Watson inclined to reject sanctuary motion

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Mayor Jim Watson says he won't support any motion to declare Ottawa a sanctuary city, unless it provides benefits for refugees.

The motion was suggested by Councillor Catherine McKenney last month, but so far, there's no detail on how she plans to word her motion, or whether she'll try to present it at Wednesday's city council meeting.

Watson told CFRA's "News and Views with Rob Snow" that Ottawa has always been a welcoming city for refugees - most recently, to the two-thousand Syrian refugees who've settled here in the capital over the past 15 months.

"I'm not interesting in supporting something that is simply tokenism, or a gesture that is good in politics but doesn't do anything to help people," Watson said.

"I'm not inclined to support something that has no meaning, and we have no authority to implement or to pursue."

Watson has asked the city's legal staff to give him an opinion on whether such a motion would make any difference in the city's treatment of refugees.