TBS Newsbot

Rahaf chose Canada after we gave her no option

This morning, Canada accepted Rahaf al-Qunun. But her choice was made after our government chose to dither.



Well, Rahaf al-Qunun is safe, but she won’t be coming to Australia.

This morning, she was granted asylum status, and will officially be Canadian. Justin Trudeau said it was “…something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world, and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN’s request.”

According to Sophie McNeill, the ABC journalist who assisted Rahaf through the process, this wasn’t the plan.

Via Twitter, McNeill stated that “The Australians were processing her case. But the UN was concerned at how long it was taking. Security wise it was not ideal for her stay too long in Bangkok. Canada stepped up yesterday & (sic) completed her visa process in just one day…Rahaf, while obviously overjoyed at being safe & (sic) headed to a 3rd country, had still hoped to come to Australia, where her close friends are.”

The issue, swims in the subtext. It very much looks like we dragged out the process. While it is emboldening that Rahaf is safe, she’ll be entering a new country without the support networks that she would have had here.

The entirety of the situation leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Not that she chose Canada, but rather that the work of a brave few and an angry many was curtailed at the highest level of power. Canada’s rapid flexibility should be our shame.

It should be taken as a swipe at our national identity, the proud immigration nation that clearly has a problem with those who dare to enter it.