Climate a root cause of refugee crisis

If Canada were to take climate change seriouslywe may be able to mitigate future desperate migrations.

To the Editor,

Remember when Justin Trudeau was accused of “committing sociology” when he suggested we look at the root causes behind terrorist attacks? Seems like Stephen Harper now shares an affinity for sociology in claiming we must acknowledge the root causes behind the Syrian crisis, ideologically predetermined  by himself to be “Islamic terror”/ISIS, against whom only military efforts can prevail. However if he were to commit serious sociology he would learn that Syria suffered from an unprecedented four-year drought from 2006-10 that destroyed 60 per cent of its farms, killed 80 per cent of its livestock and drove a million and a half rural Syrians into overcrowded cities where they combined with another million and a half Iraqi refugees fleeing war. Poverty, inequality, overcrowding, corrupt and inept leadership exploded into an ongoing civil war in 2011.

There have been many forecasts that climate change would lead to mass migrations from areas that could no longer feed their human populations leading to social unrest and chaos. If Canada were to take climate change seriously and do its part to reduce greenhouse gases we may be able to mitigate future desperate migrations. Right now we could do our part by quickly taking in more refugees, signing the UN Arms Trade Treaty to help control the spread of lethal weapons to rogue regimes and learning the lesson that sociology teaches: war does not make anything better.

Liz FoxLantzville


To the Editor,

The tragic picture of a Syrian child, drowned in his family’s attempts to escape conflict in Syria, hopefully will alert all our consciences to act and respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Canada is no longer seen on the world stage as the compassionate country it once was. The immigration of 60,000 Vietnamese 40 years ago who have integrated and become fine citizens is an example of positive immigration policy.

We are aware of the government’s encouragement of the investor class of immigrant in contrast to its reluctance to share the world’s responsibility for humanitarian immigration.

As practising Christians, we don’t see the reaching out to those in need.We are asking government to revise immigration policies and practices, and have Canada take its share in resettling needy immigrants such as those from Syria.

Robyn and Peter ThriftNanaimo


To the Editor,

News accounts of the refugee problems in Africa and the Middle East seem oddly devoid of the huge part the present Canadian government has played in creating this crisis. A great many of those people attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya were dispossessed when Canadian CF-18s bombed their homes three years ago. Those bombers were sent with the full consent of the Liberals and NDP voting in lockstep with the Conservatives.

Libyans never offered any threat to Canada. SNC Lavalin, our largest engineering firm, had been working there more than 15 years.

Canada should certainly make some amends toward the people whose lives we’ve disrupted and destroyed. We should not expect them to be particularly grateful.

Jim ErkiletianNanaimo