Editorial: Canadians welcoming refugees with open arms

Last week, refugees from the Syrian war began arriving in Canada. They were greeted in typical Canadian fashion, with cheers and tears

Last week, refugees from the Syrian war began arriving in Canada. They were greeted in typical Canadian fashion, with cheers and tears and winter coats and teddy bears in airports in Toronto and Montreal. Our newest neighbours have faced a horrific existence over the last few years, with many having lost loved ones and all material goods. The stories from the refugee camps, with the tent cities stretching across the horizon, paint a picture of despair with little in the way of food, water, clothing, and education for the children.

They come from a part of the world torn apart by war. It is estimated that over a quarter of a million people have been killed during the fighting with some estimates suggesting almost 400,000 have perished.

By the end of the year, the plan is to have 10,000 refugees settled with another 15,000 arriving early next year. Canadians have stepped up by sponsoring families and donating money, and by providing furniture, clothing, food and other essentials.

The vast majority of Canadians have embraced the incoming refugee families by turning their collective backs on racial and religious prejudice. They are moved to welcome the newcomers with open arms, hearts and minds.

I am a third generation Canadian. My grandmother was born in White Russia (now Belarus) on a farm that her family owned. They fled west during the Bolshevik Revolution, abandoning home and wealth. It took them four years before they eventually made their way to Canada. They, too, were refugees. Where would I be if the Canadian borders had been closed in the 1920s?

It is heartwarming to see the excitement people across the country are exuding as more families continue to arrive in their new homeland. I have rarely been this proud to be Canadian.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read