I now look now at my return to the land of my birth as an absolute and utter blessing, for which I shall be eternally grateful. I see now that I had to make a left into the United Arab Emeritus in October 2021 instead of the right which would bring me back to Canada at that point in time. My time in the UAE made me appreciate, in so many ways, the way of life in Edmonton. Upcoming blogs will discuss the blessings of where I now live contracting this life to to the conditions of where I lived for those interminable months.
I learned about the asylum seekers this morning when glancing at my new ‘go to’ publication, the Toronto Star. The Toronto Star and The Economist are now my daily fodder, my Bibles to the outside world. They have replaced The New Yorker, The National, The New York Times, Al Jazzers etc. etc. There is the occasional peak at the oldies, particularly The New Yorker, but these visits are becoming increasingly rare.
First let us define some terms. Asylum first and the key word. The definition used in this context is “the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee. “ Its synonyms are: refuge, sanctuary, shelter, safety, safe keeping, protection, security, immunity; haven, safe haven, retreat, sanctum, harbor, port in a storm, oasis; safe house, fastness, hideaway, hideout, bolthole, foxhole, hiding place, den.
Reading over the synonyms imparts a feeling of safety: sanitary, shelter, safe keeping, safe haven, port in a storm, oasis. One relaxes in their den, their sanctum. Well, I do anyway.
Here is the article that caught my eye. (Catch one’s eye is an idiom meaning to get one’s attention Used in a sentence: When walking something shiny caught my eye. Another definition is to say it causes one to become interested in something. Used in a sentence: The book’s title grabbed/caught my attention and I picked the book up.) The title that caught my eye was: Record Numbers of Asylum Seekers Seek Refuge in Quebec.
For many asylum seekers, the sleepy country route connecting New York to Quebec is an opportunity to find refuge in Canada. But with COVID restrictions being lifted, the crossing point is seeing an increase in people looking to seek asylum in Canada, with 2022 on track to become a record year. But the high traffic means asylum seekers are experiencing delays receiving temporary work permits, while the Quebec government is calling on Ottawa to stop crossings at the border, saying that it lacks the resources and capacity to deal with the flow of migrants. Here is what is happening at the border. By the numbers: In October 2021there were 96 RCMP interceptions at the border. This increased to 832 people in November and 2,778 in December. That monthly tally has remained steady through to May 2022 – the last month for which statistics are available — when 3,449 people crossed into Quebec.
The article goes on to put this in context: The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the Safe Third Country Agreement which, if successful, would Allow asylum seekers to make a claim at any official Canadian border crossing, not just the Quebec Roxham Road crossing.
Such a contrast! The Supreme Court of Canada hearing a case concerning an Agreement to enter the country versus the Supreme Court of the United States of America hearing cases that strike down abortion and striking down environmental protection. If you wish to read more about the Supreme Court of Canada’s role in this matter, here is the link:https://www.thestar.com/politics/2021/12/16/supreme-court-to-review-constitutionality-of-safe-third-country-refugee-pact.html
I consider myself blessed. Do not need to seek asylum as I was born in this fair land. I do believe that Allah has been with me since (or before) my birth which means I am a revert, not a convert to the Islamic faith. But more about that in a special section of the blog to be written at leisure. I did at one time prefer the term convert but then studied more and with increased knowledge decided I was incorrect – I am a revert even though at first thought it sounded like pervert – which I am not, by the way.
But onward onto more good news from Canada contained in this same edition. It is, as far as I am concerned WOW. “In the largest deal of its kind, the federal government signed a $20-billion settlement agreement to compensate First Nations children and families.” This is an absolute must read article, the link will be provided. The Star states that it is a four minute read. Go and do it – I shall sign off to give you time. Moreover, no photographs will be provided. What am I doing today? Going off in the rain for physiotherapy – prescribed by Canadian Physician, an amazing woman who graduated in 2002 from a medical school in Pakistan. I am blessed. I am happily substituting her for my California primary care physician of 45 years. He retired (finally) anyway. See what I mean? I am blessed, no doubt about it. Am a grateful? You bet I am.
The link: https://www.thestar.com/politics/2022/07/04/canadian-press-newsalert-20b-settlement-for-first-nations-children-approved.html