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Despite Syrian tragedy, Harper won't allow more refugees into Canada

DH Vancouver Staff Sep 03, 2015 2:31 pm

The Coquitlam aunt of the two boys whose bodies were found lying on the shores of a Turkish beach has spoken out about her brother’s pain at losing his family.

On Thursday, the boy’s aunt, Tima Kurdi, told reporters her brother Abdullah told her he tried to save them with all his power, adding they died looking for a better life.

Tima also said, and this does contradict earlier reports, that the Canadian government rejected the application of her other brother, Mohammed. She says she’d applied for refugee status for her older brother, and was waiting for that process to be completed before applying for Aylan’s father, Abdullah.


Refugees have been dying on this perilous journey for years now, but it took a photograph on social media to make it a news story.

Tima says a memorial will be held this Sunday.

The Syrian crisis and the plight of the Kurdi family were the only topics addressed by Prime Minister Harper during a stop in Surrey today.

Speaking at a campaign event in Surrey, Conservative leader Stephen Harper spoke solely about the Syrian crisis and the Kurdi family.

Harper says the image of the dead toddler reminded him and his wife of their son Ben at that age and it is heartbreaking, but he says refugee policy alone is not remotely a solution to the greater tragedy; we need to fight the root cause.

“That is the violent campaign being led against people, against millions of people, by ISIS,” said Harper. “That is why we are part of the international military coalition.”

Still, Harper says Canada will do more for refugees, adding that we are the largest humanitarian donor per capita world wide. But he will not increase the number of accepted refugees into Canada, despite the growing crisis in Syria.


Originally published on

DH Vancouver Staff
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