SDSG faith community working on Syrian refugee crisis: Clement

SDSG Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement, seen here during her campaign office opening Sept. 10 in Cornwall, Ont. Clement says the faith community locally is working on helping out with the Syrian refugee crisis. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SDSG – The Liberal candidate in SDSG says the religious community in the United Counties is working quietly behind the scenes on the Syrian refugee crisis.

During a recent interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Bernadette Clement said some churches in South Dundas were having a meeting on Sept. 13 about the issue.

“I was told there was a meeting going on…in Morrisburg. That there are several churches getting together to have those discussions,” Clement said.

The federal Liberal candidate was asked about the apparent inaction in the riding compared to Brockville.

The City of the Thousand Islands has established a task force with Mayor David Henderson and has set up a “Refugee Assistance Fund.”

“I wouldn’t say that the area (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry) is not talking about it,” Clement said, “I’ve had a couple of emails from people in Cornwall who are also having those discussions. So it may come from the faith communities first and that wouldn’t be unusual. We saw that with the boat people from Vietnam,” she said.

“We may very well see some movement and some action in the next few weeks,” Clement said.

The Liberal hopeful says there’s a disconnect between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the public over the crisis in Syria. “He’s saying, we got this, it’s fine. And what the Canadian people are saying is, it’s not fine.”

She says Canada needs to “step up” and about “making those numbers go a little quicker.”

Clement says the process should be sped up without sacrificing public security. “The process includes security checks. There is a refugee process in place, except it’s been stalled and slow compared to what’s being done in other nations.”

Meanwhile in Europe, Serbian troops were sent to the Hungarian border Wednesday following clashes involving migrants and Hungarian police. Hungary’s police force used tear gas and water cannon to try and keep the migrants from entering.

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