Bob Zimmer sends letter to Liberal government, asking to reconsider refugee plan

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Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer has called on Justin Trudeau and the new Liberal government to rethink it’s plan to open Canada’s doors to 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.

Zimmer conveyed his concerns and those of constituents following attacks in Paris and Beirut in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum.

We are concerned that with such a tight timeline, proper and thorough security and health checks will not take place. I am also deeply concerned, along with my constituents, about our ability to assist these refugees once they have arrived in Canada.

He wrote that while he too wishes to help those fleeing violence, it must be done responsibly.

We must ensure that every possible safety precaution is taken and all appropriate security procedures are in place to ensure those entering Canada do not pose a threat to our communities. Unfortunately, this takes time.

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This letter to Trudeau and McCallum follows a petition urging Zimmer and Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm to hold a referendum regarding Syrian refugees coming to Northern BC.

The petition, started by Bailie Hambrook of Fort St. John, was in response to Premier Christy Clark’s plans to bring refugees to Northern BC communities.

As CTV reported, Clark said northeastern BC would be ideal citing low housing costs and even lower unemployment rate as the reason.

“The community of North East BC is currently going through an economic downfall.  Thousands of us laid off from our jobs and relying on unemployment to keep us going,” Hambrook wrote in the petition.

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