(This column was published in the North Shore News on Oct. 24, 2001)

 

'Refugees' more dangerous than anthrax

By Leo Knight

WHAT a week.

 

This has become a nation under siege. Since the anthrax attacks began in the United States, Canadians have been finding suspicious white powder everywhere. Emergency HazMat teams have been running from pillar to post dealing with their war on talcum powder.

 

As 9-1-1 operators field calls from citizens begging for victimhood, the nature of the anthrax scares are becoming asinine. Probably the most ludicrous one I heard about was in one of the biggest office complexes in downtown Calgary when the suspicious white powder turned out to be paper dust from a toilet roll.

 

Calm down, people.

 

Let's try and be realistic about the situation. There's no question we are facing risks heretofore unthinkable. But, as with any risk level in our lives, we need to assess the nature of the risk and respond accordingly. Neurotic panic is not an appropriate response.

 

In fact, the way things have been progressing on the home front is playing right into the terrorists' hands. Osama bin Laden and his band of lunatics must be bent over laughing in their caves as they realize the effect they are having on Western society.

 

The U.S.A. has a population of some 300 million or so. Canada's population is something over 30 million, about 10 per cent. The Americans are at the sharp end of the terror campaign and we are primarily observers. Is there really any chance that Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, sitting in their bungalow in the Highlands are going to receive an anthrax-laced letter?

 

In the States, the confirmed cases were directed at major American media outlets and the bastion of U.S. policy, the Capitol. There have been around 2,500 anthrax scares in the U.S., yet only a handful were real. To press time there are only nine confirmed cases of anthrax exposure and of those, six are of the contact variety not the lethal inhaled type.

 

This doesn't mean we should let down our guard. Quite the contrary. We are a part of the hated Western culture, close friend, biggest trading partner and military ally of the United States. Yes, we face a risk in this. But, we face a considerably higher risk of being killed in an earthquake than by anthrax contamination.

 

There is far greater risk from the hordes of "refugees" allowed in this country from fundamentalist Islamic countries who show up here without documents verifying their claimed identity.

 

In Ft. McMurray, RCMP arrested three men who are said to have links to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In their possession police found "a voluminous amount of documents, credit cards, travel documents and other documents," said Crown lawyer Slyvia Rapaj.

 

The documents showed they used a variety of names and had travelled extensively around the world, the U.S. and Canada. Two of the men are - surprise, surprise - refugee claimants in Canada. Doubtless they arrived in this country without documents and we simply let them in.

 

Just days before, at the Calgary airport, another man was arrested. That individual, a Pakistani national, had entered Canada as a refugee using a different name than he was using on the day he was arrested. He got bagged returning from Pakistan, after police determined a tube in his possession supposedly containing a lotion, actually contained white powder.

 

We don't yet know what the powder was, but we are assured by the authorities that it was not anthrax-laced. He had documents in his possession showing he also used a variety of names. In his bags were a number of passport photos of himself to go along with all those documents in other names.

 

Who and what he is, a garden-variety dope smuggler or violent terrorist, has yet to be determined. But what is certain is that he used our insane refugee policies for his benefit. While he was going through the process, he returned several times to Pakistan - you know, that oppressive country we are supposed to be giving him refuge from. And he did it under other names so as not to affect his claim. Now, he has landed immigrant status.

 

Also this week, RCMP Commissioner Giulani Zaccardelli demonstrated how, no matter how good your initial intentions, eventually you get finger-tamed by the liberal left bureaucracy. He said that Canada is not a safe haven for terrorists, parroting the government mantra despite its obvious inaccuracy.

 

"Zack" began his tenure as the country's top cop by saying that organized crime was the biggest threat facing Canada and he drew a straight line to Parliament. A week later he was on the Prime Minister's carpet getting the rules of the road explained to him.

 

Evidently he has learned well.

 

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