Statement Regarding the US Executive Order and Quebec City Terrorist Shooting
January 31, 2017
Dear Fellow Students,
Our community has been shocked by recent events on both sides of the Canadian border, including the tragic terrorist shooting at a Quebec City mosque and Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict refugees and individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Both of these events are part of a pattern of increased xenophobic and bigoted attacks on Muslim, Jewish, Hispanic, Black, queer, trans, and other marginalized communities across North America.
Such actions run directly contradictory to the SSMU’s commitment to human rights and social justice, and we remain dedicated to supporting those members of our community who are most affected. We want to remind Muslim students and others who have been targeted by these hate crimes that they are valued and loved, and that there are support resources available on campus.
Furthermore, we wish to direct resources towards groups and campaigns that seek to respond collectively to such events. To this end, we are announcing a donation of $3000 to the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), a legal clinic that works on cases of racial and religious discrimination in Quebec. We encourage all students to take individual action and have begun compiling a list of current campus initiatives below. We welcome your further contributions to keep this list up to date.
The McGill administration is collecting feedback on how best to respond to the travel ban until Thursday, February 2nd at 12:00PM. We encourage students to share how they may be affected and urge the University to take concrete measures to uphold our values as an institution. Steps implemented at other universities include waiving application fees for students from the seven affected countries; providing emergency accommodation and financial aid to stranded students; and expediting enrolment and support services for eligible refugees.
Finally, to those in our community who feel fear or uncertainty during these times: the Students’ Society of McGill University is committed to standing with you collectively and speaking up in the face of injustice. As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback on how to do so most effectively.
Ben Ger, President
Sacha Magder, Vice-President (Operations)
Elaine Patterson, Vice-President (Student Life)
Erin Sobat, Vice-President (University Affairs)
Daniel Lawrie, Vice-President (Internal Affairs)
Niall Carolan, Vice-President (Finance)
David Aird, Vice-President (External Affairs)
Current Initiatives in Response to Immigration Ban and Islamophobic Acts
Suggested Steps for McGill*
- Waive application fees and accept late admissions for US and international students from the affected countries, for at least the 90-day period;
- Provide emergency accommodation and financial aid to US students stranded in Montreal;
- Match affected students, staff, and scholars to legal aid and host families, as required;
- Increase financial aid and support to accept refugee students;
- Lobby the Canadian government to withdraw from the “Safe Third Country” agreement and offer emergency resettlement to refugees previously approved for entry to the US;
- Plan for longer-term aid and accommodation of affected US and international students at McGill (i.e. beyond the Winter term).
Go to http://mcgill.ca/provost/impact-survey-us-travel-restrictions to share your thoughts by Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 12:00PM.
* Memorial University has committed to waiving application fees for students from the restricted countries, while the University of British Columbia has created a task force to respond to the ban with an initial $250 000 budget.
- Sign the petition to repeal the Safe Third Country Agreement: https://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/tell-trudeau-welcome-those-fleeing-violence-and-deportation-under-trump?source=noii&bucket=noii
- Write a letter to your local Member of Parliament: https://ccla.org/contact-your-mp-re-us-travel-ban/
- Start a letter-writing campaign: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_Nh99NEZAeWZ0dMSC1JNHdlSGc?usp=sharing
- Sign up for a legal aid volunteer shift (Law students): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1H0_bfryP_To1Ega2v6cBTbJwMX7rAuLSIHVEfBmz8Eo/edit#gid=0
- Sponsor a refugee: http://ccrweb.ca/en/take-action-syrian-refugees
- Participate with Montreal City Mission helping to integrate immigrant families, mainly Syrian refugees, into Montreal and the community http://www.montrealcitymission.org/en/
Canadian Organizations for Donations
- Canadian Civil Liberties Association: https://ccla.org/
- Canadian Council for Refugees: http://ccrweb.ca/en/home
- Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers: http://www.carl-acaadr.ca/
- Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec: https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/8609