The mere fact that the media has zeroed in on Tagalog as the fastest growing immigrant language, and the public's surprise of this so-called linguistic phenomenon, is telling of the social insignificance of Canada's third largest ethnic group. Sure, Filipinos are common props in fast-food restaurants, hotels and homes, but their lack of political and economic weight renders them invisible despite their large presence and 24/7 work cycles.
Bill C-43 The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act: An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act thus far has passed First Reading. As a criminal defence lawyer working in the multicultural city of Toronto, I will have to quickly ascertain the citizenship of my clients in the first interview and quickly advise them of the potential dire consequences if they are either refugees or non-citizens.
In introducing Bill C-43 -- the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act -- the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration offered several justifications for this legislation, which on first impression, appear warranted. But the very title of the legislation suggests that Canada is overrun with foreign terrorists, escaped convicts, war criminals and the like. That's only the tip of the iceberg for this highly problematic piece of legislation.
Canada's immigration selection system has always been rigorous, in part because we have viewed immigrants as "citizens in waiting." After three years of permanent residence, they are able to apply for citizenship and more than 89 per cent choose to do so -- one of the highest naturalization rates in the world. But, recent and proposed changes to Canada's immigration and citizenship rules are making it much more difficult for immigrants to become citizens.
Last night Obama needed to win. There really was no other option. Obama was so on (and then some) that you could feel Bill Maher's elation when he tweeted about the return of the "Black Ninja." Then it got seriously real when the issue of energy and drilling companies motivated both to pretty much get into each other's grills creating one of many unexpected and unforgettable moments. Moments such as a woman named Lorraine. Or was it Lorianne? In fact, there was a binder full of women. Romney attempting to spike the ball by asking Obama repeatedly if he has in fact checked his (much smaller) pension. And Michelle and Ann's fashion blunder.
Uprooted from their lives, sometimes in a violent manner, many refugees find themselves in alien lands with little or no knowledge of the local language or culture and (generally) without friends or family to help a lending hand. Most western governments refer to refugees as "clients" or "customers" when processing their applications. There's little or no recognition of the person behind the paperwork. That's where Canada's Romero House comes in.
Misinformation about Canada's evolving demographics is all too common in the national media and it usually goes unchallenged. There are many myths perpetuated in the national dialogue (like "hockey is Canada's #1 sport," and "Canada respects the environment"). In an age where Canada's multicultural fabric is bafflingly unnoticeable in the upper echelons of influence, we have a long way to go to achieve the dream of an equal and just society.
Toronto, is seen as "some kind of paradise" to Roma in Hungary, who face daily persecution. This brought on a nauseating feeling as I thought of the current government's portrayal of Hungary as a "safe country" for the Roma people, who are themselves portrayed as bogus claimants. I thought of the Roma refugee claimants I have seen in my clinic, who are simply trying to find safety for themselves and their families, like anybody would.
On Monday, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced that the federal government had started the process of revoking the citizenship of 3,100 people suspected of lying to immigration officials in a highly publicized press conference.Fiscally conscious Canadians, who appreciate arithmetic, can see through this ideological contrivance.
Last week I had the pleasure along with a few other journalists to see exactly how Tony Loschiavo and his executive chef they utilize their 3000 sq.ft garden in the ethnic enclave of the Bathurst manor to produce fresh food delights that make the palate dance with joy. Located a short walk from the Bathurst Paese, the organic garden overwhelms you at first site.
Journalist Doug Sanders, whose latest book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten The West? tackles (and pretty much straightens out) the laundry-list of misconceptions and falsehoods that has made its way from the fringe to the forefront of the public domain about Muslim immigration and the West. In this interview, he goes in-depth on the larger issues.
Over the last year, the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Québec were called to renew their representatives in their respective provincial legislatures. But Contrary to the trend in Ontario and Alberta, where the revelation of a candidate's bias would stain a campaign, Parti Québecois rose in the polls following the aforementioned disturbing disclosures, and even managed to win a minority government.
Jean-François Lisée, star candidate of the Parti Québécois divulged the PQ's vision of "maintaining a majority of native French-speaking citizens on Island of Montreal." That means a PQ government would favour an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, who speaks French at home, over a French-speaking Shanghai immigrant wishing to settle in La Belle Province.
Canada is finally moving toward a smart, two-step immigration policy -- like Australia and others have -- that will recruit talent through a targeting policy of foreign student education. Most foreign students in Canada get their degrees and never come back. Most Australians apply to remain and the majority stay.
After much indignation from Canadians, some who do not fit the "neutral ethnicity" the Bank of Canada's P.R. team had seemingly invented, Bank governor Mark Carney, offered a carefully worded statement this morning. Though the governor "apologizes to those who were offended," admitting that "the Bank's handling of this issue did not meet the standards Canadians," there were many points missing from the statement. The Twitterverse is abuzz about the underlying problems in Canadian society which proclaims allegiance to multiculturalism.
As a Canadian, I often balk at examples of racism and discrimination so explicit in American politics.In the fallout of Toronto's recent shootings, however, Mayor Rob Ford and Minister Jason Kenney's comments about reviewing "immigration law" (Ford) and "foreign gangsters" (Kenney) are guilty of exactly what members of Mitt Romney's team have done -- attempting to turn certain communities into "others" who are somehow less American or Canadian because they are racial minorities.
The 14-year-old boy in the burka buying liquor from the LCBO was a big story recently -- and the problem is not 14-year-old grade 8 boys buying booze, but of anyone wearing a burka or veil, rarely being questioned. Who can blame the LCBO cashier for not risking the wrath of human rights zealots? The greater implications of this burka-and-booze story is that it could happen anywhere. The burka is an ideal disguise in our country, because we are so sensitized to pretending it's normal, that we are reluctant to cause a scene by asking questions.
Gil Blutrich, an Israeli born entrepreneur moved to Canada after many successful business ventures. However the one project of which he is so very proud is his purchase of the grand old lady of the Great lakes; the last remaining ship of its kind, the SS Keewatin. Thanks to a Canadian Israeli with a true sense of history, a relic of our past will now remind Canadians of a proud maritime era.
So I'm standing outside "The Barn" restaurant ("It's called The Barn because all the animals go there" I was once told), having a smoke, and some hapless soul walks up and asks me for a cigarette. That'll teach me to open up a full pack on Queen Street. As I hand this guy his smoke, he looks at me, and in all sincerity asks "Do you know Tony?".
On Wednesday June 27 Bill C-31: Protecting Canada's Immigration Act was cleared through the Senate leaving a stain on our country's immigration and refugee protection system, a system that we as Canadians could once be proud of. With the passage of this bill, several principles which have defined us as Canadians for decades have now been compromised and our world's most vulnerable populations will now have to pay the price.