Listen Up! We have a right to ask potential new Canadians if they share our values – Opinion



Hugh Mackenzie Huntsville Doppler

Hugh Mackenzie
Huntsville Doppler

Listen Up! Telling It Like It Is

Have you ever noticed how strangled we have become in our ability to speak bluntly and tell it like it is, in our now politically correct world? I certainly have and sometimes I find the constraint overwhelming. I am tired of having to whisper around real issues and carefully craft my words so they don’t offend anyone. When I do not, I risk being labeled a racist, a bigot, a misogynist or whatever, by those who find these labels easy to throw around, especially when their views differ from mine.

I am thinking about this especially because as I write this we are marking the 15th anniversary of the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York that killed thousands of people. It was a terrorist attack. It was rooted in radical Islam by people who want to impose their will on western society. It was a declaration of war. Plain and simple as that.

If that was a wake up call it didn’t last long. Since 9/11 radical Islamic terrorism has spread its ugly tentacles around the world. It has been felt in Europe, the United States and indeed in Canada. And we have let it happen. We have been more concerned about the ‘root cause’ of terrorism than of stopping it dead in its tracks.

In Canada we have resisted giving Police and Intelligence agencies the tools they need to root out terrorism whether it be domestic or foreign. We have pulled back from allowing our armed forces the ability to help wipe out the terrorists on their home turf. We have put more weight on individual rights than we have on our collective right to be safe in our own communities. Terrorist attacks in Eastern Canada, on Parliament Hill, and a recent near miss in Ontario (for which we had to rely on U.S. Intelligence) are treated as isolated instances. We puff out our chests and say we will not be intimidated into changing the way we live. It all sounds very nice but it doesn’t work that way. The world has changed dramatically in the past 15 years and whether we like it or not, our part of the world has changed with it. We are demonstratively less safe and doing precious little about it.

It was in this context that I was somewhat bemused watching the antics and media buzz around a question posed by Kellie Leitch, a candidate for the leadership of the Federal Conservative Party. She is a former Cabinet Minister and a highly respected children’s orthopedic surgeon. She is not my choice for leader of the Conservatives but I do believe the question she asked is a fair one. What she wants to know is whether Canadians believe that immigrants to Canada should be screened to determine their attitude on such issues as intolerance toward other religions, cultures, sexual orientation or reluctance to embrace Canadian freedoms. What, may I ask, is wrong with that? Why would we allow people who want to challenge our values as Canadians or change the way we live, to come into this country?

Surprise, surprise, 67 per cent of Canadians surveyed in a Forum Research Poll commissioned by the Toronto Star, agreed with Kellie Leitch that screening of potential immigrants to determine their support of Canadian values is appropriate. And even if you are skeptical of polls, the results of this one were not likely what the Toronto Star wanted to see, so it must be accurate! I am not surprised that our Liberal Government would react unfavourably to the matter raised by Kellie Leitch. What did shock the hell out of me however, was the way in which senior Conservatives tripped over each other to distance themselves from Leitch. (To the best of my knowledge our M.P., Tony Clement was not one of them.) Perhaps it was an addiction to political correctness but if so it is political correctness gone too far and they should learn that from the Star poll.

Canada is a nation that welcomes immigrants and that is how it should be. But we have a right to know that people who ask to come here to live, will share our core Canadian values and not try to change them. All too often we see signs of this slowly but inevitably happening; to wit: the relatively recent front page picture of Muslim children being allowed to worship in a Toronto public school when Christian or Jewish children are not. We can encourage diversity but surely we must insist on equality.

Canada is a great country, highly respected world wide, and well beyond our pay grade in terms of population or economic impact. I believe this is because of our core values as Canadians. And in this changing world, I believe we have the right and the responsibility to stand up and defend them in whatever manner and with whatever strength is necessary. If that is politically incorrect, too damn bad.

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  1. Yes I do agree that we should be allowed to ask any immigrants wanting to enter Canada what they think of our values. Also how they feel about our National Anthem, our Flag, and our culture.

  2. Actually Hugh, Tony Clement was on TV yesterday (Sunday), and clearly stated that he opposed Kellie Leitch’s position. Bill Beatty, according to the latest standings, Norway is the “Greatest Country in the World”.

  3. I am pretty sure the current immigration system asks questions, and screens people based on some values.
    This is about Kellie running for leadership of the Conservative Party. Are Conservatives going to continue with dog whistle politics, talking about immigration, and niqabs and snitch lines, or are they going to focus on issues that Canadians care about, like the economy, health care, and the environment? Maybe they can come up with some solutions rather than play the politics of fear.
    Why is Donald Trump always on twitter? Best place for dog whistles.

  4. Hugh:
    I don’t often comment on what other people think about given situations, the reason being that I don’t usually agree with the entirety of their view. I am absolutely gob-smacked having read your article. I absolutely agree with you 100%. I wish I had written it.

    Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, get back into politics I’ll work your campaign. Being politically correct is the first sign of being radicalized. Let’s end it and start speaking our minds again so we know where each of us stands. Before we completely lose control of OUR country and OUR way of life and OUR values let every man and woman pick up a weapon and stand a post. Radical Islam MUST BE DESTROYED in our country and not permitted to flourish.

    If the elected officials in this country were to pull their collective heads out of theirs asses they would realize that it is in our (Canadians) best interest to fight these terrorists on their back yard and not ours.

    That’s how I see it anyway…

  5. I don’t think people oppose “screening for values” on moral grounds, I think they oppose it because it doesn’t make sense… anyone hoping to resettle in Canada will give all the right answers in an interview at the border. Once again we get caught up in trying to stop ideas. Terrorism isn’t a fighting army we can “stop in its tracks.” It is a clash of ideas that has the potential to turn violent and “us vs. them” politics will continue to promote that clash. Are there any easy answers? Certainly not.

  6. I don’t think there are any such things as “Canadian values”. As a country we have become more “liberal” over the last 50 years, and as a woman I feel this is a good thing. 50 years ago there was no universal health care, no maternity leave, the child benefit was $6.00 per month and was then eliminated completely, there were bath house raids in Toronto, rounding up Homosexuals. I could go on for pages, but as a country we have evolved into a more “liberal” socially caring society. 50 years ago you could not enter a Catholic Church without a head covering. This is my life time. Values changed, girls are educated. New immigrants know what kind of country this is, that is why they want to come here. Each wave of immigrants has brought some problems, and some change, but as a country we have continued the march toward a more open, caring and liberal society. I don’t think we need to focus on the differences between us and them. Let’s look at what we have in common and show them how our system benefits everyone.

  7. Good work Hugh.
    God help Canada if some of these head-in-the-sand attitudes prevail.
    All this crap about Canada being a more liberal society etc. How shortsighted can you be.
    I recommend these deluded people read some Mark Steyn. Find out how things are going in Sweden and Denmark where they have welcomed a flood of Muslim immigration with open accommodating arms. They had and have the most liberal attitude in the world and look what it has brought them. Big time grief and disfunction. The same applies in parts of Britain and France.
    Ask yourself if you want Canada to follow that course. I for one do not.
    The suggestions Kellie Leitch has floated should be the bare minimum and not considered at all over the top.
    As for Tony, I hope he didn’t actually come out against strengthening our admissions policies. To Hell with political correctness I agree. We need to be flinty eyed about what is going on elsewhere in the world and realize that if it weren’t for the Atlantic Ocean we would not have the luxury of being so smug. Trust me it won’t work much longer. The more open, caring, liberal society that one poster celebrates is clearly not what has resulted from the hoard of immigrants that has overwhelmed Europe in the past 25 years. Rather, there are troops and police in riot gear on the street corners and indeed there are areas in European cities in which police will only venture in platoon strength. Hard to believe but that is where we could end up if we do not strictly guard what is left of our Canadian values. Hard talk but the truth. Wake up Canada!

  8. ‘A banker, a worker, and an immigrant are sitting at a table with 20 cookies.
    ‘The banker takes 19 cookies and warns the worker: “Watch out, the immigrant is going to take your cookie away.”

    Just came back from a tour of northern Europe. No riot police, no poverty, and a whole lot of Teslas (the most popular new car in Norway). Oh, and a whole lot of daylight.

  9. How can we expect a person or family from another world essentially to share our values before they’ve ever had a chance to experience them? Isn’t it enough that they recognize that they want to be here BECAUSE of our culture and values? Can’t we give newcomers a chance to absorb our culture and values before we stop them at the gate? Our country was built on immigrants, not xenophobia.

  10. I have to think that as in the past – Canada has already been screening immigrants – I would put myself in the 67% (even if this isn’t a good poll), but I hope it is not something new that hasn’t already been happening.

    • “we are demonstratively less safe”
      Unless you mean the increasing number of dangerous Highway 400 drivers, pedestrians who don’t ever look, or overly bright and blinding oncoming headlights, I don’t feel it. Demonstration, please.

      “share our core Canadian values and not try to change them”
      I’ll paraphrase from what I heard on a comedy show on that dastardly disseminator of threatening thougts, the CBC: a famous Canadian value (that was apparently changed by some slip-ins), where dudes from overseas came and took over previously-occupied land, caused illness and death, put innocent and unsuspecting people on reserves and in residential schools. Ya, that’s a good one to support, eh!? Was it on the checklist at the time?

      The whole notion of a test for values is logically unsupportable. It’s conceptualized by the authors of such bumper stickers as “stand behind our troops or feel free to stand in front of them”. Seriously? Do you mean what you write? Ah, I recall it well now: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”. Damn. I’d rather we not think like that. Or is such stuff published just to get a rise out of folks via a pre-eminent spot behind the keyboard? It’s because we haven’t had such “tests” that we have what we have here. Too bad you can’t cast for The Donald up here, eh?

      This kind of attitude doesn’t “shock the hell out of me”, it scares the hell out me.

      “we have the right and the responsibility to stand up and defend them [core values as Canadians]”. Thanks. Done (whatever “they” are).

  11. I think that immigration is not the solution in the first place.
    There are millions, maybe billions, of people who cannot find a meaningful and successful life in their home country for whatever reasons. We cannot “immigrate them out” in big enough numbers to make any material difference to their homeland situation. The numbers just don’t work and if you think the 25,000 or so we took this last year in Canada actually made any difference “back home” you are sadly disillusioned.
    Besides, the culture change for the immigrant is huge and it takes a lot of time for them to integrate into a new society, even with a lot of help.
    A better long term solution is needed and high on the list would be to try to fix the situation that is causing the immigration rush.
    A second step that needs to be discussed seriously is to somehow reduce the world’s population as there are just too many people for the situation to be sustainable, long term. This does not have to mean something like a second Hitler with gas chambers. Merely limiting the number of children per couple would painlessly cause the population to start to fall fairly quickly and then there would be enough resources that a lot of wars would become unnecessary, heck we might even be able to prevent this tragic waste of lives and resources and get on with building a better life for a more manageable number of people, one that might last and not destroy our Earth in the process.
    Advancing technology helps us do more with less of course but it also makes our society more dependent on that very technology, and thus more “fragile” and prone to sudden disasters if anything at all goes wrong and anyone who has a Hydro One account knows how well this technology works!
    Just talking and thinking points.

  12. As a reasonably intelligent individual, I have consistently spoken out against 9/11 as an Islamic terrorist attack. In fact, the collapse of the Twin Towers resembled identically any time-lapse film of the planned detonation of any large building. It was a very handy happenstance; in that it reinforced the waning public appetite for a war against Iraq, kept the U.S. close to the oil wells, and allowed them to stay indefinitely (supposedly searching for non-existent WMD’s). Is everybody too naïve to realize the lengths that the President (urged on by the political right, the arms industry, the military, and the economic indicators of the time) would go? Churchill let thousands die in W.W.II, rather than let the Germans know that their code was broken: Any comparison between him and Dubya is ludicrous, so please do not give George a pass.

    My memories do not go back much further than the Kennedy administration, but was not the Bay of Pigs invasion an attempt to assassinate Castro, and bring the Nuclear Clock back from 11:59? And as soon as Kennedy came out for ending the Vietnam War, he was assassinated himself (from the grassy knoll as shown in the Zapruder film). He was summarily replaced by Johnson, who said all the right things, but secretly supported the war (and the arms industry). The C.I.A. were created specifically as a covert operation (with deniability) to prop up dictators around the world, who were U.S. puppets, and to replace ones not sympathetic to America.

    Being comforted by the existence of “U.S. Intelligence” (the ultimate oxymoron) is patently absurd. We are all immigrants; so being here longer makes us “more equal” than the present and future immigrants? What a xenophobic attitude! I would no more require screening with respect to tolerance of other religions, cultures and sexual orientations than I would screen out political candidates on the basis of their various intolerances. Do new immigrants embrace Canadian freedoms? Most are escaping a lack of most of those freedoms at home, so an affirmative answer is a given.

    Being “holier than thou” is discriminatory: Whatever happened to “there, but for the grace of God, go I”?

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