Haiti has been devastated by two major earthquakes in the last couple of weeks. This has caused Canadian adoption agencies to become more lax with their adoption rules and regulations in regards to Haiti. It has also caused Quebec to loosen immigration laws. They have stated that they will accept anywhere from 52,000 to 55,000 immigrants this year alone. The Canadian Federal Government has not followed suit for obvious reasons as adoption and immigration vary greatly. The Immigration Minister Yolande James defended this saying, “I think when something like this happens it is important to be as flexible as possible. There is an understanding that we are really under an exceptional situation.”
There are a few problems with this. It is an exceptional situation but it does not mean be as flexible as possible. What has happened in Haiti is unimaginably sad and sudden but by allowing any and all Haitians into Quebec and thereby, Canada, we put strain upon ourselves financially. We would also be introducing some of them to an environment where some would adjust and others would struggle to survive while others would abuse the system. There is no guarantee that all Haitians would want to build a life here either. It would be a temporary solution to the longterm problem. Food and shelter would have to be provided here as well as some sort of livelihood or possibly welfare.
We heard a similar discussion on Canadian John Moore’s radio show on 1010CFRB. He also came to a similar conclusion suggesting (he as well as his guest speaker) to support Haitians within their country, to send food and support and help them rebuild their community and lives.
We cannot be blind in our altruism but we can help in ways that can give Haitians a home again.