Premier John Horgan is recognizing World Refugee Day, but also criticizing the current situation in the United States where migrant children have been placed in detention centres away from their parents.
Horgan says it’s a day to honour the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of women, men and children around the world fleeing conflict, insecurity and persecution.
“Welcoming refugees is part of our history, and part of who we are today. Canada and British Columbia have been enriched by refugees for hundreds of years. Refugees and their descendants have served as community leaders, public servants and governors general. They have become renowned authors, business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, artists and innovators.
“Today, we face the largest displacement crisis in history, surpassing even the Second World War. Over 68 million people around the world have been forced from home. More than 25 million of them are refugees. Over half are under the age of 18 years. Canada has been a safe haven in the past for people fleeing horrors beyond comprehension. It is our collective responsibility to make sure we continue to provide refuge in the midst of this crisis, and into the future.”
Horgan adds his government “condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the current U.S. government policy to separate asylum-seeking families from their children.
“People around the world are horrified to see this unnecessary trauma inflicted on innocent children and families.
“It is time for compassion and understanding, not cruelty and hatred. We extend our gratitude to the people and communities throughout B.C who help welcome refugees every day.
“Our government will always stand up for the values of diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect, and protect those in need. Together, we will keep working to make life better for every person, in every community. Today, and every day, we stand together in support of refugees, in British Columbia and around the world.”