Since Sunday night, Canada has been in mourning following a terrorist attack on a Quebec City mosque. This horrific attack occurred the same weekend United States president Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to America from several Muslim-majority countries.
It cannot be said enough that both of these occurrences are devastating, terrifying, horrendous, and unjustifiable. The attack in Quebec was not only senseless, but an attack on the freedom of Muslim Canadians, Canadians as a whole, and those who we want to share our country with. President Trump’s actions are vile and a severe infringement on human rights.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that our Muslim and international peers, friends, mentors, and loved ones know that we are here for them and love them.
One of the best ways we can show this is by contacting our local Members of Parliament (MPs) and telling them that there are actions that can be taken.
There are many refugees that are being turned away from America that we can welcome to Canada. However, there are a number of restrictions that make a simple relocation impossible. For example, Canada can raise the number of refugees to accept in 2017 to accommodate the individuals from countries affected by the travel ban and strike down the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement which currently forbids asylum-seekers from the United States to enter Canada in seek of refugee status.
It is important that you both call and send an email to your Member of Parliament. To find your MP, use this tool and enter your postal code. If you are local to the Saint John area, the contact information for Wayne Long (Saint John/Rothesay) and Alaina Lockhart (Fundy Royal) have been included at the bottom of this article.
For sending an email, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have created a fantastic sample script that can be found here. To call, most sources indicate that it is best to keep it short and to-the-point. Be sure to include the name of your riding and your postal code for verification purposes. An example script could be as follows:
Hi, my name is [NAME] from [NAME OF RIDING]. My postal code is [POSTAL CODE]. I am calling today to express that I am in favour of abolishing the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement and doing anything in our power to help refugees abandoned by Donald Trump’s travel ban. Thank you!
This will allow the representative for the MP to pass on this information and, with enough support, some change could begin to unfold.
To all international students and those of Muslim faith: we see you, we love you, and we will fight with you.
Contact information for Wayne Long (Saint John-Rothesay)
Contact information for Alaina Lockhart (Fundy Royal)
UPDATE: The Muslim Association of New Brunswick is holding a vigil for Québec at the Saint John City Hall on Saturday at 2pm. More information can be found on the Facebook event page linked here.