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.