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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:26 pm
 


$1:
Canada: a nation of bigots?

It's clear that our national renown for tolerance is breaking down

MARTIN PATRIQUIN | October 22, 2007 |

Claude Bazinet, a tall man with a wild wisp of white hair, stood on nervous legs and, to a packed room with television cameras rolling, spewed forth his feelings on the immigrants coming to his native Quebec. He spoke of Quebec's tiny Hasidic Jewish population who have "built houses on our land" and surrounded them with fences; he castigated those new arrivals who, because of their skin colour, were favoured by his former employer; he suggested the Muslim faith was endangering Christmas.

"We receive them here, we feed them, we house them, we give them an education, and they don't integrate at all," Bazinet said into the microphone. "What do they do to accommodate? Nothing." As he sat down, many in the audience winced. But many others clapped.

Bazinet, a former Bell Canada employee who grew up in Montreal, is one of roughly 340 people who have spoken their mind so far at Quebec's hearings on "reasonable accommodations," a travelling commission chaired by two academics attempting to gauge the province's feelings on immigrants and Quebec society. Premier Jean Charest called it into action last February during an election campaign dominated by issues of immigration and Quebec identity, and in the wake of an embarrassing controversy over the town of Hérouxville's infamous bylaws, the early versions of which outlawed stoning and female circumcision. The commission has been dismissed, sometimes by those testifying before it, as a puff of political expediency. But it has proven to be more revealing, even disturbing than that.

Comments like Claude Bazinet's have come with some frequency. "When I'm in Montreal, I don't feel at home when I see these veiled women on Côte-des-Neiges and Côte-St-Catherine," said Micheline Bélanger at the hearings in Rimouski. "I feel like I'm in Saudi Arabia, and I shouldn't. This is my country." Retiree Aimé Dion used his turn to speak at the hearing's stop in St. Jerome to denounce what he saw as an overrepresentation of kosher items in the aisles of his local grocery store. "When I eat, I want quality, not the benediction of a rabbi," he exclaimed.

By now, the commissioners -- sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor -- must be used to these tirades. By the time they wrap up in November they'll have sat through 17 sessions, listened to nearly 1,000 witnesses, and been presented with upwards of 120 briefs on the subject. Not all opinions will be of the sort uttered by Bazinet, Bélanger and Dion. They've heard from people wholeheartedly accepting of immigrants, and from those who see immigration as a demographic necessity. They've heard from those who profess to welcome immigrants, but worry the public accommodation of religious rights threatens Quebec's much vaunted "secular society." And they've heard from those who believe society should be secular, so long as it respects the province's Catholic "roots." In Joliette, Bouchard acknowledged the difficulty of resolving the mass of competing opinions. "We ourselves sometimes worry the commission might be useless," he said.

Perhaps. But the hearings have at least demonstrated how utterly conflicted Quebecers are on the question of how accommodating they should be to newcomers, and to cultural and religious minorities.

And Quebecers aren't the only ones. The past few months have seen a number of high-profile incidents echoing the sorts of sentiments heard in Quebec. In Vancouver on Sept. 13, über-manager Bruce Allen, who represents the likes of Bryan Adams and Michael Bublé and who will be co-producing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics, didn't mince words: Canada, he declared on his popular radio show, has "rules." "If you're immigrating to this country and you don't like the rules that are in place, then you have the right to choose not to live here," he said. If immigrants don't like it, "We don't need you here. You have another place to go. It's called home. See ya." The comments, which Allen prefaced with an apparent admonition of "immigrant bashing," sparked hundreds of complaints, but Allen refused to apologize, leaving his old friend, the former mayor and current senator Larry Campbell, to come to his defence. "This accusation of racism is wrong," he told one reporter. "I know him and I know he's not a racist."

In the town of Georgina, Ont., police have been investigating incidents of "nipper tipping," the ugly term for assaults on Asians in the quiet cottage-country area around Lake Simcoe. At once horrified and apologetic about what is going on, Georgina Mayor Robert Grossi said his town isn't unique. "You can drill down into any community and find the same thing," he told the National Post. In Mississauga, Ont., an Islamic high school was vandalized twice in August. Arsonists torched the private Abraar School in Ottawa late last month on the first day of Ramadan. And in Calgary last month, three potential jurors in a murder trial of an alleged Muslim hit man were excused after they admitted they may be biased against the accused because of his religion.


Full Macleans article here.


Any truth to this? Are Canadians becoming more bigoted or is this just the moral panic du jour? :?:


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:54 pm
 


Some Bigotry is bound to exist, it may even be popular at times. I think though that it is gradually disappearing, but every once in awhile it spikes up due to some new circumstance. 9/11 is the current catalyst for one of these spikes.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:53 pm
 


sandorski sandorski:
Some Bigotry is bound to exist, it may even be popular at times. I think though that it is gradually disappearing, but every once in awhile it spikes up due to some new circumstance. 9/11 is the current catalyst for one of these spikes.


I agree 9/11 is the catalyst, but this might be turning into more than a mere spike - this climate of nastiness isn't going to end until the "War on Terror" ends, and I don't see that happening anytime soon.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:02 am
 


I would not say this is true of all Canadians. Just the francophones for whom xenophobia and bigotry are part of their wonderful culture.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:32 pm
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
I would not say this is true of all Canadians. Just the francophones for whom xenophobia and bigotry are part of their wonderful culture.


Coming from you this is quite rich. :roll: :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:34 pm
 


Only whites are capable of racism.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:38 pm
 


KetchupJoe KetchupJoe:
Only whites are capable of racism.
You're a one trick pony aren't you? Care to back this up with anything?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:43 pm
 


Ruez, why does its opinion matter?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:53 pm
 


Methinks Joey won't last long at this rate. OH...and he's full of it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:56 pm
 


ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
Ruez, why does its opinion matter?
Doesn't matter, I was just curious to find out why he was so bitter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:00 pm
 


give me a break... Bartsimpson... francophones are not bigots far from it.. Quebec is the only province with balls enough to tell it like it is. if immigrants like muslims want to come here they should be willing to fit in and not try and change the culture and customs of canada.. in Quebec we have to take steps necessary to protect out language and culture.. the numbers of immigrants is steadily increasing and in canada people need to ensure that the way of life as we know it in not put in jepardy by those who come here to take and grab and are not willing to adjust .. we are not bigots in Quebec we welcome immigrants but we will not allow them to overrun us and our way of life..


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:14 pm
 


Oh yes, only whites are capable of racism... That is why Muslims make racist cartoons about Jewish people, and why they keep making racist comments about the jewish. Indeed, whites are the only people capable of racism lol, blacks give out racism. Not all of them, perhaps a small portion but my point is every culture, and every skin color has there racists. Even Canada, who is the most multi-cultured, and less racist country IMO has it's racists. You can't escape racism, Ketchupjoe is stupid IMO.

Anyways back on topic, I am not from Quebec, from Toronto my oppinion is somewhat simular but not exactly like theres. I fully support immigration, I don't care what skin they are or what culture they are from, or what religion they are. Though if they do not itegrate with Canada's ways of doing things, and with our society then I believe they do not belong here and should not stay here. Muslims do attack christmas, I see it a lot in the news and in real life. Not all muslims are attacking it, just a small arrogant portion who strongly believe that there religion is the only true one and feel the need to have a what I like to call "Religion War".

Though Christians also try to attack there religion, not as badly I don't believe or as in public as they do it but attacks does happen. Every religion has gotten attacked, even buddhism which IMO is the only good religion that was ever created. All they do is support peace, meditate, buddists monks aren't even allowed to harm insects. They can't kill anything. China though constantly attacks there religion, and they even torture the monks. Kill them, and sell there body parts like heart and liver to good paying chinese people. Sad isn't it? The most peacefull religion in the world is being attacked for no reason, and killed and body parts sold against there will. That is the biggest form of human abuse I have ever seen, not as bad as the hitler camps but it's pretty damn close.


Last edited by Bacardi4206 on Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:15 pm
 


RUEZ RUEZ:
ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
Ruez, why does its opinion matter?
Doesn't matter, I was just curious to find out why he was so bitter.
It's the nature of the plunger to be a shit disturber. You can't expect it to be anything else.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:27 pm
 


make no mistake muslims have no intention of integrating into western society . in Canada or the USA. they hve an agenda and that is the conversion of the world (no shit) to Islam. they have no tolerance or acceptance of anyone who is not Muslim. if you are not Muslim you are an infidel. they might talk the talk but in the end you dont exist unless you are Muslim and yes they know their rights in Canada..


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:40 pm
 


$1:
Any truth to this? Are Canadians becoming more bigoted or is this just the moral panic du jour?


A community is only as strong as the people within in it. If you wish to build a healthy community I doubt snubbing your nose because your local shop has kosher items is the way to do it. :P Everyone is different and every individual is unique in their own right and should be respected. If your community is suffering the best way to improve it would be to reach out to your neighbours and fellow man regardless of their religious, moral, and political views.


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