Visible minority communities and the Election: More interesting articles from New Canadian Media

Round-up of some interesting stories on the ‘ethnic vote’ in New Canadian Media.

No surprise that Tory Candidates Make Joint Pitch to Chinese Voters, given that Chris Cochrane’s analysis shows considerable support for the CPC (see Immigrants are not a monolithic voting block). Of note is the diversity within the Conservative candidates:

The seven candidates who participated were Bin Chang representing for Scarborough-Agincourt; Joe Daniel, for Don Valley North; Jobson Easow for Markham-Thornhill; Maureen Harquail for Don Valley East; Chungsen Leung for Willowdale; Michael Parsa for Richmond Hill; and Bob Saroya for Markham-Unionville.

Ranjit Bhaskar, in Courting the “Ethnic Vote” notes, among other observations, that:

However, in a blog post on the refugee issue, Andrés Machalski, president of MIREMS, a media monitoring and research firm, observed that many of the stories in the ethnic media reflected those in the mainstream.

But harsher tones could also be seen and heard. A radio host on a Punjabi show said Canada has already admitted enough refugee, adding that settling them costs an enormous amount of money. A former refugee claimant suggested in Sing Tao Toronto that only 5,000 refugees should be let in a year as otherwise Canadian residents might have to pay more taxes.

Silke in The Niqab – Competing Traditions Clash Over Women’s Clothing, captures the diversity of opinion within different ethnic groups, and concludes, erroneously that:

In Canada, the call to allow niqabs at citizenship ceremonies is mostly based on cultural relativism – a call for tolerance of diverse customs – notably a value not practiced by any fundamentalist religion, including the Islamists it is trying to accommodate. The Conservatives’ call to ban it is based on an appeal to traditional Canadian values of having one’s face uncovered when making a commitment – looking people in the eye, so to speak. Others have called for a ban on the niqab not just at citizenship ceremonies, but more widely, as a matter of women’s rights.  However, looking at the question from a gender equality perspective, one wonders why Islamist men should be allowed to swear the oath of allegiance to Canada in their traditional attire, but not their wives and daughters.

It has actually been framed as a Charter human rights issue, given the Supreme Court has ruled that the test for a religious practice is not theological but rather whether it is sincerely held.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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