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.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Toronto, 2031: The Most Racist Place On The Planet.

The Toronto Star, the ever race conscious promoter of diversity for diversity's sake tells us in this article the diversity is not our strength. Well, not exactly but the subtext is there.

The article is interesting because it offers a glimpse into the reality of race relations in Toronto. It is another article in which the left leaning Star admits that racism and discrimination are not exclusively linked to the chromosomes and genes of white males. In one example an owner of a Coffee Time doughnut shop, a Chinese woman, expressed her dislike for Turk's saying she didn't want Turk's in her store. In another example a Canadian born south Asian woman of the Muslim faith felt she was singled out by the office manager who is a black woman.

In the examples cited above and given in the article itself, those who felt harassed or discriminated against filed human rights complaints. Indeed, the article is more about the burgeoning human rights industry than it is about the tenuous relations between the many ethnic communities that make up the city.

The growth of a human rights industry is a natural outcrop of the social re-engineering that has been imposed onto Toronto and by extension the rest of the nation. The radical transformation of the country necessitates the need for a quasi police force to make sure dissent is effectively dealt with and that everyone falls in line to the expectations of those who are at the helm of Canada's social re-engineering efforts. It is about control by a handful of cultural elites. Popular will is irrelevant. Too many little people who need to be protected from themselves cannot be trusted with the direction of the country. That they have the franchise is democracy's biggest failing.

The irony is that if the Chinese woman didn't like Turk's before I'm sure she likes them even less now. And if that black woman didn't like Muslims I doubt she has reversed her opinion. You see, these human rights complaints didn't make things better. They made them worse. This is what minority groups don't get. Calls for accommodation and challenges to Canadian identity are not winning you popularity points and it is not making the country a better place. There is a reason why Muslims and Sikhs rate so low on national opinion polls and if you have to ask why then that there is your problem.

I still maintain that making whites a minority group will make the country more racist. An assured dominant racial group will be more accepting of racial minorities because they will not be threatened by their presence. Remove that assurance and you sow the seeds of discord.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

'Diversity Is Our Strength' Is Just A Four Word Sentence, Nothing More.

The slogan "diversity is our strength" is spoken as a self evident truth but how much value do Canadians place in it? The Ottawa Sun reported on a poll that suggests that popular support for state sanctioned multiculturalism, which is what we are really talking about when we discuss diversity, is tenuous.

For many, it is one of the things that defines Canada, something that sets an example for other countries.

However, according to a new poll, Canadians feel Canada’s Multiculturalism Act contributes less to Canadian unity than either the Charter of Rights or the Official Languages Act.

The poll, conducted by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies and released exclusively to QMI Agency, found that as Canadian multiculturalism gets ready to mark its 40th anniversary next year, only 55% of Canadians feel it is good for Canadian unity.

By comparison, 73.2% said the Charter of Rights contributes to Canadian unity and 57.8% agreed the Official Languages Act did.

So is diversity our strength? Harvard scholar Robert Putnam has some important findings to help us answer that question. From the Boston Globe we read:

IT HAS BECOME increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

[...]

His findings on the downsides of diversity have also posed a challenge for Putnam, a liberal academic whose own values put him squarely in the pro-diversity camp. Suddenly finding himself the bearer of bad news, Putnam has struggled with how to present his work. He gathered the initial raw data in 2000 and issued a press release the following year outlining the results. He then spent several years testing other possible explanations.

Though the study concentrates itself with the American experience Canada is not doing a better job of it.

Words describing Toronto as a multicultural harmonious society, that the social experiment is a success, are over stating the lived reality, which is a polite way of saying that the words lie. True, it's not all out war on Toronto's streets but the absence of conflict is not proof of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious utopia. In this Toronto Star article we read:

Severe overcrowding and poverty is heightening stress and ethnic tensions in Canada's most populated immigrant neighbourhood, says a study of the Thorncliffe Park community released Monday.

[...]

An influx of Afghans into the predominantly Indian and Pakistani community has seen regional tensions carried over into Canada. Meanwhile, only one part-time mental health worker serves residents, many who have fled violent conflicts.

More than 30,000 residents – mostly newcomers – are crowded into 34 highrise and lowrise apartments in a 2.2-square kilometre concrete jungle behind Don Mills Rd. and Don Valley Parkway. Frontline workers are worried the population is outpacing programs and services, hindering their ability to quickly integrate.

Toronto has become a city of enclaves. It will grow to a region of colonies. This will be replicated in major cities across Canada.

Though not openly admitted it can be observed and experienced simply by living in Toronto. The open secret is this: birds of a feather flock together. The appearance of social harmony is superficial and when on display is done for show mostly at the behest of some official government supported function. Even among first generation Canadians there is a tendency to associate with your own.

Saying "diversity is our strength" doesn't make is so especially when the lived reality begs to differ. To me it is nothing more than a four word sentence.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

It's The Singh Decision Stupid!: Concerning The Reforms To The Refugee System.

Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, recently announced reforms to the refugee system. You can read about it here at the National Post.

Mr. Kenney said the changes, once implemented, will cut the time it takes for a refugee claimant to get a hearing to two months from the current 19 and reduce to about two years from the average 4½ years the time it takes to evict a rejected applicant.

A total of $1.6-million of the new money has been earmarked for clearing the backlog of 60,000 asylum seekers.

[...]

The shorter timelines would be achieved by allowing trained public servants to make the first call on a refugee claim and limiting avenues of appeal currently open to those whose claims are rejected.

Mr. Kenney said the new limits on appeals are offset by the government's decision to create a new refugee appeal division, which would be charged with reviewing the first-level decision within four months and allowing new evidence to be submitted. Government appointees would staff the division.

One measure that already has refugee advocates, as well as some opposition politicians on high alert, would allow the immigration minister to designate a list of "safe" countries of origin.

Refugee claimants from those "safe" countries would not have the right to appeal to the new division. Their only recourse would be the Federal Court of Canada.


Here is Martin Collacott's response in the National Post to the announced proposals.

The new proposals include major changes to how refugee claims will be handled. One controversial feature is that public servants will conduct an initial information-gathering interview with asylum seekers and will also preside over the actual hearings of cases in the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. In the past, such hearings were conducted by Governor-in-Council appointees, many of whom were drawn from the ranks of immigration activists.

As the Auditor General of Canada has pointed out, the results of the old system could be wildly inconsistent. In one report the A-G noted that the approval rate for people from one particular country was 4% at one regional IRB regional boards, but 49%and 82%at others. While refugee activists argue that the use of public servants in such roles leaves open the possibility of political interference in the decision-making process, the fact is that such a system is used effectively in many other countries including Britain, France, Australia and the United States. Claimants whose cases are rejected will be able to lodge appeals with a new Refugee Appeals Division in the IRB composed of completely independent Government-in Council appointees or ask for a review by the Federal Court.

Perhaps the most contentious of Kenney's proposals will be that Canada designates safe countries of origin. Many other countries do this in order to avoid having their systems clogged with large numbers of claims by people from countries with democratic governments and good human rights records. We made provision to establish such a list in the late 1980s but the government yielded to pressure from refugee lobbyists and dropped the idea.


And as is should be expected the rent seekers are "concerned".

Janet Dench, executive director of the Montreal-based Canadian Council for Refugees, says she is already hearing complaints from lawyers that the 60-day limit is unworkable, given the need to collect material to document specific cases of alleged persecution and also obtain credible research on the state of human rights in any given country.

If it has immigration lawyers worried then it must be a good thing. Look, who are these people kidding? The more time they spend handling a case the more billable hours they collect. So, of course a reduction in time for a refugee claimant to get a hearing bothers them. Of course restricting the avenues for appeals bothers them. It means less work them. As for the welfare of the refugee claimant? Spare me! They know very well that most refugees are bogus and if these reforms discourage people from filing bogus refugee claims it means a diminished base of clients. With lawyers it's always about money.

Will these reforms do the trick? I don't know. When it comes to the government it's always wait and see. However the reforms should have went even further and addressed the Singh decision. Lorrie Golstein writes in the Edmonton Sun:

In fairness, Kenney is trying to clean up a mess he inherited and no political party is prepared to do what’s necessary.

First, the government would invoke the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause and revoke the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1985 Singh decision. Second, it would move from the selective detention of refugee claimants (about 20%) to systematic detention, until the veracity of claims could be determined.

Canada’s refugee system fell apart following the Supreme Court’s Singh decision, which basically extended the protection of the Charter of Rights to anyone who could get a foot on Canadian soil.

That has led to today’s massive backlog of 60,000 claimants. It now takes an average 19 months just to get an initial hearing, 41/2 years to determine a bogus claim.

We’ve lost track of 38,000 failed claimants ordered deported — some criminals and terrorists.

Last year, 33,000 people made refugee claims. Almost 60% will be rejected. Each failed claimant costs Canadians $50,000 in health and social service expenses. Billions are being wasted while genuine refugees face years of uncertainty in the system.

Revoking Singh and rebuilding the refugee process — still with safeguards, just not to the point of absurdity — is step one.

It's the Singh decision stupid! It's THE major cause undermining the integrity of Canada's refugee system.

Lorrie Golstein continues and says we should detain all refugees until their identities can be verified and their status determined. I agree with him on the point that those who are genuine would not be bothered by this procedure considering what horror they must have experienced. Bogus claimants would be annoyed by the inconvenience and could be discouraged from filing a claim in the first place. It will also make deportations of failed claims more efficient since they would be prevented from disappering by going underground or sneaking into the United States.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Toronto Gridlock The Worst Among Nineteen Urban Centers.

It's even worse than the traffic congestion of Los Angeles and New York.

Toronto, with an average total commute time of 80 minutes, ranked dead last among 19 urban centres, the board found in its annual prosperity scorecard, which compares Toronto with metropolitan areas around the world in 34 categories to measure how the city is competing in the global economy.

Overall, Toronto finished fourth in the ranking, but the report highlights a discrepancy between the city's strong ability to attract labour and its mediocre economic performance.

"Our most glaring downfall is our embarrassing finish on commuting time," board president Carol Wilding said, noting Toronto lags behind the legendary Los Angeles by 24 minutes, earning a grade of D.

[...]

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates traffic congestion in Toronto costs the country more than $5-billion annually in lost productivity, while the Ministry of Transportation's bi-annual review of traffic congestion indicates average speeds on some of Toronto's busiest sections of roads are being recorded at 38 kilometres an hour.

To avoid dealing with the source of the problem, which is too much immigration, delays in improving Toronto's transit system is the politically safe scape goat. This isn't to say that improvements in the city's mass transit system are not needed, in fact they are welcomed. But to ignore mass immigration's contribution to the problem and in consequence to the decline in the quality of life in Toronto does not help. It is a problem and if the traffic woes of Canada's urban areas are to be addressed we need to discuss it.

To punctuate how mass immigration is making Canada's cities unlivable Montreal ranked eighteen out of nineteen on the list, Vancouver ranked fourteenth, and Calgary ranked thirteenth. These cities are the top draws for immigrants collectively absorbing close to all of them.

I know many do not want to acknowledge it but mass immigration is making Toronto unlivable.