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Props to Premier Mcguinty on his statement about the Tamil refugees

I’ve been giving it to the Premier and his Liberal government in Ontario occasionally on this blog recently, over some issues and some tactics of theirs that I disagreed with and thought were not very thought out. But, today instead of darts, I’m passing out laurels to Premier Mcguinty on his statement regarding the Tamil refugees/boat people.

He was asked about it in the context of the controversial remarks Toronto mayor candidate Rob Ford made, and this was his response, in full:

QUESTION: Premier, some comments have been made in the race for mayor that the City of Toronto should close its doors to immigrants because it has enough trouble taking care of the 2.5 million people who live here. Do you think that’s a very Canadian comment?

PREMIER MCGUINTY: Well, let me just say this. There are a group of people who’ve arrived in a boat on the west coast. I think we should ask ourselves what it is that we owe these people. They’re coming here because they despair for their future and the future of their children, in their home country.

And they come here with a sense of hope, because they believe that they might find an opportunity here. I think what we owe them is to receive them with open hearts and open minds. It’s been said that there may be some people there who are dangerous to us, and that may be so. But I don’t think we should approach this with any bias, presumptions, assumptions or prejudices. I think what we owe those people is fairness.

And if there are mischief-makers or dangerous people there, we will find them out and we will deal with them appropriately. But again, I think our mindset when it comes to these kinds of things is to approach those folks in a Canadian way. Just something else that I would ask you to ask yourself and all of us to ask ourselves, is: how far back do we have to go, when we consider our parents, some of us here, our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, who were received in that Canadian way, that is, with open hearts and open minds. Something to add. We are blessed with 120,000 new Canadians every year in this province.

We are the leading receiver of new Canadians, and I am very proud to say that. And, with time and with opportunity, if you take a look at what happens to those families, with time and with opportunity, they are some of our very best students, some of our very best politicians, some of our very best professionals, some of our very best folks in the arts and sports and all the sectors. So let’s understand who we are, and we approach these things with open hearts and open minds.

As a liberal thinker/believer in that philosophy, I applaud this statement being made by the Premier in the face of at least 1 poll showing he is swimming against the current on this. He has taken a moral stance (and the right one, in my view) on this in the best tenets of compassionate social liberalism, rather then shy away from something that may be politically unpopular (which is what we’ve seen some wishy-washy Democratic politicians do when attacked by the right-wing on the proposal to build a Muslim community centre/mosque a couple of blocks from “Ground Zero” in Manhattan).

This is one of the better comments I’ve seen on the Tamils situation from a political leader, much better then Conservative Justice Minister Vic Toews and Prime mInister Harper’s attempts to fearmonger the issue for short-term political gain (Bob Rae’s take on this was pretty decent as well, as an aside).

Well done Premier Mcguinty.. thumbs up from me (and more of this please).

5 comments to Props to Premier Mcguinty on his statement about the Tamil refugees

  • Toe

    *throwing up* bottom line is we’re all paying more tax, there is no in between http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/will+cost+taxpayers+more+think+tank+finds/3420535/story.html

    We’ve always believed it’s a shift from business taxes to consumers.

    • Redrum

      @Toe, maybe so (tho’ it’s still too early to tell, w/o seeing that report and its assumptions, such as whether it simply assumed nothing could possibly go down in price cuz of HST even tho’ a no. of redundant PST hits are removed from the chain of production), but tell me:

      how much has the ill-considered 2% reduction in the GST saved those same HH’s per year? Many believe the reason Harper twisted the prov’s arms to implement the HST was to make up for the loss of GST revenue that he’d done purely for opportunistic reasons. So be sure to lay the blame / ire accordingly, won’t you? Or more likely, you’ll find there’s no net loss or gain, and it was all just a shell game by Harper causing a lot of angst & anger along the way directed at the provinces while he snickers at you all.

  • EFL

    Spot on. McGuinty is a good man. That’s his great advantage, vs. Rivals-whatever his mistakes, faults, almost always result of genuinely good intentions. And people can sense that. Bill Davis redux.

    • ian

      When i got sick our own provincial{liberal}government told me “you have money in the bank, spend it then come and see us,” where is the fairness in this. Sometimes i think we would be better off to land on the coast in a boat with my hands out.
      Why didn’t they go to China or the Phillippines, everybody knows Canada is easy prey, are you liberal do gooders going to let them stay in your basements? I cant wait for the next election to vote the liberals out.

      • Green Arrow

        @ian, Okay Ian, well then try it out. Go move to the Phillipines, find yourself a human smuggler to provide you with an all expenses paid trip across the pacific to Vancouver island upon an aging cargo ship, then spend some time in refugee processing and tell me exactly what you have accomplished?

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