Strong Community Partnerships Help to Overcome Backlash in Kingston

Posted in Community Programs / Immigration News / Families

Strong Community Partnerships Help to Overcome Backlash in Kingston

A recent article in one of Canada's National newspapers highlights how a community is working together to dissolve anti-immigration responses, following recent events in their City. 

Highlights in the article include:  
- Last week, the Mounties charged a youth, who cannot be identified, with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity... A second person, who came to Canada as a refugee, was arrested but later released without charges in the same purported plot. 

- Community leaders gathered at Kingston police headquarters to hammer out how the city was going to prevent a backlash to the city’s Muslim population and groups that sponsor refugees.

- The response involves police protection for religious groups and organizations that help newcomers settle in the city, as well as public awareness campaigns and efforts to prevent potential bullying in the hallways of local schools.

- The city of about 124,000 has worked hard in recent years to bring in more immigrants to boost the local workforce and the historic town’s economic potential. Over the same time, there has been a revival of an inter-faith council, a municipal migration strategy, and a wildly successful multicultural festival.

- A local umbrella group for immigration services — a network of about 75 organizations and employers — was recently involved in a campaign inviting Kingstonians to just say hello to someone they didn’t know to make the city more welcoming to a diverse population.

- Mayor Bryan Paterson said the work being driven by community groups is feeding a feeling in the city that the arrests will “just unite us and help us push forward.”

- Bronek Korczynski, who co-chaired a committee of local churches that sponsored Syrian refugees, said he hoped that the arrests won’t dissuade people from trying to help more refugees immigrate to the city.“This is the right thing to do and there might be some conversation that might need to be had to help people understand, but that’s okay. It’s a teachable moment,” Korczynski said.

The entire story can be read here