Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Is This The Start Of A Resistance Movement?

Hérouxville, Quebec is in the news again or at least one of its residents is. That resident is André Drouin. He drafted the town charter that barred stoning, burning and genital mutilation of women, among other things, in the sleepy hamlet. It passed prompting the cultural and political elites in the rest of the nation to hem, haw, and moral grandstand.

That was in 2007. Now in 2010 it appears André Drouin and the people of Hérouxville were onto something. From the The Gazette article:

But the recent storm over the niqab suggests l'affaire Hérouxville was no anomaly. Drouin is now lending his support to a nascent coalition that aims to drum up opposition to immigration and multiculturalism in English Canada.

"Three years ago, they thought I was a mad person, but right now I don't think they think the same thing," Drouin said.

A recent Angus Reid poll showed 95 per cent of Quebecers - and 80 per cent of all Canadians - support a provincial bill barring the tiny minority of Muslim women who wear a face veil from giving or receiving government services, including education and health care.


In recent months, Drouin has spoken to small groups in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, where his tough talk on minorities strikes a chord with long-time critics of Canada's immigration policy like Martin Collacott, a senior fellow at the conservative Fraser Institute.

Collacott and James Bissett, both retired diplomats who frequently write on immigration issues, and Drouin are among the founders of a new group that will push for a radical reduction in immigration and a tougher stand on minority accommodation.

Collacott said organizers are putting the finishing touches to a website
and will launch the group, tentatively called the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, in June.

Media coverage of the recent niqab controversy showed the fault lines between English Canada and Quebec, where many in the media have called for stricter curbs on the rights of religious minorities. But Collacott suggested many in English Canada share Quebecers' concerns over the integration of newcomers.

"If you look at actual surveys, English-speaking Canada is not that different from Quebec," he said.


He charged that English-Canadian editorialists who criticized Quebec's tough stand on the niqab "were in a multicultural fog." Such columnists as Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail and Mark Steyne of Macleans also have accused other members of the English-speaking media of being out of touch with Canadians' views on multiculturalism. "On this one, I'm with the 'intolerant' Quebecers," Steyne wrote.

To provide balance the article grants space to the typical multi-culti apologist who thinks he represents all Canadians and thus know what Canadians are thinking. The apologist is Joseph Carens who is, no surprises here, an academic at the University of Toronto. He makes two predictable claims that need to be challenged. The first one is Canadians outstanding support for immigration, the highest in the world. The other is that multiculturalism is a "deeply held value for Canadians".

I assume Joseph Carens is basing his assertions on surveys and polls commissioned to measure Canadians' attitudes regarding immigration. Surveys and polls regarding immigration are often skewed to give responses that are favourable to those who commissioned them. This goes for advocates and critics alike. So polls are not very reliable and can be manipulated to satisfy agendas. Besides, which polls and surveys is he relying on because I can produce a few that contradict what he claims. Furthermore I expect Canadian attitudes toward immigration to be positive. Even I support immigration to a degree but Canadians' strong support for immigration is by no means a mandate to radically alter the character of the country. Also, to say that one favours immigration doesn't mean one favours current immigration trends and its consequences. I favour immigration but I do not favour more immigration but do favour less, more selective immigration. To flatly state that Canadians' support for immigration is strong as if they are lending their support for the current immigration system is disingenuous and misleading.

His second assertion is one of those unquantifiable slogans of the pro immigration crowd. How does one know that multiculturalism is a "deeply held value for Canadians"? How do you measure that and how can you say that with so much confidence? It's just as valid to say, and persuasively argue, that Canadians reject multiculturalism.

I hope what started in Hérouxville, a bona fide act of resistance, spreads across the country. Canadians need to be made aware of the consequences, good and bad, of the immigration system. Changes to the immigration system will only occur if political pressure is applied so Canadians need to collectively speak up. And the more who do the more will feel it is safer to express what they really think. The discussion has been one sided, unbalanced, and bigoted towards the host majority society for far too long, controlled by those who claim to represent us and thus think for us and speak for us. I don't know about you but they don't speak for me. I wish they did because then I can surrender this blog.


Anonymous said...

Why does Quebec still have it's own Immigration System, when more than 60% of the people that it shovels into this country, relocate to another province!?!

Anonymous said...

I thank you for your comments. While I welcome immigration at drastically reduced levels, I have to agree that some political debate on this issue needs to be aired in Parliament and Legislature. Living in Toronto for the past 7 years, I have become an extreme minority here (white, multi-generational Canadian) and feel tension and stress all the time in Toronto. It's a permeating feeling, you just know people are seething and ready for hard-lined debate. I have traditionally been a very left-oriented political person, but am finding that those sensibilities are being erased with every Burka/Niqab/Turban/religious iconography I see and/or entire areas of the city completely displacing native Canadians (both European and Aboriginal). While I understand the past atrocities, those WERE in the distant past, and therefore, we have every right to dictate the direction of our country as CANADIANS, not muzzled pacifists. It is being entirely consumed by newcomers at the behest of those whose families have invested in this place for millenia or even less than that. I, for one, do not want our country to become an incubator for religious extremism or cultural values I do not agree with. Much of my frustration comes with language and religion, not race as that doesn't matter to me. My group of friends is diverse, but they all have common Canadian values of casual spirituality, generally liberal values and living a peaceful life. I will definitely be keeping an eye open for the new website coming up in June.


Anonymous said...

I have lived in Toronto my whole life, and have only noticed within the past couple of years maybe the MAJOR increase in immigration! White people are definetly the minority in Toronto and the worst part is there is nothing I can do about it. I thought maybe Parliment would get the idea to stop or at least slow down immigration as that is not what Canada wants, but instead it was released a couple of weeks ago that Canada will be taking in an additional 100,000 immigrants on top of their original intake in order to pay for seniors pensions. I dont see Canada slowing down immigration policies at all, and from the looks of it I think I will have to move to the States and work there if it comes down to it. In the article they talk about Muslim woman being the tiny minority, but in a couple of years or less they will be everywhere. I am already seeing a lot in my neighbourhoos when I didnt see any before. I am not trying to sound racist but there is no other way to express myself seeing that no one want to talk about this issue because they are worried about being "politically incorrect", yet there is no other way to say it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for both your blog and the information it contains. It is high time that a forum such as yours came into being to express the deep concerns of many Canadians that immigration has reached a new and dangerous phase in which misguided policies threaten to destroy the very essence of the Canadian identity.

Yes. This is, in my opinion, the beginning of a resistance movement involving Canadians of many backgrounds who feel overwhelmed by the displacement of their European based culture by a politically correct misguided immigration policy. In creating such a policy we have committed a grave error, and people are just beginning to realize the extent and gravity of it. In this sense we are repeating the mistakes Europe made three or four decades ago, and which it is only now acknowledging. If we begin to act, we will not have to go through the kind of pain they have experienced.

What we must now do is stop apologizing for our beliefs and feelings and take action to insure that our voices are heard on both the provincial and federal level, and that things begin to change. Clearly, admitting such large numbers of immigrants who come here and establish silo communities at odds with traditional Canadian European values is both dangerous and misguided, not to say unjust to those multi generational Caucasian Canadians whose ancestors built this country. This is already an accepted and tacitly understood idea.

What we need now is commitment, organization, and, most of all, action. I applaud the work of the Council for Immigration Policy Reform and Immigration Watch Canada as beginnings toward saner immigration policies and the assertion of the rights of native European Canadians. Let us act now. This is the beginning of a resistance movement, but it needs our committed and courageous action to spread it across Canada and influence public policy.