[lg policy] Raphael Alexander: The compartmentalization of ethnic Canada

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 7 15:07:24 UTC 2009

Raphael Alexander: The compartmentalization of ethnic Canada

Posted: July 06, 2009, 12:42 PM by NP Editor

The Toronto Sun has an article today lamenting the flaws in
multiculturalism as being one that creates “ethnic ghettos”, instead
of the benefits that would come from the mixing of cultures in true

“If ever all these ethnic groups mingle into a single entity”, the
writer opines, then Canada would have created a “miracle race”.
Unfortunately, the scenario in Canada’s big cities appear to show more
of a compartmentalized nation, and the rapid ghettoization is clear in
large cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. It isn’t real
diversity, except perhaps in glowing governmental brochures and high
school essays. No, what we are witnessing is the emergence of vast
self-contained communities which survive independent from Canadian
culture at all. Communities so large that their isolation is
self-sustaining because of the relative autonomy they have,
represented by their politically elected ethnic leaders, sustained by
their ethnic economy servicing others like them, and isolated by a
need to keep together in these pockets throughout Canada.

Was this piece written by a white Canadian of European ancestry
lamenting the gradual shift to a mosaic of cultures too different from
his own to understand? An intolerant bigot, to be written off as
nobody more than another standing in the way of the inevitable changes
of our demography? It would be too easy if it were so. But
unfortunately for those kind of critics, the article was written by
Gurmukh Singh, a person belonging to one of the ethnic groups he
speaks about in his article. The problem, he says, is the lack of
interaction between cultures, not just between immigrant clusters and
Canadians, but between each cluster:

The Chinese of Markham have little interaction with the Indians of
Brampton or the Pakistanis of Mississauga or the Sri Lankans of
Scarborough or the Somalis of Islington.

Forget about the mainstream white society. These ethnic groups have
little to do with them.

As mentioned earlier, there are no compulsions for people in these
ethnic enclaves to leave their comfort zones. In addition, the
Canadian government has given them enough incentives to stay in their
ghettos with a beautiful thing called multiculturalism.

This well-meaning policy may have been aimed at helping newcomers
preserve their language, religious traditions and culture, but it
seems to have served the opposite purpose.

Basically this policy says: Be the way you are, and stay in your
ghetto. Bluntly speaking, it breeds isolation.

Gurmukh Singh goes on to lament that this isolation is propped up by
politicians who understand that they can target an entire voting bloc
by pandering to isolationist policies. These liberal-style ethnic
donations aren’t just reserved for the Chretien-Martin years, but have
infiltrated the Conservative stratagem. And the main argument for
immigrant communities, that their children will eventually integrate
and the problem will be solved, is a fallacy in the face of the fact
that Canada’s record immigration numbers, accomplished under a
Conservative banner, replenish the numbers of immigrants leaving the
ghettos with new ones. Meaning that there is a permanent state of
ghettos in Canada that are completely isolated from everybody else.

Not only does isolation create a problem within Canadian cohesiveness,
but as Mr.Singh explains in his article, Toronto winds up becoming the
battlegrounds for battles best left on the shores of the countries
they abandoned. The Tamil Tiger demonstrations in Ottawa and Toronto
this spring are a perfect example of it.

This realization of the failings of Canada’s multiculturalism and
immigration comes at a time when a Canadian think-tank has said that
immigration is not the answer to our future problems. In short,
Canadians need to start having children, not outsourcing our
population growth to new immigrants who will merely fill ethnic
communities. A study by the C.D. Howe Institute found that even vast
increases of immigrants has little effect on the age dilemma facing
Canadians from the baby boomer generation retirement as our
demographics shift to an aged nation. What this ultimately means is
that the more we outsource our population growth, the less sustainable
our social security will be in the future. A change in our thinking
about immigration could be necessary in a very short time.

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