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Proper vetting for refugees is common sense

Kevin Klein Politician, Kevin Klein MLA, Kevin Klein Winnipeg
Kevin Klein says, proper vetting for refugees is common sense

Recently, I wrote about the planned Polo Park protest by pro-Palestinian activists. Many of these protesters disrupt the lives of ordinary people, families, and Canadian Businesses. It seems like we already have many people in Canada inclined to justify terrorism and take the side of Hamas. I can’t imagine why we would want to import more people who might be inclined to make lives miserable for normal families.

That’s why I was surprised to see that last week, NDP Premier Wab Kinew wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister to offer up Manitoba as a place for Palestinians fleeing the conflict in Gaza to seek refuge. The Premier also thanked the Canadian government for voting for a ceasefire at the United Nations (oblivious to the fact that, aside from Hamas missile barrages, there was a ceasefire before Hamas massacred Israeli civilians on October 7th).

He wrote, “Canada should bring refugees in from the region. Manitoba is willing to take in those seeking refuge from the ongoing conflict in Gaza and provide them with the sanctuary and support they require.”

Manitoba has always been a beacon for those in need of humanitarian aid and refuge. Our hearts and homes were recently opened to Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn homeland. Crucially, though, we don’t see Ukrainians or their supporters disrupting the lives of regular families to raise awareness of their (very legitimate) grievances.

However, the current conflict in Gaza complicates our ability to provide assistance. Demonstrating our compassion and assistance is not as simple as extending an unqualified invitation for Gazan refugees to come to Manitoba. There are very real security concerns and processes that our government has a responsibility to uphold on behalf of Manitobans.

Recently, the well-respected former speaker of the Manitoba Legislature took to Twitter to ask a reasonable question: “Manitoba’s NDP Premier announced that he would welcome Palestinians from Gaza with open arms to Manitoba. How does he plan to vet them so that we aren’t bringing terrorists into our province?”

Her concern is well-founded. based on a recent poll of people within Gaza, almost 3 in 4 Palestinians support the October 7th attack on Israel. The poll also reveals that the Palestinian people’s support for Hamas has grown since the attack. These findings come from a Palestinian polling institute reported on by Reuters.

“Seventy-two percent of respondents said they believed the Hamas decision to launch the cross-border rampage in southern Israel was ‘correct’ given its outcome so far, while 22% said it was ‘incorrect’. The remainder were undecided or gave no answer. The PCPSR found that, compared to pre-war polling, support for Hamas had risen in Gaza and more than tripled in the West Bank, which has seen the highest levels in violence in years, with repeated deadly clashes between Israeli troops and settlers and Palestinians.”

So, how did the NDP government respond to this reasonable and well-founded criticism? Did they seek to reassure people by talking about proposed vetting measures?

Of course they didn’t. It’s the NDP, driven by pure ideology and grievance. Deputy Premier Uzoma Asagwara took to Twitter to respond, calling the former Speaker “deeply racist, without compassion and completely disgraceful.”.

A childish and divisive response like this does nothing to assure us that they have even thought about this issue.

Manitoba must always take a pragmatic approach to security – not a political one. The fact that 72% of respondents believe that Hamas’ decision to launch the cross-border rampage in southern Israel was "correct" must give us reason to pause and consider the risk that we are taking. Those who come to this country must fully understand we are a society of social, religious and ethnic tolerance and that hate speech and inciting violence are absolutely not acceptable in our communities.

Additionally, it's important to acknowledge that many Arab nations do not admit Gazan refugees into their territories. There have been extensive reports regarding the presence of individuals with known ties to terrorism in Canada, which has raised concerns among other nations. I'm not opposing the idea of welcoming refugees to Manitoba; rather, I emphasize the necessity of conducting comprehensive and diligent background checks and assessments.

The Manitoba government would do well to consider the consequences of its actions before declaring that our province is “unconditionally” open to Gazan refugees.

It’s past time that Canadian politicians used their common sense when evaluating our policies, from the immigration system to the education system to the justice system.


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