Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Posts Tagged ‘government’

Obama wins in…

Posted by chinesecanuck on November 5, 2008

…and becomes the first non-white President of the US.  So what about Canada?  We have had so far, two non-white Governors-General, who represent the British monarch (and our Head of State), but when will we have a non-white Prime Minister?  While I don’t think it would happen in the next few years, I do believe it will soon.  And when it does happen, most likely, the person will be male, Canadian born or raised and South Asian (since there are a decent number of South Asians (compared to other non-white groups…and I’m pretty sure there’s more than one MP who is Canadian born and/or raised, opposed to East Asians) who are involved with public office).  I also don’t think the time will come for people of East Asian descent for a even longer time.  If Canadians are critical of Stephane Dion’s Quebecois-accented English, what will they think of a foreign accent?  Until more East Asian Canadians who were born/raised here run for office, leadership of a major party is NOT going to happen.

What do you think?

What do you think?


Posted in culture, ethnicity, minorities, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Where are the CBC MPs and MPPs/MLAs?

Posted by chinesecanuck on May 2, 2008

There are 305 MPs in the Canadian House of Commons. Two of them, Olivia Chow and Raymond Chan, are of “full” Chinese descent (another, Michael Chong, is half Chinese, half Dutch) and both are not CBC. In fact, both came after the age of 10 (I believe Oliva Chow came to Canada in time to start high school (or the year before) and Raymond Chan came in his late teens). As they came as older kids/young adults, they are not exactly qualified to represent the views of people of Chinese descent born and raised in this country when it comes to diversity. They are more likely to side with the “mainstream” of diversity and multiculturalism from the immigrant point of view.

***Note, there is one Vietnamese-Canadian MP, Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac. She wasn’t born here either. Interesting to note that there are probably twice as many South Asian MPs than Chinese, yet South Asians only slightly outnumber Chinese Canadians in terms of population. Something’s really, really wrong here!***

There are 107 MPPs at Queen’s Park (Member of Provincial Parliament….why is Ontario the only province who uses the term MPP? Other English-speaking provinces use MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly)). Out of the 107, only one, the Hon. Michael Chan, is Chinese Canadian, and he’s also “not from here.”

In British Columbia, there are 78 MLAs and 4 of them are of Chinese descent. BC seems to be a little better, as at least one, Ida Chong, is CBC.

So my question is this: Why aren’t people more CBCs elected or even running? Confidence issues? Or is it because Chinese people just don’t have a “history” of voting (India has been independent for decades) ? If it’s the latter, why on EARTH are there more non-CBCs than CBCs in government?

(I’ll do a separate post on city council at a later date)

Posted in Asian, assimilation, banana, CBC, China, Chinese Canadian, culture, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Canada’s C-50: Limitation on Immigration

Posted by chinesecanuck on April 19, 2008

Many people want to come to Canada.  So many, in fact, that Canada is currently looking at changing its immigration policies so that some people could be fast-tracked in.  This includes people who are in highly trained jobs such as medicine or engineering.  Prospective immigrants are already complaining that they need to wait years to get in, especially those who are highly educated or skilled.  So why should these people have to wait?

However, what upsets people is that the bill apparently indicates that the government can pick and choose which countries prospective immigrants come from (some websites even say that the minister can do it.  NOT TRUE.  Why would she?  She doesn’t have the time!).  Some people are going as far as saying that it’s a big step backwards, back to the early twentieth century or before.  But what they don’t realize is that the government is already “picking and choosing”.  There are already very strict requirements to get in, believe it or not, and technically, the people from certain countries ARE more likely to be rejected because they don’t meet the standards.

What would I do?  Considering that many immigrants to Canada seem to prefer their old ways of doing things (but at the same time, enjoy the freedoms that we give them, things that weren’t possible in the old country), I’d require prospective immigrants to watch videos about life in Canada so that they wouldn’t be in for a shock when they come.  They’d should also be required to answer questions like:

  1. You child has been paired up with a member of the opposite sex (or child whose family is from an “enemy” country) for a school assignment.  How would you react?  Would you force the teacher to find the child another partner? (If the parents say yes, then points are deducted)
  2. At a work gathering, one of your co-workers introduces you to his (her) spouse.  His (her) spouse is a man (woman).  How would you feel about that? (I know that plenty of people in Canada are homophobic, but we don’t want to increase the numbers, do we?) 
  3. A couple lives next door to you.  They seem lovely and very friendly.  At a dinner party, you find out that they aren’t legally married.  In fact, they have no intention of getting married.  Will you still be friends with them? (again, I know that plenty of people are anti-shacking up before marriage, but like homophobics, we don’t need more of them in this country.)
  4. Your (now grown) child doesn’t want to marry the person that was arranged for him/her.  Instead, the child wants to marry someone they’re in love with (or not at all).  To you, the show must go on.  Is there anything wrong with the picture? (brownie points for those who say yes :-))
  5. You move into a neighbourhood that is primarily made up of people who speak your language and enjoy your traditions.  Do you think it’s necessary to learn English (or French)?  If not, why not? 

I know some of these questions sound a little crazy, and may also apply to certain groups who’ve been in this country for years, but like I’ve said before, we don’t need MORE people like that here.  And I think if more people had an open mind when they arrive, there’d be less tension between different groups and also less tension between parents and their Canadian raised children.

Toronto Star article on Bill C-50

Website that opposes C-50

Citizenship and Immigration Canada website

Posted in assimilation, culture, ethnicity, minorities | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Lord’s Prayer and the Ontario Legislature

Posted by chinesecanuck on April 11, 2008

The Lord’s Prayer (the PROTESTANT version) is still very much part daily services at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (aka Queen’s Park), but there are those who are clamouring for change, including the current premier, Dalton McGuinty, who opened the topic up for debate in February and was discussed again on April 10. But should it?  I realize that Ontario is made up of people of different religions now, should things be eliminated for the sake of a different population?  Is it truly all that offensive?  We haven’t eliminated Christmas or Easter yet, after all.  Or rather, is Dalton McGuinty just upset that the Protestant version is used, rather than the Catholic “Our Father” (which eliminates “For thine is the kingdom/And the power, /And the glory, /Forever.”)?  Who knows.

Many of our beloved traditions are now being eliminated or bastardized all in the name of inclusivity.  And this, IMHO, makes some young people more ignorant.  Even though World Religions is a course offered by the Ontario Ministry of Education (and has for a number of years), I have yet to meet someone outside of a religious based school who has taken it or any other religion course.  Many feel uncomfortable discussing such topics and even more uncomfortable (especially if you are not of a faith that remotely resembles the “majority” religion) visiting institutions of faith or even hearing someone talk about their faith.  And I don’t understand why.  Just because you’re visiting a church, synagogue, mosque or other House of Worship doesn’t mean that they’re going to try to convert you (hello!  I went to a school that is linked to the Anglican Church of Canada.  We had to go to regular services.  All of us.  Including students of other faiths.  There are non-Christian alum who can tell you what their favourite hymn at school was and even sing it for you.)!  It sounds all very close-minded to me.  The less you know about something, the more ignorant you become about it.  There are plenty of non-Christians out there who only know Christianity from what they see in media.  Usually, what they see is a small section of Christianity as the evangelical churches seem to get the most attention (sure, Catholics had some issues a while back, but the media didn’t focus on services).  And guess what?  Historically, the evangelical, far-right churches were not part of the ruling classes!  Old line Protestant churches (e.g. Anglican (Episcopal in the US), Presbyterian, Methodists, etc) were.

But back to the Lord’s Prayer and tradition.  I think it’s the PC police acting up again, trying to change something that doesn’t really need changing. The fact is, not to many people are even requesting change.  Frank Dimant, a representative of the B’nai Brith of Canada, a Jewish organization said, according to the Toronto Star, that there are more important issues to discuss, such as crime and the economy.  On the pro-Lord’s Prayer camp, tradition is often cited.  One legislative member said that the entire Parliamentary system is based on Christianity and that in Britain, the original assemblies were at churches.  He also didn’t care what the federal government or other provincial governments do (non-denominational prayers or reflection).  Pretty much the only people who do want change are secular organizations.  And many cite that there’s a separation of church and state.  Guess what?  We live in Canada.  THERE’S NO OFFICIAL POLICY!

Honestly, if you don’t like it, don’t say it.  That’s what people who didn’t like religious services did in my old school.  They stood when they had to stand, sat when they had to sit, but that was it.

At last they’re opening this up to the public.  How do you feel?  What should Queen’s Park do?

By the way, this site has a list of different versions of the Lord’s Prayer, including some new incarnations (which I think bastardizes it.  I don’t even like the 1977 version that the Church of England adopted)

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