Haroon Siddiqui praises Canada’s lack of ‘extremism’ on immigrants. It’s true that we don’t see the kind of right-wing parties and rhetoric in Canada that is seen in Europe and the US. This has something to do with culture and history (and our lack of free-speech protections), but more, I think, to do with the composition of our immigrant population. Replace all the East Asians in Canada with Muslims or blacks, and you’d start seeing something different.
Even when they are supposedly sticking to their “housing and employment” knitting, the HRCs add to the discrimination, division, and social discord they pretend to ameliorate.
Last year, Ontario’s HRC declared that certain commonplace phrases found in online apartment ads were illegal. For instance, expressions such as “ideal for student” now constitute “age discrimination.”
But when a reporter brought over thirty “Muslim only” online apartment ads to their attention, the HRC claimed their organization was suddenly too small and overworked to prosecute these cases.
Also: a bunch of prison-related articles in the Globe today, including: high concentration of Hell’s Angels credited for orderliness of Quebec prison (lesson: homogeneity is good for order); Canada’s new tough on crime laws apparently haven’t yet led to a big upswing in incarceration (encouraging news); life in Kingston Penitentiary.
“Of 100 new federally appointed judges 98 are white, Globe finds.” The first thing the reasonable reader thinks is, of course, “I wonder what the composition of the candidate pool is like.” The Globe does address this, at the very end of the article.
In some locations, the pool of minority lawyers is modest. For example, just five per cent of Nova Scotia’s 2,000 lawyers belong to a visible minority; while a 2006 B.C. survey found that just 18 per cent of Vancouver’s lawyers were from a visible minority, compared to 42 per cent of the city’s population.In Ontario, a similar survey conducted by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2009 found that 693 of the province’s 20,000 lawyers were black. It found that 979 were Chinese, Japanese or Korean; 101 were Hispanic; 1,312 were South Asian; and 290 were of Arab or West Asian descent. The province had 281 aboriginal and 96 Métis lawyers.
It’s surprising to me how few Asian lawyers there are, but anyway that pretty much explains the situation. And yet the Globe thinks this needs to be fixed for some reason. Why? Obviously Asians especially are over-represented in other areas, so try to get proportional representation in the places where they aren’t just amounts to an effort to prevent whites from getting jobs.
Roy Romanow, an architect of the the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which turns 30 today), thinks the effects have not been altogether positive:
“When I teach today, I notice that these Charter kids think more individually. They have less of a historical connection to the notion of communitarian impulses. It’s almost like a different country now.
“They see Canada through an individual lens, whether it’s their gender rights or health rights. It’s worrisome because the answers are not always either/or.”
There are no doubt larger social forces at work here—increased diversity, changes in gender roles, etc.—which the Charter helped cement.