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PEC Syria volunteers preparing to welcome more families

Kiwanis members presented a gift of $500 to PEC Syria at their Christmas meeting Monday in Picton.

Kiwanis members presented a gift of $500 to PEC Syria at their Christmas meeting Monday in Picton. Above, President John Inrig makes the presentation to PEC Syria Fund-raising Chair Robin Baranyai.

Prince Edward County is preparing to welcome two more Syrian refugee families – in Wellington.

Approximately 150 County residents have joined the PEC Syria organization to assist where ever they can. Work is unfolding by the volunteers as it did in October for the group’s first sponsored family, as the arrival dates of the new families are unknown.

During its Christmas party, the Kiwanis Club of Picton presented a gift of $500 to Robin Baranyai, fund-raising chair, with PEC Syria. She told president John Inrig Picton’s family is settling in well and its 14 members are quickly learning English and making friends.

“It will help that we already have this family here to help us settle coming families,” she said. “Seeing the children settled at school is wonderful.”

PEC Syria founder Carlyn Moulton was interviewed Monday morning on CBC Radio and explained some of the issues and challenges facing groups, and the refugee families, across the country.

More than 200 Syrian refugees fleeing strife in their war-torn country are expected to arrive in Toronto Tuesday afternoon with more to arrive in the coming days and weeks. Immigration Minister John McCallum said Monday there are just shy of 1,000 refugees in the country so far.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, 11 million Syrians have been displaced, or about half of the entire country. Four million of them have fled across Syria’s borders, and 75 per cent are women and children.

Those wishing to make donations, or assist the families new to Prince Edward County, should visit PEC Syria, on Facebook.  and on the website at
Email: or call 613-779-0301

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  1. Emily says:

    Nice little article that leads off by labelling any people with concerns as suspicious, racist or fearful. That’s quite a leap and disingenuous. Mallick provides her history lesson but fails to recognize the differences in the terror laden world today. All most are asking for is thorough screening to ensure Canadians are safe and protected while they welcome newcomers to our country. When you open your home and wallet for people in need that is not a lot to ask in return.

  2. judy kennedy says:

    for anyone who’s interested–please read Heather Mallick’s column in the Star today.

  3. Gary says:

    Been reading this with interest. Find it fundamental that Judy declares she has nothing more to say on this subject, summarily dismissing any legitimate Canadian concerns such as they are unworthy.

  4. Paul Cole says:

    The United Nations has screened many of the refugees already and Canadian authorities will do a secondary screening process. I do have confidence in the Canadian Intelligence agencies involved as well as other countries Intelligence agencies sharing information.

    I do understand some of my fellow Canadians have concerns about safety, if we change what we would do normally because of something that may or may not happen the terrorist have succeeded in terrorizing us.

  5. judy kennedy says:

    We are all the same people, no matter where we are from. Does it escape you that building bridges now can only mean a better future? Inclusiveness is the key, while exclusion has no justification.
    As far as local charities go, they are quite well supported, and most likely by the same people who get behind the settlement of new Canadians. One does not preclude the other.
    I have nothing else to say on this matter.

  6. Susan says:

    It is fine and honourable to support the influx of refugees. But do not be naive and also respect the legitimate concerns of many Canadians that this is done correctly. The concerns are not only presently but in the future, that our Country is not jeopordized. This country also has many residents that require appropriate housing, food, clothing and affordable access to medical care. Let’s not forget our own while this gracious offer plays out.

  7. Emily says:

    I am not living in fear and I am not ignorant to the potential risks if the government does not conduct due diligence. Ignorance is turning a blind eye to the issues we are fighting and placing Canadians in danger.

  8. Marnie says:

    Stop living in Camelot, Judy, and realize that we did not pull these concerns randomly from a hat. There have been recent incidents of terrorism that cannot be ignored or denied. It’s up to the government to establish the screening rules. No one is suggesting that we should be making the decisions. We are just asking that those in authority take a careful look at the refugees that soon will be streaming into our country. There is a difference between taking reasonable precautions and charging off on witch hunts.

  9. judy kennedy says:

    What constitutes proper screening for you people? Would you like to have the final say yourself? Good grief. Give your head a shake and stop living in fear and ignorance.

  10. Marnie says:

    Who would have believed that the World Trade Centre would be bombed or marathon runners victimized by bombers? We cannot afford to think that it could never happen here. That does not mean we should be on a witch hunt but thorough screening is just common sense. The brutality of the attacks we have witnessed indicates that their perpetrators do not think in the way of most civilized people. While we might like to believe the best we should remain alert to the fact that the threat is real.

  11. Paul Cole says:

    I thought I was being realistic Emily, in reality to date there has been zero foreign born terrorist attacks in Canada. Could it happen ? possibly, as much as it is realistic that it could happen is the same as thinking it may not happen. Imagining something could happen is not reality. And I will not be scared into thinking it will happen…

  12. Fred says:

    The risk of the immigrant children being radiclized in the next decade is a concern. Time can only determine what will happen as we are now well down the road. I am glad I grew up in the glorious 60’s and have had the benefit of a great life. This extremism and religious nonsense that prevents happiness, freedom to explore and a sense of general safety that we had the opportunity to experience as youths and adults is just sad. I worry for my grandchildren as the world has changed forever. And I do not know how any can say it is for the better.

  13. Emily says:

    Paul be realistic. Extremism from the middle east knows no borders. The female terrorist is a perfect example of what goes wrong without adequate thorough screening. No one is saying anything other than take the time and screen properly to ensure Canadians safety. ISIS sees this as a perfect storm to get in. There threat is not to be taken lightly. They put guns in the hands of children and have them watch or assist with beheadings! Just ensure the immigrants entering Canada are deserving and legitimate. That shouldn’t have to be asked for as it is the prime responsibility of our Government, to protect the citizens.

  14. Paul Cole says:

    The female terrorist Tashfeen Malik was not a Syrian Refugee and she came to the United States on a Fiancee visa and was vouched for by the other terrorist her husband Syed Rizwan Farook your comparing apples and oranges Emily

  15. judy kennedy says:

    as I said, I’m proud to welcome these new Canadians.

  16. Emily says:

    Now really Judy. Do you want folks to think that children are immigrating alone. The female terrorist from Pakistan and Saudi that killed 14 in the US that their families are grieving for at Christmas time was not properly screened. And we know the result. Proper in depth screening is what many want to be assured of.

  17. judy kennedy says:

    yes, there really are a lot of 3 year old terrorists, aren’t there?

  18. Emily says:

    Proper vetting is code for ensuring that refugees have no links or sympathies to extremism or terrorism that could place this Nation at risk. That is not a lot to ask given the reward.

  19. judy kennedy says:

    Totally,Paul! As for “proper vetting” please explain to me what that is and how you do it to an infant or young child? I trust the process. And I think you people have been sold a bill of goods. “Proper vetting” is code for we don’t want these people.
    Good thing our ancestors avoided “proper vetting”.

  20. Paul Cole says:

    The Syrian Refugee crisis began in April 2011 Canada should have been helping then but Mr Harper and his ConArtist party dropped the ball settling less then 150 Syrian Refugees by June 2015 the lack of leadership from Harper was the problem.. The United Nations has screened many Syrian Refugees during those four years now a second layer is in place and Mr Trudeau and the Liberal party are doing what is right and safely. Proud to be Canadian again

  21. Emily says:

    It is a difficult situation and I don’t believe the intent is racism or bigotry. People are going to have concerns and rightly so. Many countries are determining the safest course of action. Welcoming immigrants of course, ensuring Canadians safety now and in the future of course. Definitive vetting is a must. It’s a different world.

  22. Safety First says:

    Washburn, can only assume you live on that street/have never read a book.

  23. washburn says:

    @Safety First,
    You’re not thinking safety 1st anymore ?

  24. Susan says:

    Mr. Trump is not worthy of holding office in my opinion, for various reasons however I am not speaking about Trump. Speaking about thorough and complete vetting given the risks involved. Many countries are struggling with this issue.

  25. Safety First says:

    How many Trump 2016 bumper stickers do you own?

  26. Susan says:

    I don’t think laughing is appropriate in response to the recent deaths that are Jihad related. The US immigration are adamant that refugees cannot be properly vetted on this short notice mass immigration.

  27. Safety First says:

    The world is laughing at the U.S right now for a lot of things, and thats one of them.

  28. judy kennedy says:

    I am a Canadian. The US is a foreign country with which I do not share values currently being espoused by wack jobs and political opportunists such as Donald Trump.

  29. Susan says:

    It is worthy of noting that Canada’s closet Allie and friend the USA, the majority their want no refugees to enter. They believe the risk is just too high.

  30. judy kennedy says:

    Wonderful work. I am proud to welcome these new Canadians.

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