Here is my text on the position of the Green Party of Quebec regarding the arrival of Syrian refuges, the war against the Islamic state and the radicalization of marginalized people.

Today, the Green Party of Quebec expresses its support for the arrival of Syrian refugees in Quebec and reiterates its opposition to Canada’s military involvement in the fight against the Islamic state.

Quebec and Canada have always favoured humanitarian aid over military bombing campaigns. This conflict is in fact the result of many years of deadly wars in the Middle East.

We cannot resolve all conflicts by force. The attacks by the Islamic state must be seen in context: the west has been bombing the Middle East for years with drones and through various military actions. How many innocent people have been killed by France’s retaliatory strikes following the attacks in Paris?

Acts of war are currently on the rise. The best strategies Quebec and Canada can adopt are to welcome refugees on their territory and to intensify their diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.

Beyond that, the Government of Quebec must do everything possible to ensure that newcomers are welcomed with the services they need. These include free access to education, access to housing, francization courses and medical and psychological support.

We should also work to counter Islamophobia and intolerance in our society. They and the division are partly responsible for acts of terrorism. The radicalization of marginalized individuals is far from being an observation unique to the Islamic state. It is exactly the same phenomenon that has led some young people to commit school shootings. Let us recall, for example, September 13, 2006, at Dawson College.

Inclusion, support for the marginalized and a foreign policy based on diplomacy and world peace are the best ways to combat radicalization. It is up to us to demonstrate that we will not be manipulated by the kind of violence that France experienced a few weeks ago.

Welcome to refugees, solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks, and no to war.

Alex Tyrrell
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec


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