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Canada: MPP Jagmeet Singh reaches out to Somali community

Can-India News
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last week MPP Jagmeet Singh met with representatives from the Positive Change Group, a community based Somali organization comprising mothers, relatives and family members of Somali Canadian young men who’ve met a violent end.

Community members spoke about the issues ofviolence, education, unemployment, and social housing that plagues the community and correlated it to the increased murder rates of young and alienated Somali men. The Positive Change Group is “calling on the provincial government to convene an emergency summit that would bring together federal, provincial, municipal governments and their agencies, school boards, non governmental organizations, police, labour and business.”

There are over 80,000 Somalis living in and around the GTA and thousands more in Ottawa and Alberta . Many of these people came to Canada as refugees fleeing ironically the bloodshed and violence that to this day afflicts Somalia.

MPP Jagmeet Singh to the rescue.

Unfortunately, the same cycle of violence and bloodshed seems to be following Somali youth. The questions being asked is why.

The root of the problem starts with the eyebrow raising number high school dropouts- 35 percent. With few skills that would equip them to get some gainful employment and no high school degree, unemployment is inevitable. Theunemployment rate for Somalis is now well above 20 percent, the highest of any ethnic group.
The community has been asking for help for many years now. With no job prospects, many young Somali men have been lured into the drug trade which has claimed many lives.

Vowing to tackle this issue, MPP Sing said, “Our government must take action to address the concerns of Somali-Canadians. I stand with the Somali community in calling all levels of government to work together and find solutions to these problems.”

Singh will host a follow up meeting with the Positive Change Group and other Somali community representatives sometime next week.

The government at the most will end up throwing more money at the problem, offer more after school programs and other assistance but the main issue that needs to be resolved is getting young Somalis to stay in school long enough to get their high school degree and encourage them to get into college or into the trades. It is not clear whether it is the role of the government to ensure this happens or the community. Regardless, a joint partnership between the community and government agencies is the only way to address this issue.


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