Does Canada have a two-tier refugee system?
Monday, February 15, 2016

Solomon didn’t face a welcoming committee with cameras clicking when he landed in Toronto as a refugee. Instead, he got a send-off.

The smuggler who had brought him into the country gave him a lift into one of the city’s predominantly Ethiopian neighborhoods, wished him well and left him to fend for himself.

With the help of his fellow countrymen, the 16-year-old found his way to a youth shelter, which then passed him off to other community organizations that were largely ill-equipped to help a newly arrived refugee seeking sanctuary in Canada.

His experience stands in stark contrast to the welcome offered to the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving in the country. The earliest arrivals were greeted by none other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who offered them handshakes, hugs and winter apparel.

People fleeing the raging war in Syria went through an accelerated screening process before boarding flights that would take them to a country that has pulled out all the stops for their arrival. The medical care, transportation costs and warm national welcome are all readily available thanks to a Liberal government initiative targeted specifically toward Syrians.

Solomon, who requested that his real name not be used, applauds Canada for offering a helping hand to those fleeing persecution. But he also cautions that Syrians are not alone in facing adversity in their homelands.

“Our (Ethiopian) government has trouble distributing everything to the people,” he said in a telephone interview. “Apparently on paper we have what appears to be a democratic country, but when you live there it’s totally different.”

Differences lie at the heart of the concerns voiced by organizations supporting the thousands of refugees that seek asylum in Canada each year.


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Source: Global News