As Canada prepares to provide asylum to 25,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees, the part Quebec will play has begun to surface. And while many believe the plan to welcome thousands of refugees into the province is solely the duty of provincial and municipal leaders, there's quite a bit you, the average Montrealer, can do.
While the specifics of the federal plan will be fully revealed today, CBC has already caught wind of some specifics in relation to Quebec.
According to CBC, the first refugees to come into Quebec will be flown in next week, on December first. In total, Quebec plans to accept 3,650 refugees by the end of 2015.
It's also quite important to note that Quebec will not be following the federal plan of only accepting women, children, and families, and excluding single men entirely. Pointed out as problematic for various reasons (e.g. the exclusion of homosexual single men), it's somewhat comforting to know the province is being a bit more progressive in its position to accept refugees.
But, like already mentioned, it's not up to the province itself to ensure the comfort and safety of the thousands of refugees that will soon be in Quebec, and Montreal, because you can play a huge role too.
Partnering with YMCA Residence, the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers (PRAIDA) is asking Montrealers to donate old winter clothes, to ensure the incoming refugees are fully prepared for winter in Montreal. Anything you can give will be accepted, from coats, to gloves, to boots, to hats.
Here's when the donations will be held:
Wednesday, November 25th: 8am to 3pm at the main entrance of the Jewish General Hospital (map)
Wednesday, December 2nd: 8am to 3pm at the main entrance of the CLSC Côte-des-Neiges (map)
There are also many other ways Montrealers can aid the incoming refugees, and you'll find a selection below.
Give A Tuque: Using the tuque as a symbol for unification, the group 25,000 Tuques is asking any and all in Quebec to donate (or knit) winter hats, because in this province "the only enemy is the cold." Get more info at the official website here.
Get Informed: Nothing is more harmful than ignorance, and even if you can't aid Quebec's refugee initiative with your own time and money, you should at least be informed and capable of dispelling any misguided notions of hate. Again, any of the organizations above will provide you with the necessary info, as will the Action Réfugiés Montréal website.
While there's a myriad of possible reasons as to why Trudeau is ahead in the province, his handling of the pandemic could be the biggest. Among the Quebecers polled, 46% believed that health care is the most pressing issue in the upcoming election and 53% said the current prime minister "has performed well on pandemic management."
Politics and the Fourth Wave: As concern over COVID rises, are the Liberals poised to benefit?… https://t.co/znhujEMXZU
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.