Suspend STCA with the US
As a psychologist who specializes in the effects of childhood trauma, I am disturbed by the unfolding of events in the US as the Trump government has implemented its "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal immigration. This has resulted in the abrupt and traumatic separation of over 2,000 children from their families in the past few weeks. These children have been detained in the most un-nurturing circumstances and are forced to live with uncertainty as to when, and if, they will ever see their families again. Everything we know about child development tells us that these events will have lasting and devastating effects on these children as well as on their parents.
In addition to my role as a psychologist, I also wear another hat as a Girl Guide leader in Aylmer. Mr Fergus, you visited our unit a few months ago. You were patient and caring toward the children. You spoke eloquently about how you entered politics in order to give back. You described loving your job and the opportunity to work toward making the world a better place.
Mr Fergus, it is time for the Liberal government to respond to this crisis by suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) with the United States. Both the human rights chief of the United Nations Human Rights Council and Amnesty International have spoken out against these unconscionable actions. It is time for Canada to do the same. I am urging you to use your position to make the positive changes you spoke about to a group of children here at home a few months ago. The refugee children being detained under inhumane conditions at the US border need your help.
Dr. Rebecca Nemiroff, C.Psch.