How to debate immigration issues in Canada (Do’s and Don’ts) – Policy Options

My reflections and suggestions on how to have a more respectful and informed conversation on immigration and related issues.

In thinking through the issues, I developed the following guidelines:

  • Be explicit about assumptions. Be mindful of conscious and unconscious biases that may inform assumptions and selection of evidence;
  • Be curious and assess the best evidence available, recognize that it may be imperfect, and avoid relying on anecdote alone;
  • Resist the temptation to use round ‘catchy’ numbers for communication purposes without substantiation or appropriate qualification;
  • Do not assume that all non-immigrants, immigrants or members of specific groups have the same beliefs, values and perspectives;
  • Use language and tone carefully to ensure respectful discussion and dialogue and avoid “demonizing” those with a different perspective;
  • Criticize words and behaviours, not the person;
  • When choosing quotes, consider the overall context and not just the particular selection;
  • Do not overplay the “I am an immigrant/am married to an immigrant/am a child of immigrants” to justify one’s position; and,
  • Do not assume that being part of a “dominant” culture means one’s views should take precedence over others.

Hope you find these guidelines and the do’s and don’ts in the article helpful.

Source: How to debate immigration issues in Canada – Policy Options