Nahlah Ayed (CBC News)
How many of those who died trying to cross the Mediterranean were ultimately headed for Canada we do not know, but we do know there was at least one family of four.
The Kurdis came from Kobani, the now-forgotten northern Syrian city on the border with Turkey that was virtually emptied of people while Kurdish forces fought over it with Islamic State extremists.
The only survivor of the family is Abdullah, the father. His wife, Rehan, and two sons drowned when the boat they gambled on capsized on its journey to Europe.
Little Aylan Kurdi, 3, was photographed washed up on the Turkish shore, suddenly refocusing the Syrian tragedy in a single image that has broken millions of hearts.
He might have become a Canadian.
The National Post reports this little family’s privately sponsored refugee application to Canada was hand-delivered by NDP member of Parliament Fin Donnelly to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
It was apparently rejected — possibly, says the Post, because the United Nations wouldn’t register them as refugees, and because Turkey wouldn’t give them exit visas.
In other words, red tape — and their identity — got in the way.
What this tragedy makes clear is the direct relationship between the lack of options refugees have and their willingness to take desperate measures.
That’s evident in the sheer number of Syrians who, faced with the uncertainty and untenable future of life in tents or derelict, borrowed housing in inhospitable neighbouring countries, opt instead for the enormous risks of treacherous smugglers and the seas. […]
At last count, there were more than four million Syrians languishing in neighbouring countries and nearly eight million internally displaced. It is the worst such crisis in 25 years.
Canada has taken in 2,500 from Syria, and some 20,000 from Iraq. The prime minister has promised to take in 10,000 more Middle East refugees in the next four years. The Liberals are promising to take in 25,000.
Draw your own conclusions.