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Opinion From the comments: How should Canada address the surge in asylum-seekers? Readers offer ideas

Many of today’s reader comments discuss the surge in asylum seekers entering Canada and how this is impacting wait times for refugee claim hearings, as reported on by Michelle Zillio. Asylum seekers coming to Canada is currently one of the most commented on topics on globeandmail.com

From: Asylum-seeker surge at Quebec border choking Canada’s refugee system, data show by Michelle Zillio

A group of asylum seekers walk down the street as they are escorted from their tent encampment to be processed at Canada Border Services in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi - RC1EBCC14B00

Christinne Muschi

These people are breaking no laws, merely taking advantage of a loophole. While I am proud of Canada’s international reputation for accepting refugees, it is abundantly clear that the process needs a speedy and effective overhaul.

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Fast track assessments, limited appeals, and quick deportation are in order for those that choose to exploit what is intended to be a humanitarian provision within the law. I see no reason why a separate process cannot be created for those that would game the system. A tribunal composed of appointed representatives empowered to make quick decisions based on the merits of each case would not be so very hard to create, nor would legislation limiting the appeals process. We must remember that these are not Canadian citizens, and while compassionate treatment goes without saying, they need not be afforded identical legal rights. - WhistlingInTheDark

We can use extra population, economically. We would have more heft in the world if we had more people. It will eventually drive growth. There are plenty of controls in the system. You can remove the claimants who are criminals or who have committed war crimes. The rest are just poor and desperate to send their kids to school and make a new life. They will start little businesses, educate their kids who will become the tax-paying entrepreneurs and professionals of tomorrow. - WendyStone

If we start choosing our governments based on immigration levels or refugee policies we are going to get some pretty extreme types running the country. Let’s speed up the refugee system and regularly adjust our immigration rate based on economic need and willingness to accept. Let the rate be set by a quasi-independent power like we do with interest rates so politicians won’t pander or rabble rouse. - me GT from BC

Obviously the loophole, whereby people are entering Canada between official entry ports needs to be closed. This is completely unacceptable. This is not ‘diversity is our strength’ stuff. It is a blatant abuse of taxpayers money and resources, by both government and border jumpers. - Colonel1972

It’s easy to say close the border but how do you close a 8,000 km border. Yes you could shut down some of the more popular crossing points but do you then find people crossing at dangerous locations? A better approach would be to speed the refugee determination process which requires resources, Prompt determination would let us meet our international obligations (and our own constitutional needs). For those that do not qualify expeditious deportation might serve as a deterrent to those with no legitimate chance. - WillHop

Readers are also talking about:

Big river, deep trouble: Can the Mighty Mississippi’s crisis be averted? By Leyland Cecco

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People who blame the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of the U.S. on climate change are apparently unaware (perhaps by choice) of the de-oxygenation caused by the runoff of fertilizers as described in this article. As the article states, much of the pollution is directly or indirectly created by the production of beef. Anyone concerned with the environment should reduce their consumption of animal products. - Snowaway

Doug Ford, Donald Trump and the humility crisis in politics by Scott Reid

It would have been best if the PCs choose Elliott or Mulroney. Then we wouldn’t have this problem. The PCs will regret their choice. If the party doesn’t dump him before 2022, the party will likely pay dearly. Also, this could dramatically reduce the chances of the Tories winning federally since they cannot win without Ontario. If Ford becomes unpopular enough, it could kill any chances of a breakthrough in Ontario. - Monkey121

I don't disagree with the author in that what is needed is humility and what we are getting is hubris. However, he misses an important point. Doug Ford was nominated leader and subsequently elected by the people, as was Donald Trump. The reason such men can rise to power is apathy on the part of the electorate in conjunction with the antiquated first past the post system used in both the US and Canada.

Ford may or may not be successful in invoking the notwithstanding clause, and Trump will continue to fire those who displease him. We will wring our hands, say that they are crazy, and look to the courts to inject a semblance of sanity into our administrations.

But wouldn’t it have been preferable if these two buffoons had not risen to power in the first place? I am all but certain if voter turnout was higher, we would not have had to witness the ascension and subsequent abuses by these two men. And if we used proportional representation, like most of the civilized world, the worst of their behaviour would be held in check by both the legislature and the judiciary. - WhistlingInTheDark

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