Dead migrant child sparks election furor

A soldier removes the body of Alan Kurdi from a Turkish beach; September 2, 2015

There’s a big Canadian connection to the disturbing image of a young Syrian child’s body that washed up on shore in Turkey.

A family drowned trying to reach Europe from Syria after Canada rejected their refugee application. Photos of the three year old boy have put a devastating face on the refugee crisis.

Three year old Alan Kurdi, his brother, and his mother died when their overloaded boat capsized in the waters off Turkey. Alan’s father survived.

A relative who lives in the Vancouver area appealed to NDP candidate Fin Donnelly. Donnelly hand-delivered a letter to the office of federal immigration minister Chris Alexander office but never heard back.

Alexander has temporarily suspended his election campaign to focus on this tragedy. In a statement, Alexander says “the tragic photo of young Alan Kurdi and the news of the death of his brother and mother broke hearts around the world.”

“I am meeting with officials to ascertain both the facts of the case of the Kurdi family and to receive an update on the migrant crisis.”

Alan’s uncle has come forward today slamming Canada’s refugee process. NDP leader Tom Mulcair is calling this a national failure.

“This morning we see a little boy getting picked up on the beach. As a dad and a granddad it is just unbearable that we are doing nothing. Canada has an obligation to act and it would be too easy this morning to start assigning blame.”

“Chris Alexander has a lot to answer for, but that is not where we are. We are worried about how we got here. How the collective international response has been so defective. How Canada has failed so completely.”

“The U-N has asked us to immediately take in 10,000. Let us do that and we can start from there.”

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau commented this morning. “These particular little boys should be right now preparing for the beginning of the school year in Vancouver with their cousins instead of reminding us all that Canada over the past years has failed to be the country that we like to imagine it to be.”

Trudeau was then asked to give his reaction to minister Alexander suspending his campaign to focus on this issue. Trudeau said “you don’t get to suddenly discover compassion during an election campaign. You either have it or you don’t.”

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