Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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GrooveTunes
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Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-liberals-can-admit-they-were-wrong-but-not-that-their-critics-were-right



Andrew Coyne | November 25, 2015 7:49 PM ET


What is it to admit our errors, said Alexander Pope, but to say that we are wiser today than we were yesterday?

In that spirit, the federal Liberals are surely to be congratulated for admitting they were wrong to have promised during the recent election that they could deliver 25,000 Syrian refugees safely onto Canadian soil by the end of this year. Granted, they did not go so far as to actually say so out loud. The closest Immigration Minister John McCallum came at Tuesday’s press conference was to say that “Canadians want us to do it right,” and that “in order to do it right … it is better to take that additional time.” (Readers are invited to infer whether not taking that additional time, i.e., proceeding on the original schedule, would have amounted to doing it wrong.)

But the changes in the Liberal plan amount to a tacit admission. Where the Liberals originally promised they would bring in 25,000 refugees by Dec. 31, the plan is now to accept 10,000 by that date, with a further 15,000 to come by the end of February. Where the Liberals originally promised all 25,000 would be funded by the government, they now say 10,000 will be privately sponsored (though the government says it will sponsor a further 10,000 refugees sometime before the end of 2016).

Rather than screen at least some of them for health and security concerns in Canada, they will now all be screened overseas. And while the Liberal platform put the cost of the program at $250 million, it now admits it will cost as much as $678 million (not counting the costs to private sponsors). Still, aside from the number of refugees, the schedule on which they’ll be brought in, the process by which they’ll be screened, how much it will cost and who will be paying for it, it’s pretty much the same plan.

It would be churlish to demand that the Liberals stick to their original promise, now that they have been persuaded the promise was unworkable. True, the promise was a key part of the party’s effort to persuade voters that they, and not the New Democrats, were the party of “change,” offered up at a critical moment in the campaign on an issue that was at the time dominant. That they have now, weeks after vanquishing the NDP, effectively delivered on the NDP promise — 10,000 refugees by the end of the year — may be counted as one of life’s little ironies, especially if you are not a New Democrat.

But there is no reason to suspect — or at any rate no evidence to prove — that the promise was made in bad faith. The Liberals can plausibly claim that, at the time they made it, they had no idea what it would cost or how they would deliver on it. It wasn’t dishonest, just spectacularly uninformed. That it was a promise they should never have made is now at least tacitly acknowledged; that original error would not be remedied, but compounded, by insisting they follow through on it.

Again, admitting errors is good. But not making such egregious errors in the first place would be even better. Or at the very least, admitting them at some point before the last possible minute, after weeks of denying that any change was required and chastising their critics as fearmongers and worse. The Liberals’ initial haste and overreach, in the heat of the election campaign, might be forgiven; less so their refusal to reconsider, in the face of repeated suggestions that the Dec. 31 deadline was impossible, not just from their political opponents, but from experts and refugee advocates.

For a party that likes to advertise its fondness for “evidence-based” decision-making, it is already showing a distressing tendency to prefer the evidence that supports its preconceptions. The deficits that were to fight the “recession” that isn’t on; the tax increases to fight the “growing inequality” that is, in fact, receding (the share of income going to the top one per cent has been falling for the past decade); the whole myth about stagnating middle-class incomes (they have been rising steadily for two decades) — there’s an unsettling pattern emerging.


It’s no use protesting that its heart is in the right place. Though it is surely admirable that it is inclined to bring in more refugees, rather than fewer, those good intentions would have come to naught had a botched process led to tragedy. This is a party, under its current leadership, that is very enamoured of symbolism, of the grand gesture. But substance — not only doing the right thing, but doing it right — matters, too.

Of course, the whole thing is symbolic, in a way. The 25,000 Syrian refugees we will admit in the next three months are but a tiny fraction of the millions that have been displaced just in that one wretched country, let alone the world at large. There’s no special significance to that 25,000 figure: like the Dec. 31 deadline, it was essentially picked out of the air. Its chief virtue was that it enabled the Liberals to promise to do more than the other parties, faster.

The confession that they will, in fact, do much the same as the other parties is being greeted in some quarters as a masterstroke: the Liberals have wrong-footed their opponents, it is said, by the clever ruse of accepting their criticisms and adopting their policies. If these be Liberal masterstrokes, let us have more of them. “Canadians want us to do it right,” the Liberal finance minister might declare, “so we have concluded that in order to do it right, it is better not to go into deficit.”

But you will say I am being uncharitable. The Liberals, after all, have admitted that they were wrong, in a sort of a way. But if the Liberals really want to seize the high ground, they might admit not only that they were wrong, but that their critics were right.
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The Green Barbarian
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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yawn. As long as they don't enact any of the other idiotic NDP policies, I'm good.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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I'm perfectly fine with governments being flexible as new information comes in. They are really making an effort to do this right.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

Post by LoneWolf_53 »

This could just as easily have been tacked onto another of the multiple threads discussing the refugees.

The date has been extended, they're still coming, not much else to discuss.

Nice to see some politicians listen to the people, and take a second look at something that was not wise to attempt.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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JLives wrote:I'm perfectly fine with governments being flexible as new information comes in. They are really making an effort to do this right.



What's new about screening refugees?
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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Nothing, I was referring to the changing of timelines. The intention has always been to screen them properly, that hasn't changed.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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Andrew Coyne voted NDP, which he didn't disclose in the article. He is right though, the Liberals are fulfilling the NDP promise.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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JLives wrote:Nothing, I was referring to the changing of timelines. The intention has always been to screen them properly, that hasn't changed.


What made Pony Boy think he could screen 25,000 people properly in 6 weeks?

Further, what makes Pony Boy think he can screen 25,000 people properly in 3 months?
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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No idea who pony boy is. Maybe reply as an adult?
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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JLives wrote:No idea who pony boy is. Maybe reply as an adult?


Have to play to my audience of leftist, pothead children.
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

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name the leftist potheads?
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

Post by ferri »

*back on topic please! thanks!
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Re: Trudeau uses NDP promise on refugees.

Post by The Green Barbarian »

JLives wrote:No idea who pony boy is. Maybe reply as an adult?


LOL - I prefer Derek Zoolander to Shiny Pony. More appropriate comparative.

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Justin Trudeau is an evil blight on this once great country. Shame on every single dumb-dumb that voted for this clown in 2021. LET'S GO BRANDON!!

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