Skip to main content
editorial

One can only feel positive about the news that Ottawa has given asylum to as many as 30 gay men who were subject to a medieval pogrom in the Chechen Republic. It was simply the right thing to do.

The Globe's reporting of the rescue mission comes as Ottawa is trying to manage the sudden influx of Haitian and other refugees crossing illegally from Donald Trump's America into this country, and while we are still absorbing the thousands of Syrian refugees that began coming after the Liberals won the election in 2015.

Overall, Canada will accept more than 300,000 new permanent residents in 2017, according to the federal government, one of the higher numbers in recent years.

Critics of the Trudeau government say that its policies are creating false expectations about Canada. They blame Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's infamous "#WelcomeToCanada" tweet in January for giving people the impression our borders are wide open.

They're not wrong. A more accurate tweet would have included the additional hashtags #someconditionsapply and #seeyourlocalconsulatefordetails. There can also be no question that Canada's understaffed refugee-determination system is pathetically slow to settle cases.

But behind the justified criticism lies a startling turn of events. Canada and the U.S. are countries that were built by immigration, but the U.S. was always the one seen internationally as the great refuge for people fleeing persecution.

Today, Canada is the welcoming country and the U.S. is, for some vulnerable people, a place to flee. Our government at times seems over-eager in its mission to relocate the Statue of Liberty from the mouth of the Hudson River to the mouth of the Saint Lawrence. That critique notwithstanding, helping in times of need is something this generous and peaceful country should always aspire to.