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“Need to show they care”

Former mayoral candidate calls on city council to do more in wake of Syrain refugee crisis

Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees that have made their way to Europe rest at the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month. Regional council is waiving its no-grant policy in order to donate $25,000 toward an effort headed by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to bring several refugee families to Canada. Former Oshawa mayoral candidate Rosemary McConkey is calling on the city to do more itself.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Former mayoral candidate Rosemary McConkey and other citizens appeared before city council to ask for some help for those fleeing Syria.

McConkey was among those calling on city council to do more in dealing with refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria.

“So many Canadians are asking what can be done…and I believe our local politicians really need to show they care,” McConkey said.

At the committee level, council approved a $100 donation toward the Association of Municipalities of Ontario fund to aid in the crisis.

However, McConkey said with Ajax donating $5,000 and the much smaller Tay Township donating $500, Oshawa needed to do more.

“I think we can do better in terms of a next step,” she said.

And McConkey didn’t just mean in terms of monetary donations, referencing Toronto’s recent open house to gain feedback and ideas on how to deal with the influx of possible refugees, and Greater Sudbury’s step in setting up a task force to deal with the issue.

Council referred McConkey’s correspondence and ideas to the region’s health and social services committee.

Councillors Dan Carter and Bob Chapman were opposed to the referral.