I would like to thank Mr. Andy Thomsen for exercising his right to free speech (a right we enjoy in Canada) in last week’s Letters to the Editor.
The opinions set out in Mr. Thomsen’s letter gives me the opportunity and impetus to write and to set out how fundamentally I disagree with him.
Mr. Thomsen rightly points out that both Liberal and Conservative governments of Canada have encouraged immigration and set targets for the amount of immigrants we hope will come to our country.
Mr. Thomsen says that this is not the government’s right to do, but is for the people to decide.
In our system of government, the politicians we elect do, in fact, have the right to make decisions for our country that they believe to be in the best interests of Canada.
In fact, encouraging immigrants to come to Canada was a centrepiece of the very first government of a united Canada, led by Sir John A. MacDonald.
Clearly, our governments have had a history of believing that immigration is essential for Canada and we are better off as a country to welcome those who choose to come to our country.
Mr. Thomsen, and those who agree with him, are free to vote for people who represent their views; that is the basis of our democracy.
Mr. Thomsen advocates that instead of accepting immigrants into Canada, Canadians should send money and expertise to other countries because he appears to believe that this will better help resolve the “problems” afflicting the home countries of some of our current immigrants.
Many of the English and French who first immigrated to Canada were fleeing social, political and religious unrest at home.
Would Canada have been better off to have told the Irish to stay home and figure out how to deal with the potato famine instead of coming to Canada?
But immigrants did not come simply to escape bad situations at home. They also came to Canada to make a better life for themselves and their children.
In other words, our ancestors came for many of the same reasons that immigrants choose to come to Canada today.
I wonder, Mr. Thomsen, what reason your ancestors had for immigrating to Canada?
Let us be as welcoming to our current immigrants and refugees, as Canadians were to your ancestors, Mr. Thomsen.
To report a typo, email: