From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Protecting Canadians from the terrorist twos

As any parent can attest to, a two year old toddler can be a holy terror but no one would consider locking them up behind bars and razor wire, except of course Jason Kenney and the Harperites.

We are currently imprisoning two hundred and eighty-nine kids in this country for having the misfortune to have been born into families seeking refuge in Canada.

Of the detained children, 75 are under 5 years old, 65 are aged 6 to 9, 55 are 10 to12 and 92 are between 13 and 17, the CBC reported. It would be one thing if these children were allowed to live with their families, but no. Canada keeps the fathers in a separate section of the building. Children and their mothers can visit them only at set times. It’s like a divorce court where fathers are automatically presumed at fault.

So there you have it, not only do we put children in prison we separate their families adding to the very real harm being visited upon these children already traumatized from their lives back home and fleeing to a strange land. Now would be the time they need their families whole and intact the most.

Once again we see the Harper government following a cruel and mean spirited approach that has been discredited where ever it had been used, they are consistent in this regard are they not. However they are not alone in culpability for this is what we have allowed Canada to be turned into, the tormentors of children.

h/t @albertarabbit


  1. I read about this yesterday, Kev. it is beyond shocking that something like this could be happening in our country, but given our current government, I guess it is not all that surprising.

    1. I get the need to at times detain folks while we try to figure things out however it must be done humanely. Other nations have figured this out. Unfortunately this government will always choose the most mean spirited approach, it is their default position.

  2. How far back does detention policy date? I certainly don't remember any kind of detention when dealing with refugees when I worked with the Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant Services Organization on the mid-80s. Our organization was publicly funded to provide all sorts of assistance to new comers including refugees: housing, day care, education, ESL and employment. We also organized social events to encourage community cohesion. I certainly miss those more enlightened days (and there were definitely racism hurdles to tackle when helping our clients out). I guess the racists won :-(

    1. The policy appears to be a long standing one, what has changed recently is the number of these detentions and of course the conditions under which refugees are detained. For instance in 2001 we averaged about 450 detainees at any given time with approx.20 being minors.

      I know here in Toronto they were once held in a former hotel and more importantly families were kept intact. It also the length of detention has increased in recent years.