STEWART: climate change, refugees, and floating islands in the stream

Just when you catch yourself saying, “Now I have heard everything when it comes to immigration.” There is something new, and it is called Climate Change Refugees. How do you like that?

That part of the world known as Island Nations such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and the Marshall Islands are being faced with rising sea levels driving coast towns and cities inland as far as they can move. Rising sea levels as well as very threatening tropical storms

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We consider Climate Change as how things will play out in our future for these island nations this is very much a today problem, and the science tells the story of them all being consumed by ocean water in less than 50 years

If you think those island people are not taking this seriously, the former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has already purchased land in Fiji more than 2,000 miles away just in case sea levels and natural disasters render his island uninhabitable.

While that solution might be reasonable or Mr. Tong, along comes the CBC’s senior science reporter Nicole Mortillaro making the argument that Canada should be a haven for those who’ve been displaced by climate change. Climate change, he argues, is an unavoidable truth that will impact most countries around the world, not excluding Canada. Well Gee Whiz we all knew that!!!!

This character thinks there will be areas within our country while considered uninhabitable now will see enough of a rise in temperature that Canada will be in the “unique position of being able to accept those who have been pushed out of their home because of climate change-related conditions. Better known as what he names them as climate refugees. 

In case you did not know for sure, the United Nations released a report that revealed that Canada had admitted the largest number of resettled refugees last year and had the second highest rate of refugees who gained citizenship.

Our current government does not shy away from the fact that they aim to be a place of asylum for those in distress. Syrian refugees have been a massive talking point for years now. Canada, on its own, has admitted 28,100 of the total 92,400 refugees that were resettled across the globe in 2018.

Canada also accepts, a huge number of refugees in  addition to accommodating 700,000 international students and temporary foreign workers. And as with all complicated immigration issues, there are huge problems that arise. 

Reluctantly our own government admits in one internal report by officials at Immigration and not made public, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, religious and cultural accommodations continue to be a pressing issue regarding practices that conflict with Canadian values and institutions. Some practices such as “forced marriages and familial violence” are cited as the main concerns when accepting refugees.

Other concerns come from more obvious issues, such as experiencing troubles finding employment because of language barriers, for example, not speaking English or French. 

Now while Anote Tong, the former president of Kiribati, not only purchased land in Fiji for his displaced citizens. He also hopes engineers could recreate their tiny island nation as an artificial “floating island.” An idea that, as outlandish as it sounds, is being worked on by several firms.

The mindset by these Islanders are admirable, and Tong says he sees them not as refugees, but believes in “migration with dignity,” preparing to arm his migrants with proper education and functional skills so they can migrate effectively. Now isn’t that a unique idea. Only someone who works for CBC could come up with a hairbrained scheme as a floating island and that is how I see it.

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