Syrian refugees: Are they really a threat to Canadian security?

Ron Atkey teaches national security law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. He is a former minister of employment and immigration, and was the first chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (1984-89).


There is something organic and uniquely Canadian taking place across this country as public support grows for decisive action in the wake of the photo of a body of a Syrian refugee child washed to shore on a beach in Turkey.

Yes, the faith-based groups have been out in front. And provincial governments are jumping on board with significant financial contributions toward Syrian refugee resettlement in Canada. Mayors of Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are sticking their necks out by encouraging private sponsors to partner with the federal government to make sure we do our part to assist in resolving one of the most serious refugee crises in our time. And the general public is clamouring to jump on board.

But there’s an elephant in the room: security. Are Syrian refugees potential threats to the safety of Canadians?

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