Highlighting the emerging refugee crisis and impact on the election· September 4, 2015
Chris Alexander’s appearance on Power and Politics took place only hours prior to the country learning that a young boy found drowned on a beach in Turkey may have had a Canadian connection.
If it wasn’t clear from Alexander’s interview, Canada has no comprehensive strategy to bring in Syrian refugees.
With the emergence of this powerful and disturbing image, Canadian media have moved away (temporarily?) from the language of “migrants” and are using “refugee.” Expect opposition parties to hammer away at the major changes enacted to refugee health in Canada—a move criticized by doctors, nurses and anyone with a heart. Mulcair’s emotional reaction the day after was heartbreaking and stirring to many viewers.
Even though we’ve now seen him suspend his campaign and return to work, it might be too late for Alexander to catch a break. Media have circulated contradictary reports about the boy’s connection to Canada. It’s likely that at the time of the interview with Barton, Alexander wasn’t aware of any possible connection between the Canadian government and the child. What is assured, however, is that Alexander will become a lightning rod in this election.
All of this may come to a head at the Munk Debate on Foreign Affairs on September 28, 2015.