Jan. 30th, 2017

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Just emailed...

The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen,

Given the deplorable behaviour of the government of the United States of America with regards to the targeting of those with Muslim religious, ethnic, or national ties, and the unconsionable rejection of refugees (many of whom can trace their plight to actions on the part of the United States), it would seem prudent in both the short and long term at this point in time to immediately repeal the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. The situation to the south of the border is just going to get worse and if Canada is truly committed to mitigating the terrible situations that refugees find themselves in, especially now that they are being abandoned or even demonized by such a major world power as the United States, we must be proactive in sending a message that there are still humanitarian countries left in the world that are concerned with the ongoing refugee crises happening in so many places.

As many have said since the executive order was signed, the basic premises that the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement was signed under have been substantively undermined, and it now presents a grave risk to refugees and exposes Canada to potentially unwelcome scrutiny if it fails to take timely action. I, and others, recognize that the government in Canada must be cautious in its actions such that they not be viewed as directly attacking the administration in Washington, D.C.; however, for Canada to accept refugees rejected by the United States for ideological and political reasons (and who are in danger of having their rights trampled because of their religion, ethnicity, or country of birth or origin), would send a signal to the citizens of the US, Canada, and the world that (strongly) oppose this latest turn of events that there are international repercussions to such small-minded, mean-spirited, and potentially deadly policies against the most vulnerable populations in the world. While we cannot count on rational behaviour from the leaders of our largest trading partner, we can at least make the right choices in those areas where we have some autonomy and disentagle ourselves from the dangerous course being set by the US administration. Repeal the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement now.

Yours sincerely,

Phelonius Friar
Ottawa, Ontario

cc: The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister responsible for the Status of Women (since the executive order will disproportionately affect women all over the world), and The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau (because he is the face of the Canadian government and is talking the talk, but Canadians and people all over the world need to see him walking the walk too).

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