Maybe Canadians aren't more enlightened about immigrants, after all -

Maybe Canadians aren’t more enlightened about immigrants, after all

A survey finds that Canadians’ views on immigrants are close to those of Europeans and Americans. Could our political system be what sets us apart?

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, November 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, November 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Among Justin Trudeau’s cabinet ministers, John McCallum had achieved a unique status by the time the Prime Minister was shunting him off last month to become Canada’s next ambassador to China. As immigration minister, McCallum, 66, had successfully spearheaded the bringing of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in a hurry, in the process emerging as the grandfatherly face of Canadian warmth in a cold world.

But listen to the unexpectedly frosty edge his voice took on when Maclean’s interviewed him last fall, a few months after Trudeau’s celebrated Syrian refugee project was effectively over, by which time McCallum had turned his attention to more pragmatic policy-making. “Yes, Canadians are generous, but that generosity is not unlimited,” he cautioned. “Canadians will accept immigration, but largely for economic reasons. A certain number of refugees, but going forward the emphasis will be more on immigrants who can quickly contribute to the Canadian economy.”

That cold-eyed appraisal of how Canadians really size up newcomers might sound at odds with the admiring reviews of Canada’s welcoming nature often aired these days in the international media. But a new survey commissioned by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada backs up McCallum’s no-nonsense assessment. It finds that Canadians aren’t much different from Europeans or Americans when it comes to attitudes towards immigration.

“Whatever is driving Canada’s exceptionally positive history of immigration and integration over the last half century, it does not appear to be an exceptionally tolerant public,” concludes University of Toronto political science professor Michael Donnelly, who analyzed the survey of 1,522 Canadians, conducted by the polling firm Ipsos last month, for a conference the McGill institute is holding in Montréal later this week.

The survey probed how well Canadians grasp federal immigration policy, and what they like and don’t like about it. Compared with results of surveys in European countries, Canadian views were generally middle-of-the-pack. For instance, asked how much they agree or disagree with the statement that “The government should be generous in judging people’s applications for refugee status,” Canada’s generosity ranked ninth out of 22 countries, only a notch better than Britain and modestly ahead of Germany.

Compared with Americans, Canadians come off as, at best, only slightly more enlightened. One set of questions asked those taking the survey to make choices among possible immigrants. Like Americans in similar surveys, Canadians favour those fleeing persecution or seeking to be reunited with family members already here, over those just looking for a better job. And, not surprisingly, Canadians tend to prefer letting in those who are well-educated and already speak English or French.

But assumptions about race and religion figure in, too. Despite Canada’s image as a model of multiculturalism, a hypothetical immigrant from Sudan was about eight per cent less likely to be chosen by the survey respondents than a German with the same profile for education, occupation and language skills. In a parallel American survey, the corresponding difference was 10 per cent.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with a Syrian refugee during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 1, 2016. (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with a Syrian refugee during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 1, 2016. (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)

But if Canadians’ attitudes towards immigrants look surprisingly similar to those of Americans or Europeans, that doesn’t mean Canada’s reputation for doing a much better job at integrating newcomers is undeserved. It just means, as Donnelly suggests, that the explanation for Canada’s success can’t just be that Canadians have learned to be more broad-minded.

On the contrary, Donnelly sees in the mix of Canadian attitudes potential for the same sorts of populist, blame-the-immigrants sentiments that have bubbled up in the U.S. and Europe. “It’s certainly possible to imagine the rise of an anti-immigrant party or an anti-immigrant movement,” he says.

MORE: How Kellie Leitch touched off a culture war

Why hasn’t it happened, then, at least not as a prominent force in national politics? Donnelly points to the research of a colleague, University of Toronto political science professor Phil Triadafilopoulos, who shows how immigrant voters are too important in Canadian elections for a party to succeed by alienating them. In an interview, Triadafilopoulos said Canada turns new immigrants into citizens, and thus voters, more quickly than other comparable democracies. “They don’t remain outsiders,” he says. “Politically, they become insiders very quickly.”

That crucial fast path to becoming voting citizens matters even more, Triadafilopoulos adds, because of settlement patterns. Immigrants to Canada tend to gravitate to urban and suburban centres, notably in and around Toronto and Vancouver, in strategically crucial ridings. Add to that Canada’s distinctive political system—with three or more parties vying in a winner-take-all contest for each seat, often splitting the vote in volatile ways—and no smart campaigner is likely to write off immigrant voters by running on an anti-immigrant message.

If Triadafilopoulos and Donnelly are right, Canada’s track record for embracing immigrants is less a matter of popular sentiment than political strategy. John McCallum—who for 17 years represented the suburban Toronto riding of Markham-Thornhill, where the path to election victories always ran through predominantly Chinese and South-Asian communities—would understand.


Maybe Canadians aren’t more enlightened about immigrants, after all

  1. Don’t confuse Conservatives with Canadians.

    • Emily,
      You’re absolutely right, Conservatives are the smart Canadians.

      • Just a minority of misfits.

      • Pollsters shouldn’t be taking polls will voters are angry, it makes for bad decisions and choices. I had credibility in Nik, but as i noticed, he is no different from the others, drive wedges between voters to get a headline, the conservative and NDP way. Pollsters love a good headline, and the MSM use it as a headline to spin news, instead of reporting news.

  2. Sigh. I would like to be welcoming toward Muslims, so would someone please relieve me of my worries about:

    1. Jihad, or anything else that justifies the killing of infidels (I’m one)
    2. Reduced rights for women
    3. A preference for theocracy under sharia law.
    4. Blasphemy trials, such as one going on in Indonesia right now
    5. Honor killings

    Thanks in advance.

    • There are lots of religions in the world James…..and they all have different rules and beliefs.

      Muslims have been around about 1500 years

      Christians have killed Muslims for most of that time. Now some Muslims are fighting back.

      However they are a very small group, and we are in no danger.

      Muhammed was illiterate, and the Koran was mostly plagiarized from the bible. Yes indeed, that Sharia law you are so worried about… all right there in the Old Testament. Stoning and the subjugation of women and genocide and all that.

      Anyhow…..the world is globalizing, and we all have to learn how to get along.

      • I appreciate this article. What I don’t appreciate is the assumption that being “pro-multicultural immigration” is an “enlightened” viewpoint. I heard the same thing on CBC , when Trudeau was referred to as “one of the last “progressive” leaders”. (he and Angela Merkel (sp?) of Germany, being supposedly more “enlightened” than the leaders of the other countries. This whole issue needs to be seen in terms of the greatly changing world we live in — the eruption of “the world as we knew it” on Sept. 11, 2001 cannot be minimized in terms of its affect on people. The constant violence … and it never stops. Yes, I believe that we are only months away from seeing a “one issue” party , calling for a pause in our immigration activities, so that Canadians can think and reflect on this issue. (Meanwhile, we now have Syrian refugees coming in illegally across the border — 22 of these people arrived in Manitoba this weekend. Does this sound familiar?? “re” the US and Mexico. I would like it if others would stop trying to tell me how I should think and feel, and listen, instead. But, with Little Lord Fauntleroy kicking out those with wisdom and experience (Stephan Dion and John McCallum) , it is unlikely that we will get any true leadership from him. Not while he makes the choice — and it was a choice, to spend his Christmas in luxury with the absurdly wealthy leader of a Muslim sect, rather than , for example, Iqaluit — where people who need his help as much as Syrian refugees live. God forbid that we should address the needs of Canadians first.

        • We’re all immigrants.Lindsay3

          And the govt has been addressing our needs for 150 years.

          • PS And they are not Syrian refugees…..they are from Somalia.

          • The people born here are not immigrants, but obviously the definitions of words are not important to you.

      • So very inaccurate information Emily. Do not attempt to give your opinion on something that you have zero knowledge on! So foolish!

        • Yeah it is….stop it.

      • I expect with all your negative attitudes, it will be very hard for you to learn to “get along”.

      • Emilyone, Really? I have to ask you, did you ever study the Bible? I have studied significant parts of the Bible as well as theological books and some history. I find some of your comments to be right off the wall and totally false. You say for example christians have killed Muslims for about 1500 years. This is misleading. That is not a correct history of the past 1400 years. The spread of Islam was by force throughout the middle east and north Africa and up into Spain and France before it was pushed back to the meditteranean. You obviously haven’t read any history books that cover the last 1400 years concerning the spread of Islam.

        You say the Koran was plagiarized from the Bible. You say Sharia law is from the Old Testament. No I don’t think so. You sound like you have not read the Bible and are making that up. Again you should do some research before making statements like that. Back it up with facts or evidence.

        You say they are a small group and we are in danger. Again, that is an assumption you are making and offer no evidence at all.

        • Emilyone, Correction: You say they are a small group and we are in NO danger. Again that is an assumption you are making with no evidence.

          • I guess you haven’t heard about all the crusading eh?

            Well Christians butchered Muslims left and right…and after they helped us out of the Dark Ages too..

            I was familiar with both the bible and the koran before you were born, sonny….knowing what they say is why I’m an atheist.

            Muslims believe in both books. Perhaps you should learn your own religion before critiquing others

            Violent Muslims are a small minority of Islam…..we have Christian terrorist too ya know.

            Just because you are having trouble with your own life is no reason to pick on Muslims.

        • Good for you, KermodeBear!! Thank you for taking the time to point out some of her false statements. She has already told me that she “is not interested in my view”, and to ‘bugger off”. So, I do not try to communicate with her anymore — she has made up her mind, and “to hell with the facts”…….

    • There are lots of religions with a history of murder and mayhem including Catholicism a well established religion in Canada but perhaps we should consider that a large cohort of the earliest French settlers were Huguenot refugees from religious mayhem in Europe. If one gives equal consideration to the long history of religiously inspired violence and mysogyny there’s not much to choose between any of the religions. The religions which once aspired to be Canada’s official religions supported all kinds of racial discrimination and even slavery and continue to this day to espouse mysogynist principles. If you were paying attention, you’d have notice that residential schools were in no way motivated by benevolence. Tellingly, an Anglican bishop once explained the ‘need’ by saying “we’ve got to save the savages from the jaws of these vipers” said vipers being the Methodists.

      • Agreed.

      • How about the real christian religion as taught by Jesus. Love thy neighbour as thyself? You are correct if you mean many religions were following the teachings of Jesus. But the teachings of Jesus and the Bible are far beyond “religion” and not easy to follow unless God gives people the power to follow. Human’s have always failed when they tried using their own ways and strength. Jesus said there would always be wars and rumours of wars and he was correct. History is full of religion wars, strife of all kinds, but this is not what Jesus taught the way it should be.

        • I meant you are correct if you meant many religions were NOT following the teachings of Jesus.

    • Hi, James. I cannot relieve you of these concerns — I share them. My concern over this has taken me to the website of “Immigration Watch”. On Feb. 21, the House of Commons is going to be debating yet another bill to further enshrine the special place of Muslims in our society. Some people worry that this could lead to “blasphemy trials”. Another writer in this comments section points out that there is already a section of England that is a “no go” zone because Sharia law has become enshrined there. (as per your concern). So, it is up to you and me to either act, or not act. With Justin spending his Christmas holidays with the Aga Khan, I don’t think that we can count on him to be giving our concerns much serious thought.

    • Multiculturalism is hypothetical.

  3. Basically, there are only two kinds of Canadians: aboriginals and immigrants the latter being divided into established and recent. Somehow, Canada can find a perceived need for 250,000+ temporary foreign workers to perform jobs that Canadians can’t or won’t do. It might do everyone some good to look at their family trees – even old stock Canadians like myself might find their only 3rd generation.
    In any case, Canadian immigration has always had a substantial component of select immigration where preferred immigrants are chosen for their potential economic value even in some cases as child labor; however, traditionally there has been some acceptance of hardship cases and of course both French and British governments had occasion to use Canada as a dumping ground for their welfare cases. There is a bit of schizophrenic thinking though when we prefer skilled labor and then complain about immigrants that have economic success.
    But let’s consider for a moment the fact that our economy and economic systems depend substantially on continual growth: with an aging population and a fertility rate less than 2, we need immigration just to maintain the status quo and a lot more immigration if we persist in growth-oriented economic practices.

    • Geraldr — you drinking that koolaid again?!?!?!?!?!?!? Where do you get off saying there are two kinds of Canadians – being – Aboriginals and Immigrants?!?!?!?!?!? I for one am NOT an immigrant, I am Canadian and darn proud of it until lately, my family have been here since the 17th century , have contributed to this country, fed/feed this and all nations and are the hands that get bitten by many who are derogatory and racist, nursed those who needed it no matter the color/race and never saw the difference unless it was pointed out by the racist who was/is of a different color/race. And the difference is shoved down the throats of those who are not Aboriginal all the time!! And the resentment, difference and division grows because of attitudes like yours!!!

      • Oh you poor baby…….!

        Your family came from another country…..they are immigrants and so are you.

        Other people want to come here…..and now YOU want to slam the door.

        Don’t think so, buddy.

        • Everyone in Canada is an immigrant. I met a gent and I couldn’t tell his nationality. In our discussion I asked him if he was a native Canadian. His answer was “I’m no more native than you are, we just got here earlier.” Turned out he was an Inuit and he explained how his people originally came over the ice bridges from what is now Russia.

          • Emilyone, I think you are misunderstanding the meaning of the word “immigrant”. Just looked it up in the Oxford dictionary.

            Immigrant — 1. A person who immigrates.

            I was born in Canada which means I did not immigrate. Only people who were born in another country and came to Canada to become a permanent resident are “immigrants”. Those who were born here are not correctly said to be immigrants. Their ancestors may have been immigrants at some point in time, but if one is born in Canada, they are not an immigrant.

          • Big Smiles to that one, Jerome!! And can’t you just visualize a self-deprecating (humble) Inuit saying this…….

        • My family came over during the potato famine in Ireland. When do we stop being “immigrants” and become Canadians? After all these many generations,
          believe me, I am definitely not an immigrant.

          • My family came in the 1830’s – prior to the potato famine. As you too are a descendant of the Irish, you know that Irish immigrants were treated with much disdain. There were signs that read no dogs and no Irish. A knickname for a police van is a “paddy wagon.” Of course, the Irish are not the only ones who have faced bigotry in Canada. The Chinese had a head tax. We put the Japanese in camps; the First Nations on reserves and then their children in residential schools. We treated those of Ukranian ancestory poorly as well. Now we are going to continue our bigoted practices and allow fear, hyperbole and false facts make us treat a new group of immigrants poorly. The great majority of mass murderers in Canada have been white Christian males. Many of those who come to us as refugees from Muslim countries are escaping persecution. Some were persecuted because they helped our Canadian soldiers as sources of information or interpreters during the Afghanistan war and if we don’t take them in, they and their families will be killed. Lucky for you and me, despite the disdain for the Irish, Canada accepted our ancestors and we have thrived here. What we need to learn is that there is a big difference between a moderate Muslim and a jihadist. What is worrisome is that Canadian Christian males are being converted to Muslim and turned into Jihadists via social media and other means. The man who shot the soldier at the parliament and tried to kill members of our government was a Canadian, not an immigrant. He worked in the Alberta oil patch. A number of Canadians have left the country to join ISIS. We cannot be under the mistaken belief that we are safe if we shut the door to immigrants. That is just foolish.

          • You’re not an immigrant if you were born in Canada. It is that simple. The people who say “we are all immigrants” are trying to say that Canadians have the same rights to their country as immigrants. Both of these things are obviously wrong, but it was the extreme left is pushing.

        • Kermodebear

          An immigrant is someone who comes to Canada by choice, and goes through all the required paperwork and legalities

          A refugee……which is what we are discussing here…..comes here because of war, natural disaster, persecution etc Canada is required to take in refugees because a a UN treaty.

          Countries like China and India cannot because they are already crowded…..however 90% of Canada is empty.

          • Gage G.. You are absolutely right. Almost all immigrant groups have gone through a period of being vilified and rejected. I am of Irish and Irish background, with a little bit of Metis thrown in ….
            You are also absolutely right that we can’t be safe by closing our doors. BUT, no other ethnic group has come here with a pre-designed plan to make their religious beliefs the law in Canada. Rather than debate this with you, could I please direct you to something which I have found during this past week , as I have been trying to come to terms with all of this “stuff”. There is Retired General by the name of Russ Cooper. General Cooper (Retd) wrote to all Members of Parliament last year, after they had passed the e-petition regarding “islamophobia”. In great detail, and over several pages, he talked to the Members of Parliament about why he believes that this was not necessarily a good thing to do — why it might well be a first step in eroding our freedom of speech. Now, on Feb. 16th, our House of Commons is going to debate a second bill — this time a Private Member’s Bill brought forth by a Muslim Member of Parliament. General Cooper believes that this second Bill would go even further towards eroding Canadian’s hard won freedoms. He details some of the history of how the Muslim Brotherhood and other activist Muslim factions are operating in the US and Canada. General Cooper’s letter is entitled : ” A Letter to All Canadian Members of Parliament — Choosing Free Speech in the Face of Allegations of Islamophobia”. One place where you can find a copy of this letter is on this website : on the brink of incorporating Islamic speech codes.
            “Thank You” for your input, Gage G.. Sincerely, “Lindsay”

      • Hi, Glen. For what it is worth, the “resentment” which you speak of is shared by many. Also, a deep concern that no one is really at the helm of our country — we just have a bunch of politicians looking to get re-elected. I have always been a proud social democrat (i.e. NDP), but I no longer know how I will vote. IF you are interested, there is a website for an organization called “Immigration Watch”. It seems to be based out of Vancouver. On Feb. 21, the House of Commons is going to be debating a Private Member’s Bill which, Immigration Watch says, could go a long way to making certain expressions of frustration come under the heading of “blasphemy”. I have not yet read the full Private Members’ Bill, so I can not speak with authority. I am going to be researching it this week. My point being — we can lay down and do nothing, or we can begin to organize, and express our concerns in ways that politicians understand.

        • Emily, -again, I would urge to “speak” respectfully. You are not doing yourself, or your viewpoint, any good with your childish verbiage.

          • Ask me if I care about your views.

            Bugger off.

        • You are correct. The proposed bill is called M103 and it may remove freedom of speech to criticize Islam.

          I commend you for your polite response to Emilyone.

          • Fraid not folks……we have a constitutional guarantee on freedom of religion and freedom of speech. No bill can change that.

            What you may NOT do is indulge in hate speech….it’s a criminal offense.

            It’s what Lindsay3 is doing.

          • “Thank You”, KermodoBear. Have you seen where she has also called me a “white nationalist” and a “recruiter for the KKK”. Just because I am stating my belief that it might not be the best thing for Canada to continue with high immigration (both immigrant and refugee)?

          • Emilyone, No I don’t see anything that could be considered “hate speech” by Lindsay3. Talking about or criticizing immigration is not hate speech.

            M103 may be coming before parliament to bring in an anti-blasphemy law. The whole purpose of an anti-blasphemy law is to make it illegal to criticize a particular religion or criticize the prophet. That’s what it means. It is right out of the Koran or Sharia Law.

            People in a free country that respect freedom of speech have always had the right to criticize any religion or criticize the pope and any other religious leaders. M103 may in our minds be against the freedom of speech guaranteed in the Constitution, but that could also depend on interpretation of the Supreme Court, which has been making new laws and interpreting the Constitution in bizarre ways. In the meantime, once a law is brought in, anyone who someone thinks is breaking the law, could be charged and convicted, and who knows what the punishment could be. Once police officers and bureaucrats have the power to determine what someone says about something is blasphemy or against a ambiguous flexible law, it could become dangerous to say anything negative. Who would be the judge to decide what is legal or illegal to say? We literally would be going back to the dark ages. I wouldn’t count on bureacrats, politicians, or anyone to protect Canadian’s freedom of speech.

        • Lindsay, surely you recognize that free speech has limits. For instance one cannot yell bomb in a public place. One also cannot spew hatred and use propaganda to incite violence toward a certain sect of people. Surely you understand the difference between moderate and traditional Muslims. Perhaps you can try to understand that some people have come here because they were persecuted in their homelands. They wear the traditional garb they grew up with out in public because they feel very uncomfortable in anything else. That does not mean they are jihadists. The jihadists on 9/11 did not dress in traditional garb. They dressed in North American clothing. They went to bars and drank alcohol. They did everything to pretend they weren’t Muslim. They were blending in. As one might imagine, someone bent on doing harm might go undercover. Believing all Muslims are jihadists is like believing all Catholic priests are child molesters. Certainly you can appreciate that is not true. Steve Jobs, the inventor of the company Apple was the son of Syrian immigrants. He started one of the most successful businesses in North America. Do we really want to stop immigrants with the potential of Steve Jobs?

          • HI, Gage G. . May I ask you to read the rather long post which I wrote to you in response to your earlier comment.
            Again, I sincerely appreciate your questioning my logic — I started writing in these “comments” sections saying that “I wish Canadians could have a respectful, thoughtful dialogue about what level of immigration we want.” I have been reading and writing , both here and on other sites, for the past week, and I feel as though as I have had a “very good discussion”!!!!
            Lindsay :) :)

  4. Oh and some of us have married immigrants over the decades so I think that plenty of Canadians know about immigrants, especially in this day and age!! Does Trudeau and his government think Canadians are uneducated and STUPID??

    • Umm…..there is no polite way to answer that Glen. LOL

  5. Sorry to say, Canadians (fortunately) have yet to experience a large 911 type terrorist attack. Also, what Canada has yet to experience is what has already occurred in the U.K. The UK has “no go zones” and areas that are essentially Islamic districts where Sharia law is practiced.
    Canada, like the US, is a kind, welcoming country with a Judeo Christian tradition which is does not align with the tenants of Islam.

    Trump has seen what has happened in Europe and the U.K. and is from New York City, where 911 occurred. He has seen Boston and Adam Bernardino, and unlike Merkel or Trudeau, has used common sense to deduce that there is a downside to having immigrants admitted from countries that are Islamic, particularly those war torn countries where legitimate records are tough to come by. These are issues that must be considered by Canada. It is easy to look tolerant, but that tolerance may be foolish in the future. Even if countries want to allow some refugees into their home country, rather than having safe zones in other Arab countries, the truth is that neither Canada nor the US can admit every immigrant that wishes to come to the West. By the time leaders figure out that Islam and Sharia are not compatible with liberal Western democracy it may be too late.

    • There were over a million Moslems here long before 911

      In fact Canada has more Muslims than Jews.

    • Of course, you do realise it is in New York and California where people hate Trump the most? You know, the people that lived through the terrorist attacks you mentioned, rather than being the ones far away, in no danger, yet somehow awash in fear. Why is it the people that have probably never met a Syria refugee are the most likely to be afraid of them?

      Of course, you do realise that Canada has rather strict limits on both immigrants and refugees, and those that do come are vetted? No one has thrown the borders open like they have in Europe. No Canadian politician would even try, which is what this article is about.

      The only place your concerns have any merit is with illegal immigrants; flying, sailing, or just walking in; asking for refugee status and then just disappearing. Of course, those people are not going on welfare, not claiming health care, and certainly not going to be claiming a pension, lest they be deported. Yes, we deport people from Canada.

      Sorry, there’s enough education in Canada to not buy the scare tactics. Not going to work here, not enough to gain any kind of political power. Again, being what this article is about.

      • Dear Mr. English, I respect your opionion, but I would like to express my differing thoughts. There was an article in McLean’s shortly before this one that was titled, “It is time for Trudeau to do some brave things”. -Subtitle : There are 2,258 refugees stranded by Trump’s ban. The least Canada can do is give them a home. ” (not exact working, but quite close). This article be preceded by our boy-child Prime Minister tweeting that “Canada will take them.” Please consider the possibility that the people leading our country today are governed not by what is best for the country, but what is best for their Party. (case in point — this week’s flip-flop on electoral reform. ) Regarding illegal immigrants, do you really believe that the 22 people who crossed over into Manitoba this weekend are going to be deported? (and that 22 does not represent all that are now coming through the porous border — see the new MacLean’s article, “The new underground railroad to Canada”. As far as your thought that “there is enough education in this country…”, I also beg to differ. I myself am only now self-teaching on this issue — learning just this afternoon, for example, that 62% of the Muslim people in Ontario prefer some sort of Sharia Law. And that in Calgary, public swimming pools that were previously opened to both genders are now being asked to be closed off to men at certain times, so that the Muslim females can swim separately. (And one person commenting on an article in MacLean’s relates that in her community, swimming classes that were previously opened to both boys and girls have now been segregated. I am not a “hate-monger”, Mr. English — I am a kind and caring person who has lived in Canada all of my sixty years, raised my family here, and would have liked to have passed on “my” country to my grandchildren. I think that the Canada of the future is going to be a place which we will hardly recognize. If that doesn’t bother you, then that is fine . But please do not try to deny me the right to feel my own deep, deep concerns.

        • Stop talking nonsense.

          • You seem to feel that everyone talks nonsense except you. What a bleeding hypocrite.

          • Lois…, just the people who talk nonsense.

            Some don’t, you know.

        • “2,258 refugees stranded by Trump’s ban,” and previously vetted by the paranoid Americans I might add, and to be vetted again by Canadian officials, verses about a million, mostly men, crashing the border and being welcomed in Europe. Trust me, if our government started doing the latter, I’d be right there beside you demanding a non-confidence motion in Parliament. The only way we’d get that here is if the US descended into another civil war… which might happen.

          Illegal immigration in Canada is just not going to happen like in the US. We care too much about laws. And, yes, Canada does deport people. Seems we average about 35 people per day, 10,000 per year, if Google is to be trusted.

          As for all the rest, that’s called ‘multiculturalism’ and, yes, I do support it. I’m sorry you missed the turn, but we started down that road in the ’70s. We, as a nation, decided the best way forward was to not be like the US “melting pot” and, instead, accommodate those from different cultures. Letting people wear religiously required stuff while at work, instead of being marginalised and unemployable, letting people participate in our society, even if they are more modest than the average, is a good thing. That lets young men in that culture grow up as part of OUR society, contributing to OUR society, instead of being shoved off to the side, resenting us, and having nothing left but to fight. That’s what separates Canada from France, from Britain, and from the US. It’s what makes Canada one of the best places in the world to live.

          You can feel as you wish, you can express your political feelings, and we will listen to you. Your views are important, as all minority views are. Canada is a multicultural nation, and that includes you. I wish I could just talk your concerns away but it’s something you’re going to have to deal with in your own time. Maybe it would help to look at other nations, to see how messed up they are, and then look at your home, Canada, again. Comparatively, we’re doing very well with our multicultural approach. I mean, would you really want your kids growing up in France, with the race riots, or in Britain, that has experienced far more terrorist attacks than here. On a per-capita basis, I highly doubt either has more recent immigrants than Canada does, yet we all get along so much better. I mean, is it so horrible that your local pool sets aside some time to meet the needs of a minority group? For that matter, perhaps your daughter might prefer being able to swim without being ogled by the boys. Have you asked her?

          It’s not so bad here, really. We’re doing good, great actually.

          • I sincerely appreciate your respectful diaglogue , David. However, for just one minute, will you consider what will happen over the next ten years? You say I “missed the turn” in the 70’s. No, I didn’t miss the turn of multiculturalism. But, if you are able to take the time to read the comments of the person with the tag “Practicing Muslim” in the comments of the article which I mentioned (time for Trudeau to do a brave thing) you will see that the Muslim people are having approx . 3-4 children each. As a young Canadian woman, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I limited my child birth to two. I would have like to have more, but , at the time, it seemed that that was the responsible thing to do — to limit the size of families. Plus, with no national Day care program, to have any more would have been next to impossible if a person wanted to work. So, I feel betrayed — yes, betrayed. I have served my country well all of my life, and now that the gov’t is telling me that we have take in thousands of people from other countries, whose traditions and culture are foreign to me, in order to make up for my wise decisions. Surely there could be other options for meeting the needs of the labor force than changing the whole dynamics of the country. Your points are noted, well expressed, and well taken. But, I think that you perhaps — if you will allow me to say so, perhaps have your head in the sand a bit as to what is really going on. There is a strong, very strong, Muslim lobbying group in this country, and with Little Lord Fauntleroy choosing to spend his Christmas with a wealthy leader of a Muslim sect, rather than with, say – people in Iqaluit, then I think that we could , in fact, see more change than many of us want. Keep your eyes and ears open, and just watch it — especially the debate in the House of Commons on Feb. 21.

          • In reply to Lindsay3 (Apparently, there is a depth limit to comments)

            All over the world, affluent urban populations have reduced birthrates, something that crosses cultural lines. It’s not just us, not just the west, it’s everywhere. Mechanised farms push people into the cities; people in cities have less kids. Rich people have even less.

            There are two countries taking extreme solutions to this problem: Canada and Japan. The first is banking on large-scale controlled immigration and the other basically with none. Most would consider those nations in the middle as not doing particularly well, and with what is going on in the EU as crazy. I’m not saying the EU won’t benefit in the long run, it might, but the process will be anything but sane.

            Japan accepts a shrinking population and the problems it will cause, preferring them over the problems immigration would cause. Canada is avoiding a shrinking population through immigration and, because of birth-demographics, most are coming from crowded, poor, non-urban, or populations disrupted by war. Excepting perhaps crowded India or China, net immigration between affluent urban populations is inconsequential.

            So, assuming it were possible for Canada to choose Japan’s solution, which it never was and never will be considering our dual English and French roots, what would happen? Japan’s population is expected to drop from 127M to 83M in 4 decades. What would happen to Canada if a similar drop happened here? The obvious answer is what Canadians have been afraid of since 1865, assimilation into the US.

            Japan can afford a significant drop in population but if Canada had chosen that route over immigration, we would now be so few, with such vast natural resources, that when a President like Trump came along, we’d be done for. There is the option of increasing the birthrate of a population but that has generally failed everywhere it’s been tried, from Japan to Russia and even in Quebec. Even Quebec has resorted to immigration in an attempt to save its language and culture.

            If Canada is to survive, we need immigrants and those immigrants are not going to come from affluent Judeao-Christian countries. The question is not if we allow immigration, Canada must have immigrants. The question is not from where, we don’t have that choice. The questions are only how many we want and how we’re going to deal with them when they get here.

            There is a lot of room for debate on how many we bring in. The ratios between economic migrants, family reunification, and refugee are all a matter of political choice, not that they seem to vary greatly between parties. I happen to think that if you’re going to deal with immigrant populations then you might as well go big and get more of the benefits. But, that’s just my entirely debatable opinion.

            However, I defy anyone to point to a method of integrating those newcomers into the greater population that works better than Canada’s multicultural approach. We’re doing great. Yes, there are bumps and bruises. Yes, it forces change and nobody likes to be forced. Yes, it is damaging to traditions. All kinds of problem. But, I’ll take those problems over race riots, ghettos, police no-go zones, large scale terrorism, and the like every day. Besides that, by integrating our immigrants into a greater society, yes one that includes important elements of theirs as well, we get a lot more benefit for everyone. I know it’s cliche, but there is a lot of strength in diversity.

          • :-)

            Lindsay3: Appreciate the free publicity. Carry on recruitment for your hate site.

  6. We are all immigrants. Move over.

    • Your comments above are the single most helpful statement which I have seen about the “why” of our current immigration policy. I would like to sincerely say “Thank You for it”. (I get the sense that you must be a teacher of history, or something along those lines.) I will be giving your comments a lot of thought. But, like “James” above, I do not think that you can easily gloss over the “fact”??? that many Muslim people are not really interested in our concept of “multiculturalism”. As far as I can see, they are much more interested in having the rest of us change to suit them. (And not a little change — a lot of change.) Perhaps more accurately, what I have been thinking is that in immigrating here, they seem to want their allegiance to the Koran (and Allah) to take precedence over any allegiance to what we can refer to here as “Canadian values”. The single best example which I can give you is the young woman who refused to uncover her face during her swearing in ceremony. In my opinion, the “accommodating” all goes one way when dealing with a lot of Muslims. It has to — because Allah is Almighty , and will strike them dead if they dare to go against his word. (And if Allah doesn’t strike them dead, then extreme elements in their own religion or society will do so — people such as their husbands, brothers, or sons….) Again , “Thank You” for taking the time to give me one of the best explanations I have yet seen as to the “why” of our current immigration policy.

  7. What the pollsters, and the pols, are missing is that Joe and Jane Sixpack are tired of politicians who expend pretty much most of their finite resources trying to fix the world, and not enough of it sorting out truly existential issues such as the growing public sector debt built upon the refusal of governments to bring their spending back in line with revenues.
    So called “enlightenment” has become code for too goddamn stupid, gutless, and lazy to address the problem of runaway government. Show me a politician with an “enlightened” attitude on any number of issues including immigration, and I’ll show you one who can’t grasp that governments are eating us out of house and home.

  8. LOL at left-wing propagandists. “Until you completely open your borders, you’re not enlightened enough!” Funny how the people who call for this the loudest always live in the most exclusive, whitest suburbs they can find.

  9. Can anyone please explain why in the world Kuwait , Oman , Saudi Arabia ,Bahrain and Qatar have not taken any Arab Refugees .
    Is it because they know something we don’t know or are they as strapped for cash as we are ?
    If Muslims are afraid of Islamophobia why would any Muslims come to this Country ?
    Or do they just want to change our country to a Sharia Law country, as it was proposed by Omar Alghabra, Liberal MP
    And I agree , Canadians really don’t know all the pros and cons of bring Immigrants from a completely opposite Culture to our Judeo – Christian Culture !

    • It is interesting how you have cherry picked nations to suit your narrative.

      However your misconceptions are easily debunked by facts and sources. Saudi Arabia has hosted 1 million Syrians as of 2013, an increase of 795% over 2010. Syrian population in remaining Gulf states has also increased by 470% since 2010. These are not technically counted as refugees because these nations are not signatories to the 1951 UNHR Refugee convention. (Source: World bank, Newsweek).

      Here is the remaining truth on how many “refugees” are actually hosted by other muslims countries. (Wikipedia)

      Turkey: 2.6 million (yes million) registered refugees as of Feb 2016.
      Lebanon: 1,048,275 registered refugees as of March 2016.
      Jordan: 628,427 registered Syrian refugees as of June 2015.
      Iraq: 245,543 refugees as of Feb 2016.

  10. Yes, folks the borders are disappearing…. It will continue

    And we don’t have a ‘Judaeo-Christian’ culture.’

    • Hi, Artvent7 — I agree with you. I sincerely believe that the “majority” of Canadians deserve an opportunity to give this whole matter some serious thought. That does make me, or you, a “bigot”, or “unenlightened”. It means that we have invested our lives in this country, and it is not fair for it to be so completely changed without good-hearted people having a chance to voice their concerns. I will do the same here as I have done under other “comments” — simply suggest that you go to the website for “Immigration Watch” — which seems to be based in Vancouver, and see if what that organization is saying resonates for you. “Wishing you all the best.”

      • KKK recruitment

  11. I’m all for immigrants if they can assimilate and contribute to our life and economy. But I think we have a lot of the homeless, the mentally ill on the streets and FN folks who we should look after as well as we seem to do for immigrants and refugees.

    • Hi, BlackTop — if you go to the comments sections for two previous MacLean’s articles, you will see that people have been discussing those very thoughts — the ones you have expressed, in quite a bit of depth. The articles are “It is time for Trudeau to do a brave thing”, and “We need to understand what Islamophobia…”. I think that it is fair to say, from the comments under these two articles, that many Muslims have no desire to integrate — but rather to re-order Canada to suit themselves. Let me know if you agree, or disagree, okay?

      • Warning:

        Lindsay is a white nationalist. KKK

        • I don’t know anything about Lindsay but I go by what I posted. I am not a fan of multiculturalism and I am concerned about our own people in need while refugees and Immigrants seem to get the red carpet treatment. Charity begins at home.

          • Yes. Charity begins at home. “Thank You”,Blacktop.

          • Just another way of refusing help to people that need it.

            And all you guys claim to be Christian?!

          • Emilyone: They are no Christians, but the ones from verses below. True Christian values in Canada (and in US), for some reason, I find within the liberal left, atheists and the LGBTcommunity . I am a bewildered student still, on why this is the case.

            ….so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. RSV-Mathew 23:4

            But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. RSV-Mathew 23:13

  12. Maybe if this study had included the population in Quebec the final results would have been vastly different. Populist politics is part and parcel of a politicians life in la belle Province. There are strong anti-immigrant sentiment in the Province and nothing has changed in terms of anti-foreigner attitudes since the massacre in Quebec CIty and it is not likely to change if one looks simply at debates in the National Assembly this week on Bill 62 where the PQ and Avenir Quebec are pushing for even more stringent anti-muslim clauses.

    • Good. Then Quebecers will be ready to express their opinions about the Private Members bill being brought before the House of Commons (federal) on Feb. 21. A female Muslim MP is asking for stronger “Islamophobia” safeguards — which some people say could end up with people being charged with “blasphemy”. I am not sure if this is the case, but you could check out the website for “Immigration Watch Canada”.

      • LOL oh sod off Lindsay.

        Do you even know what blasphemy is?

  13. To other participants in these “Comments” sections : In seven days, on Feb. 16th, a Private Members Bill – Bill M103 , is going to be debated. I have been told by a number of people that this Bill could, in fact, be the first breach in our cherished freedom of speech. I have also been told that the Muslim Brotherhood is taking an interest in what is going on in Canada. I do not have any way, as of today, to verify these things – for you or for myself. However, due to the importance of this issue, and the great haste with which this Bill is being dealt with, I am posting this to ask that you seriously consider speaking up about this. Calling your Member of Parliament and asking for more information, and using your own best judgment, would be a good place to start. It is up to you. Here is one of the information feeds which I have received :
    “Given the current Government’s stated goal of obtaining a seat at the United Nations Security Council, pressures from within and outside the country from powerful Islamic lobby groups, and the Canadian Government’s demonstrated proclivity to advance the “Islamophobia” initiative with undue haste and in the absence of evidence, there is a real risk that the fundamental right to free speech by all Canadians will be unnecessarily curtailed to accommodate the sensibilities of a special interest group.”
    – Major Ret’d Russ Cooper

    • Lindsay3, very good post warning about the coming private member’s bill M103 in parliament

  14. Do you honestly believe that this isn’t coming to Canada? If you do, I think that you not “enlightened”, but naive.

    French anti-terrorism forces arrested four people, including a 16-year-old girl, and uncovered a makeshift laboratory with explosives material as they thwarted a suspected new terror attack, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday.

    The arrests Friday were in the Montpellier area of southern France. The prosecutor’s office said around 70 grams of TATP were seized. The explosive, which can be made from readily available ingredients, was used in the November 2015 attack in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels carried out by Islamic State extremists. The men arrested were aged 20, 26 and 33

  15. Do you honestly believe that this type of thing won’t be happening in Canada , sooner or later? If you do believe that it won’t happen here, then I do not think that you are “enlightened”, but you are naive (a good-hearted Canadian).

    French anti-terrorism forces arrested four people, including a 16-year-old girl, and uncovered a makeshift laboratory with explosives material as they thwarted a suspected new terror attack, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday.

    The arrests Friday were in the Montpellier area of southern France. The prosecutor’s office said around 70 grams of TATP were seized. The explosive, which can be made from readily available ingredients, was used in the November 2015 attack in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels carried out by Islamic State extremists. The men arrested were aged 20, 26 and 33

  16. Better late than never.