Sackville — The Sackville Refugee Response Coalition (SRRC) has officially demanded that Justin Trudeau sign an IOU because of his government’s failure to deliver Syrian families to the small town in time for Christmas.
“The footage of the prime minister welcoming Syrians at the airport in Toronto was heartwarming, sure,” offered an SRRC board member. “But if I’m completely honest, I was a little jealous. We want our Syrians too! I mean, can you blame us?” he asked with a quivering chin and a barely perceptible stomp of his foot.
Delays in the arrival of privately sponsored Syrian refugees to many communities in Canada have begun to spread dissatisfaction among community groups and volunteers who had raised money and arranged accommodations in anticipation of yuletide Syrian arrivals. Many, including SRRC, rallied in response to the Trudeau government’s pledge to bring 25,000 Syrians fleeing civil war to Canada by the end of December beginning of January middle of February, but the Trudeau government has since been prioritizing the resettlement of its own government-sponsored arrivals.
“If they have other priorities, that’s fine,” said the group’s chair. “But let’s get real here. Anytime you make a commitment of this magnitude, you expect something in return. This is why we’re demanding an I.O.U. It’s simple.”
When contacted for comment, Beausejour MP and Liberal cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc indicated he had been hoping that the luck of the Irish would deliver Syrians to Sackville on March 17. When that didn’t happen, LeBlanc says talks began with the Easter Bunny. “Discussions were at the highest levels, but they broke off at the last minute.”
SRRC and its chair are losing faith and patience.
“If we’re going to continue to wait we need something on paper. We know some things are out of the government’s control. And, just to be clear, I’m not even upset about Christmas being ruined anymore. The fact of the matter is, however, they’ve failed to deliver our Syrians and we deserve compensation. What’s next? Make us wait until Canada Day?!”
The group has started a social media campaign using the hashtags #SackvilleSyriansNow and #SigntheIOUJustin. They’ve also launched a viral video campaign, the first of which features sad and lonely local residents standing in empty apartments holding signs showing the viewer how much of their money or time has been spent on the Syrian refugee effort.