Shocking comments about sanctuary city

Hamilton is considering becoming Canada’s second sanctuary city. But reaction to the idea is revealing an undercurrent that’s upsetting at least one member of city council.

Sanctuary cities ensure that municipal and municipally-funded services are accessible to residents without full immigration status documents. The Hamilton sanctuary city initiative was pushing for the status — and filed 150 letters of endorsement from Hamiltonians in support of the cause. But after Councillor Sam Merulla posted a story about it on his Facebook page, he says he was more saddened than shocked when it came to the anti-immigrant comments that were being posted on his page: “Having been born and raised in Hamilton, I’ve always considered Hamiltonians to be very open minded and welcoming. This whole city, province and country was built on inviting new Canadians. And some of the language and some of the opinions wasn’t consistent to what this city is all about.”

Merulla points out the people getting the services need to be employed and have proper documentation before they can be eligible. So they are not taking away from other citizens. He also said the move is a way to show that Hamilton is a welcoming city. Toronto is Canada`s first sanctuary city.


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Elizabeth Suess says:

I think we as Hamiltonians should be very proud to be a sanctuary city. We are privileged to have things that we need right at our hands. Let’s share this wonderful city’s way of helping others. Nothing taken from us and we set a positive example that can be shared right across Canada. Stand Up Hamilton, be proud and be a good sport. Why shouldn’t we be there to help others help blossom our communties?

christina says:

We’ve been more than welcoming… at some point enough is enough!!

Doris Edwards says:

Christina: “We’ve been more than welcoming”? I suppose that means you have been included in the welcoming committee for new Hamiltonions? And, “at some point enough is enough”!! Says what? Do you have records of how much the new Hamiltonions have bought into our community? Or, how much they have contributed thus far? What is your “enough is enough” based on?

G Thomson says:

I find it very sad to see this kind of reaction. A large portion of the city were ‘first generation’ Canadians when they settled here. Portuguese, Italian, Irish, (and a host of others) all settled in Hamilton when they first arrived in Canada. They brought culture and diversity to the city and, enriched all. They were immigrants, too.

Robert says:

Maybe just maybe the people of Hamilton have had enough. We watch as our companies are sold to foreign ownership, only to be shut down and local people put out of work. We watch as mismanagement and bumbling and political infighting cause us to lose multiple projects. We pay the debt of mistakes that we did not cause or create. We support those who are either born in our country or those who have immigrated legally to our country. We watch as budget cuts and funding slashes destroy essential programs. We watch as our farm fields are decimated to allow growth while our downtown core rots. We pay are taxes gladly while they steadily increase. When oh when are we going to start looking after ourselves? When are we going to say enough is enough, take care of us first and then once the great people of this city are on a stable foot with a vibrant, prosperous, and well managed city than maybe if we all agree that it should be done can we look at helping those who shouldn’t be here in the first place. Oh yes I know, because I don’t like this I must be a racist or bigot. Not the case at all, they are ILLEGAL immigrants, who FOR REASON, must have been refused entry or status. If our immigration has made the decision that they can not stay in our country and they have made the decision to stay regardless than they need to deal with your own situation. Oh and to our local government, could you please at some point in your careers remember that you work for us, it would be nice to be consulted and listened to every once in awhile.

David Baker says:

I am a senior .. 70 years of age (approximately 60 years in Hamilton…my home of choice and preference) I am all for Hamilton in every way…and even as a sanctuary city…….IF…I am afforded the same rights and privileges as those seeking sanctuary. I am an aged resident and the new Quasimodo seeking sanctuary in my own town….

Doris Edwards says:

What is wrong with people!? Oh yah, they are enjoying being privileged, and so obviously could never understand that others may hit tough spots along the way where they could use a little help. There is something seriously wrong with a society who believes it’s their task to deny others a little help. To bitch and complain about it, is pretty damned self-righteous.

michelle says:

This all depends on what resources they will be entitled to. Will they be able to top the social housing list, that now has a 3 year wait in some parts of town? Will they be allowed subsidised daycare spots that also have over a year long waitlist? Will they be allowed long waited nursing home spots? Will they be entitled to Ontario works or another tax funded support system? These are already over burdened services. Sadly I don’t think it is financially wise to do this if this allowed.