New Canadian Media
Thursday, 04 January 2018 09:18

Ethnic Women are Full Participants in Canada

By: Summer Fanous in Toronto

In 1916, women across the nation rejoiced as Manitoba became the first province to grant women the right to vote. Looking back, it's almost ludicrous to think that gender could determine one’s status within society. Fast forward 100 years, however, and women around the world are still at the forefront, advocating for much needed change. Silenced for far too long, women are passionately speaking out about inequalities and injustices everywhere they can, including in books. Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women's Resilience is creating awareness about sexual abuse among immigrant and refugee women. Women’s voices are to be heard, and they are demanding equal opportunity. And the world is listening. Even Saudi Arabia, which previously served as the only country that still barred women from driving, will make a change in a ruling set for 2018 implementation. Canada, on the other hand, is a country that affords equal rights to men and women.

7.5 million people immigrated to Canada in 2016. And while specific motives may differ, the country’s stance on equality and the subsequent avenues of opportunity are a big reason such a diverse range of people can call it ‘home’. Based on recent findings, the Ministry of the Status of Women reports that 55% of all Canadian doctors and dentists are females. An optimistic sign of the progress that has been accomplished thus far. However, equal rights don’t always mean equal pay. In Ontario, for example, the average woman earns $33,600 annually, while a man earns $49,000. 

As if that’s not enough to bring spirits down, other hurdles still exist when it comes to leadership amongst women. The Canadian government, along with Skills for Change has been conducting periodic Gender Based Analysis’ since 1995 with the most recent one taking place in 2013. The findings identify the following 8 barriers: Language and Communication, Looking for Opportunity, Unemployment, Lack of Confidence, Cultural Differences, Working Survival Jobs, Finances and Refugee Status.    

New Canadian Media (NCM), along with Skills for Change and the Vanier Institute for the Family are partnering up on an exciting project available to members of the NCM Collective. Together with the Ontario multiculturalism program, NCM has been commissioned to produce a series of 20 original pieces of journalism that speak to this theme: Women as full participants in Ontario’s immigration story.

Female members of the NCM Collective have the opportunity to showcase different perspectives on a range of topics. With a focus on Ontario’s rich multi-culture, these individual pieces will provide a better understanding of the talent that the mainstream so often ignores. Even in a country that emphasizes equality, women are not always provided the same opportunities to express themselves as their male counterparts. 


Writers interested in participating are encouraged to join the NCM Collective for an opportunity. Additional details such as compensation and content guidelines will be communicated as pitches are received. 

Published in Commentary

THE B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) on Monday launched a legal challenge to protect the rights of Canadians facing revocation of their Canadian citizenship due to allegations of misrepresentation.

The organizations argue that any Canadian facing the loss of their citizenship must have a full and fair opportunity to defend themselves in a hearing. However, this long-standing right to a hearing was taken away by the last government in Bill C-24.

Since it took office, the current government has set targets and initiated revocation proceedings to strip citizenship from between 40 and 60 Canadians per month, despite the fact that it denounced citizenship revocations by the minister alone, without a hearing, as “dictatorial” while in opposition.

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Policy

 By Atamjit Singh

It was a memorable visit to Winnipeg last month. I was amazed to see the magnificent building and the information provided inside the Canadian Human Rights Museum that was created a few years back.

It’s first museum of its type in world that speaks volumes of the courage of a country that recognises the violations of human rights committed by her in the past and yet creates such an institution which houses the history of Human Rights protagonists from all over the globe.

It is a huge house of information on the heroes spread over the Millenniums in time and whole of the globe in space. You can even see an impressive entry of the recent hero Malala from Pakistan. There also is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the main entrance and his relevant mention inside the Museum. The designer of the imposing building from US had some other ideas in his mind but,to me,it appeared as showing the cuddle of so many people that culminates into a torch-like structure which signifies the awakening of human values. The building is at once impressive and meaningful; and like any great creative work this design also has multiple meanings. I am thankful to my friend Comrade Gurdeep who spared a full day for this visit.

The Link

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Published in Arts & Culture

The Federal government’s acknowledgement of the need for reforms of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program today is a result of years of migrant workers advocating for themselves and fighting against denial of their human and labour rights.

Migrant workers members of Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC), the representative body for migrant workers in 

The Philippine Reporter

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Published in Top Stories

by Maria Ikonen in Gatineau 

A new feature documentary might have you thinking twice when buying tomatoes and greenhouse products next time you visit the grocery store.

Migrant Dreams” explores how migrant women agricultural workers struggle within Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Canadian employers use the TFWP when “qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available” for certain occupations.

Canada has welcomed millions of temporary foreign workers since the program began in 1973 under the name of the Non-Immigrant Employment Authorization Program (NIEAP). This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), which places approximately 17,000 seasonal workers from Mexico, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad/Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean States in Canada every summer.

Both programs have become an important source of labour for the agricultural industry in particular. An article on Guatemalans employed for low-waged work in Canada states that every year, migrant workers entering through the program fill more than 80,000 positions.  

Employers who hire temporary foreign workers have responsibilities to meet, but director Min Sook Lee, a multiple award winning Canadian filmmaker, shows us the dark underbelly of the program. 

Investigating the conditions of the TFWP

Lee, an assistant professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, describes “Migrant Dreams” as a discussion about universal principals. “When I visited this farm, I thought it looked a lot more like a refugee camp than the safe living conditions that you would expect in Canada.” 

Migrant advocates often cite issues like unpaid overtime pay or serious violations of health and safety standards. Because these workers are afraid of being deported, many don’t speak up about poor working conditions.

For Evelyn Encalada, a founding member of Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and a collaborator on the documentary, her meeting with seasonal agricultural workers from Chile made her see that she needs to hold her country to a higher standard. "I realized, I have to hold Canada responsible for its international image.”

Encalada’s meeting with the workers had to be set up in secrecy as those contacted feared the threat of deportation after speaking with media.

Canadian employers use the TFWP when “qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.”

This issue was discussed recently in The National Post, where another interviewee, Ricky Joseph from Saint Lucia, mentioned that the deportation threat arose “the moment you speak up.”

Other critics have compared the program to the import of thousands of foreign workers in the 20th century to work in the silver and gold mines of Northern Ontario as well as the railway industry. “The mine owners said they were filling a labour shortage. But their real reason was to keep wages down,” writes Thomas Walkom.

Lee's inspiration for the documentary came from a need to draw a picture about migration. Although the program has been around for decades, Lee says that, “‘Migrant Dreams’ is an untold story. There has not been much talk about temporary foreign workers. They are part of our reality.”

Recommendations for change

According to Lee, “the rules and regulations for living accommodations are outdated because Ontario has not changed since 1975.”

Temporary foreign workers can apply for permanent residence if they can show their skills are in continuing demand, and 29,000 of the 192,000 temporary foreign workers who entered Canada in 2011 made the transition to permanent status. However, the rest are subject to the whims of employers who often fail to meet the regulations of the program.

Both Lee and Encalada voice concerns about workers being bound to one employer. “Being tethered to your employer while you are working in Canada means that you are completely unable to speak out about problems that may arise. Your silence is fueled by the rules and regulations,” Lee comments. 

"The rules and regulations for living accommodations are outdated because Ontario has not changed since 1975.”

“The staffing in charge of these policies is not consistent. Often the inspectors who are supposed to go to farms to ensure that living quarters are up to par just do not exist or they are summer students,” Lee notes.

When asked for a solution, Lee replies, “Workers should be given status upon arrival. Access and pathways to permanent residency is number one.”

She continues, “The migrant labour program creates a labour apartheid in our country. It creates two tiers of labour and human rights — one for Canadian citizens and an entirely different set of rights for non-citizens. That is completely, I think, against the broadly accepted principles of universal justice and human rights that Canada is known for.”

Hope for the future

Lee hopes the documentary will have a political impact and can be used as a tool for social change by anyone who gets involved with government or community organizations.

“I hope it’s used for educating people about the situation for migrant workers and for humanizing migrant workers, who are often dehumanized when they do appear in mainstream media,” she states.

When asked what viewers can do to support temporary foreign workers, Encalada suggests they visit the Harvesting Freedom Campaign, sign a petition and join pilgrimage to remind people that migrants collect our food. 

“Let's rebuild Canada and put ourselves in others shoes. Watch the documentary and when buying a tomato, think that is has a story. It has a story of adaption," Encalada concludes. 

The documentary "Migrant Dreams" will premiere on May 1 as part of the Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in History
Saturday, 26 September 2015 18:13

Their Bodies, Their Rules: Sex Ed in Ontario

by Rebecca Bromwich in Ottawa

You've probably seen some variation of the popular T-shirts that set out “Rules For Dating My Daughter.” They usually contain a number of threats towards anyone looking to court someone's children, but ultimately the key rule is “you can’t.”

This is supposed to be a way of jokingly protecting one’s children from advances by prospective suitors, and I laughed the first time I saw it. However, thinking about it further, I realized the T-shirt wasn't that amusing. In fact, these types of jokes have another effect entirely: they limit an adolescent's agency and freedom.

Ontario’s newly announced health and sexual education curriculum has been the subject of a great deal of debate. Protests have erupted across the province, as have “strikes,” during which some parents are keeping their kids home from school to object to the new curriculum.

These jokes limit an adolescent's agency and freedom.

These protests reflect the issue of who gets to make the rules for our youth. Debates and protests about Ontario's new sex education curriculum seem focused on what kids are taught and when, but more so on which group of adults is in control and who among them gets to make the rules.

The battle, which has become politicized with the strong opposition from Ontario’s PC Leader, is centred on whether parents or the government should have the authority to determine the best interests of the child.

Setting up discussions about what our children should learn in school as a battle between parents and the government misses a fundamental aspect of what is at stake — namely, the health, sexuality and self-expression of the province's youth.

It's not just parents, educators, governments and communities whose rights and powers are at stake when we talk about sexual health education for kids. Children have rights of their own.

When they are small, their chief sexual right is the right not to be abused. However, as they grow and develop, they acquire rights as sexual citizens.

Not just politics: children’s rights under Canadian law

Protesting against the current provincial government about the curriculum is a displaced effort. The notion that children have rights is not a concept based in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s personal agenda. It is a matter of law.

The discussion of sex and sexuality set out in Ontario’s new sexual and health education curriculum is more than a reflection of the values of a particular political party or community group. Rather, it reflects the language of and case law interpreting Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Protesting against the current provincial government about the curriculum is a displaced effort.

Children’s rights in this provision complement others in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which applies to children as well as adults. Under the Charter, children as well as their parents have rights to freedom of conscience and religion and to free expression. Equally as important is a child's right to become educated about things that will affect their bodies and their health.

Children’s rights under international law

Children’s rights are not a Canadian invention, but are set out in international law, as well as domestic provisions.

The rights of children, whatever their gender, sexuality, race or religion, are outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This convention was agreed upon by the vast majority of the world’s nations by multilateral international legal convention over 20 years ago.

As explained in the CRC, children are entitled to be supported in ways that ensure their full development to enjoy responsible life in a free society. This includes rights to freedom of expression, to identity and to autonomy.

Adolescents, whatever the values held by their families, are subjects and agents. Children own their own bodies and they have legal rights. 

The interests of communities, as articulated by parents, community and religious leaders must be balanced against the rights of adolescents.

Yes, it’s sometimes difficult for any parent to accept that our children’s life choices are theirs, not ours. It’s a difficult journey to parent children who are subject to our influence, but not our control, who are subject to government regulation, but not government dictation in a free society. But this is the nature of the adventure. 

The rights and freedoms of children aren’t just dictated by a radical politician with whom you may not agree. They are the law, nationally and internationally, and must be respected as such.

Sexual health, sexual citizenship: their bodies, their rules

In the past, in Canada and elsewhere, too often have governments, educators, parents and communities all failed to recognize and protect the rights of children, especially girls. The bodies, wills and minds, of adolescents have not been well acknowledged by our laws and policies, as recent protests may suggest.

The interests of communities, as articulated by parents, community and religious leaders (who are not usually young, or children) must be balanced against the rights of adolescents to know and understand their own bodies, rights and responsibilities.

Yes, adults and legislators have roles to play in guiding and safeguarding children. However, kids have developed to become responsible enough to make up their own minds.

With this in mind, there is only one set of rules for dating my daughters (or sons) that is consistent with the Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it's completely consistent with Ontario’s new sexual and health education curriculum as well:

“You don’t make the rules.

I don't make the rules.

She makes the rules.

Her body; her rules.”


Rebecca Bromwich is a mother of four and has been a lawyer in Ontario since 2003. She received her PhD from Carleton University's Department of Law and Legal Studies and joined the Faculty there the same year, in 2015. She also teaches at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary

by Patrick Hunter (@pghntr) in Toronto

A huge wave, represented by about 50 high-profile Canadians, rocked Mayor John Tory’s proverbial boat this week. The “wave” consisted of a former chief justice of Ontario, three former mayors (one of whom is a former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission), several former politicians and business leaders.

Identifying themselves as Concerned Citizens to End Carding, they held a news conference steps away from Mayor Tory’s office at City Hall to denounce the controversial police practice.

The result is that the mayor has changed his tune, reversing his position on “carding,” the controversial practice by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) of collecting and retaining information about individuals with whom they engage, but who are not being detained or under suspicion of committing a crime.

In his announcement, the Mayor said: “The issue of community engagements, or carding as it has become known, has eroded public trust to a level that is clearly unacceptable.As mayor, it is up to me to do whatever I can do to restore that trust . . . And so I am announcing today my intention, at the next meeting of the police services board on June 18, to seek the permanent cancellation of carding once and for all.”

"We believe carding violates the human rights of citizens, it goes against the principles of our Charter Rights ..." - Concerned Citizens to End Carding

It is not often that political leaders reverse their positions so openly. Early reaction has been mostly positive. The damage, however, may have already been done. That will become clearer when Tory faces the electorate in another three years.  

The Use of Carding

The carding practice was revealed in a Toronto Star investigative report in 2012 under the banner headline “Known to police.” It uncovered the fact the majority of persons stopped by the police whose information was taken were young black males, and their information was being kept in a database, apparently for future reference when a crime is committed.

Earlier this year, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) had approved a policy on community engagement, which required police officers to inform individuals who are not under suspicion of any criminal activity that they have the right to end the engagement. If officers took a person’s information, they would also be required to provide a “receipt” indicating why the person was stopped.

William (Bill) Blair, then the outgoing chief of police, had a problem with the requirement and managed to get a watered-down version – without the above requirements of the policy – approved. The reaction and subsequent heat from the black community increased.

Desmond Cole: A Catalyst

In May, Toronto Life published a cover story by Desmond Cole, “The Skin I’m In.” It catalogues his experiences with the police, and outlines the emotional impact that they had and have on him – an impact that is shared by many black men, young or old.

The article became a sensation and was, indeed, a catalyst for the Concerned Citizens group to declare its opposition to carding.

[Saunders'] stance, if continued, will certainly erode any goodwill he may have earned from the black community, and the wider community, as demonstrated by the Concerned Citizens group.

In its statement, the group notes: “We all need to oppose carding vehemently … We are offended by the notion of casually and routinely stopping citizens, outside of police investigations of actual criminal acts that have occurred, to question and record, and then store personal data in police files … We believe carding violates the human rights of citizens, it goes against the principles of our Charter Rights ..."

Last Friday, the chair of the TPSB, Dr. Alok Mukherjee wrote an op-ed piece in the Toronto Star: “We are at risk of turning into a surveillance society” in which he also declared a change of heart.

“I believe the Toronto Police Services Board must now declare unequivocally that information generated from informal contacts with members of the public, which are not related to any criminal investigation or likelihood of a criminal investigation, must not be recorded in any police database,” he wrote.

Where the Police Chief Stands

Mark Saunders, who is black, is the recently appointed chief of police, succeeding Bill Blair. He has picked up the ball, voicing support for carding as a legitimate investigative tool. He has tried to cushion this support by suggesting that there would be changes in implementing the policy by eliminating random stops.

The community is not buying it.

His stance, if continued, will certainly erode any goodwill he may have earned from the black community, and the wider community, as demonstrated by the Concerned Citizens group.

Adding to the community’s concern about Chief Saunders’ position, a recent report in the Toronto Star that revealed an internal memo prepared by Saunders while he was a staff superintendent.

In the memo, he essentially tried to debunk the notion of racial profiling and carding, suggesting that analyses did not support “notions or activities of racially biased policing practices.” According to the Star, his then-superior officer, Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, also black, took issue with Saunders’ analysis and conclusion.

Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, in the wake of Mayor Tory’s conversion, has also reaffirmed the association’s position, and that of the chief’s: getting rid of carding would have a negative impact on “community safety.” Exactly how is unclear.

It would appear that both Chief Saunders and the police association fail to make the connection that their defence of carding’s use and the fact that the majority of the carded residents are black imply that they believe that members of the black community are responsible for most of the crimes and criminal activities in the city.

If the black chief of police believes that, what chance do we have to change relations between the police and the black community?


Patrick Hunter is a communications consultant and a columnist for Share Newspaper. He is a former communications director at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and has worked in government and the news media.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary

NEW Democrats on Wednesday called on Minister of Foreign Affairs to send a clear message to the government of India that the human rights of all those in custody must be respected. Official Opposition Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston in a statement said: “New Democrats are concerned about the condition of Gurbaksh Singh, a peaceful […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in National

By Dr. MUNYONZWE HAMALENGWA

Now that the dust has long settled on the fracas about the human rights complaint and investigation of Ezra Levant and the Western Standard (a right wing publication), it is time to take another look at what that noise was all about, from a sober perspective. 

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Published in Commentary
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:17

Why Human Rights Tribunals are Still Relevant

by Yves Engler

Speaking Out on Human Rights is a powerful response to the right-wing backlash against human rights commissions and tribunals. In this readable book, lawyer and McGill University lecturer Pearl Eliadis details the positive contributions these commissions have made to the advancement of human rights and points the way forward to strengthening these important institutions. 

The book is chock full of interesting and important nuggets on struggles for equality. In 1939, for instance, the Supreme Court maintained “a tavern owner’s refusal to serve a black man, Fred Christie, a beer after a hockey game,” and seven years later a black woman – prosecuted for sitting in the whites-only area of a Halifax theatre – had her conviction upheld by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. It wasn’t until 1985, Eliadis reminds us, that the Supreme Court ruled that “everyone” physically present in this country is entitled to life, liberty, and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter. It was only three years ago that aboriginal peoples won the right to file human rights complaints in relation to the Indian Act.
 
[Canadians] began to believe that human rights institutions in Canada were no longer acting in the best interests of Canadians.

Speaking Out on Human Rights delves into the history of discrimination in this country, how human rights commissions and tribunals have helped, and how various forms of discrimination persist.

Yves Engler: The book is partly a response to the media frenzy towards human rights commissions spurred by two cases in 2007. Can you tell me about them?

Pearl Eliadis: The first case was the conservative online magazine Western Standard’s re-publication of one of the Danish “Mohammed-as-bomber” cartoons, and the second case involved three complaints initiated by Canadian law students against Rogers Inc. and its editor for refusing to publish a rebuttal to a string of allegedly anti-Muslim articles in Maclean’s magazine, a Rogers property. The students announced that they would be filing complaints in three jurisdictions in Canada because they argued the articles were beyond offensive and were discriminatory, painting Muslims with a broad and tarred brush, depicting them as prone to bestiality and sex with nine-year-olds.

An avalanche of articles and editorials in the media appeared, in a concerted and coordinated effort to repeal the human rights laws that regulate hate speech. Outrage against the bureaucracy of human rights commissions was not new, but the Maclean’s hate speech complaints blended free speech, the “Muslim menace,” and national security threats to create a toxic brew that brought the simmering stew of rage-against-the-government-machine to a full boil. The net result was that many Canadians, spurred on by media reports and by politicians who thought they saw an opening to attack these institutions in the name of “freedom,” began to believe that human rights institutions in Canada were no longer acting in the best interests of Canadians. It became commonplace to see public calls for the abolition of these institutions or the rolling back of human rights legislation.

[H]uman rights commissions also have a legal obligation to speak out about human rights and to promote public awareness of human rights ...

YE: You quote the president of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter who cited a series of “pillar cases” from the Supreme Court of Canada that began in human rights commissions and have gone a long way in strengthening women’s, workers’, religious rights etc. Isn’t this an indication of the importance of the tribunals?

PE: The cases discussed in the quote started at the level of human rights commissions and tribunals and then made their way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Far from being irrelevant or petty administrative tribunals, these institutions have played a leading role in developing case law that now forms the backbone of equality law in Canada and is something that we now all take for granted. These include key cases that have outlawed sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and protected the rights of kids with disabilities to an education.

YE: You write about how human rights commissions are not solely about compensating claimants but also about helping to eradicate discrimination through public education. The courts, on the other hand, do not address the underlying systemic causes of discrimination, which you see as an argument for the tribunals, correct?

PE: This is an important point of the book. People often associate human rights commissions and tribunals with human rights complaints alone. This is understandable because complaints are the main point of contact with the human rights system. However, human rights commissions also have a legal obligation to speak out about human rights and to promote public awareness of human rights – these are very important parts of their mandate and fundamental to what these institutions are supposed to do as a matter of law. So when the Ontario Human Rights Commission spoke out against Mark Steyn’s writings about Muslims in Maclean’s, it was doing so as part of its legislated responsibility to speak out and to address issues of social tension independently of any human rights complaint.

I don’t think this is well understood among the public and it certainly is not a part of the work of human rights commissions that is being adequately addressed in many jurisdictions today. If people were more aware of this aspect – namely that promoting human rights is integral to what human rights commissions do – much of the so-called scandal around free speech in human rights would have been muted. 

YE: For much of Canadian history a laissez-faire approach prevailed, whereby the legal system refused to palliate inequities. Can you explain how this was upended partly by social movements?

PE: There’s a sad string of cases in Canadian law where courts were unable or unwilling to do much of anything about blatant discrimination and inequality. It really took the civil rights movement and the work of the labour movement to take the bull by the horns and push society at large as well as legislators to enact protections for workers, tenants, and those seeking public services. Had it been left to the courts or elected politicians alone, not much would have happened.

It is hard to believe that anyone wants to go back to the days of refusing to serve Fred Christie a beer.

YE: Certainly the employers who’ve had human rights cases lodged against them – and who own much of the media and fund many right-wing institutions – dislike these human rights commissions. And many of those hired to be commentators in the dominant media share this sentiment, if not always openly. So it seems naïve to write, as you do, that, “it is difficult to believe that anyone would want to return to a pre-rights world or move to one where market incentives are the sole or main policy response to discrimination.”

PE: I don’t think it is naïve. It is hard to believe that anyone wants to go back to the days of refusing to serve Fred Christie a beer. And it is counter-factual: polling data mentioned in the beginning of the book shows that the only issue dearer than healthcare to the hearts of Canadians is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That has to say something about the distance between the “dominant media” and the average Canadian. I believe the majority of Canadians are aware that human rights are important and support them. They are central to not only our constitutional structure as the fundamental law of the land, but also to Canada’s important international human rights commitments and its multiculturalism. What does strike me as naïve is that we should, as a country, entrench constitutional rights and then assert that it is an unintended or unwanted consequence of those constitutional commitments that we would actually have to respect them.


Yves Engler is the author of seven books. His most recent is The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy.

This post was republished with permission from the Montreal Review of Books.

Published in Books
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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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