State-sanctioned xenophobia that perpetuates and justifies fear and racism towards a group of people fleeing persecution back home. While masked as “compassionate but cautious,” the spirit of the letter equates all Syrians as potential “ISIS-trained operatives.” While Wall says that a majority of the refugees pose no threat, the letter recommends a policy that treats every individual refugee as a potential terrorist. Moreover, his appearance on Power & Politics raised more questions about his overall intent. Given the history of migration in our province, and country, the Premier is more concerned about being left “holding the bag” when it comes to refugee obligations than he is to making Saskatchewan an open and welcoming place. In so doing, he undermines the important work of organizations and community members that are preparing for the arrival of refugees—people that have survived civil-wars fuelled by Canada and it’s coalition of allies.
Insinuating that letting refugees into Saskatchewan could lead to a Paris-like attack whips people into reactionary fear leading to violence perpetrated against individuals who are (or look to be) refugees. One need only look to the recent attacks including assaults on Muslims and the burning of a Mosque (all being investigated as potential hate crimes) to see the racist atmosphere in Canada that can easily be fanned by statements like Wall’s letter. We can look to the United States and see dozens of governors indicating they do not want to accept Syrian refugees. The events in Paris were tragic. Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism sends condolences to all families effected by these acts of violence. Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism also calls on Brad Wall and all residents of Treated Territories to not allow this violence to continue through the further fortressing of Canada.
Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism stands united with the participants of Tuesday’s rally called by the Saskatchewan Immigration Justice Network. We stand united with our brothers and sisters in transit and with No One Is Illegal and join in their Canada-wide call that declares: “refugees welcome!”
Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism