Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chicago launches opening salvo in now traditional War Against Christmas

Writing in Vdare, Peter Brimelow quotes AP:

CHICAGO (AP) - A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says. Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film ‘The Nativity Story’ might offend non-Christians.

New Line Cinema, which said it was dropped, had planned to play a loop of the new film on televisions at the event.

Read all of Peter Brimelow's article.

See also:

Immigration and cultural change or why I don't want to celebrate Eid and Diwali

Will Kymlicka, Canada's world-renowned "expert" on multiculturalism, suggests replacing Easter with Ramadan

But we'll always have Diwali

You know the Christmas buying season has begun when Santa Claus comes to town

How could Santa be in Toronto and Vancouver on the same day? Could it mean . . .?

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Australia is becoming a 'two-tone' nation

From The Australian (A shift of emphasis by George Megalogenis, November 25):

What is not widely understood yet is how today's two-speed economy is preparing the ground for tomorrow's two-tone nation, in which Sydney and Melbourne are the nation's twin multicultural capitals and Perth and Brisbane become our Anglocentric capitals.

Perth has the nation's highest concentration of English-speaking immigrants, while Brisbane is the only Australian city that hasn't relied on overseas immigration to expand. Sydney and Melbourne, by contrast, are increasingly dependent on non-English-speaking immigration for their population growth.

The people movement of the past five years, as the economy cruised into the second decade of its 15-year uninterrupted run of prosperity, offers a glimpse of our two-tone future.

Since 2001, Sydney has drawn 76per cent of its population growth from overseas, while Melbourne shared its load 50-50 between net natural increase and immigration.

Perth relied on immigration for 56per cent of population growth, but the intake was whiter in character than the new settlers going to Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane, on the other hand, tapped 69 per cent of its new citizens from local sources, namely net natural increase and interstate migration, with the latter mainly from NSW.

Read all of George Megalogenis' article.

See also:

Rethinking the White Australia Policy

Another Oz Outrage: Andrew Fraser Furor Continues

Developer wants Australia to accept 130 million new immigrants by 2050

Australia's national question

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Vancouver working poor can't buy basics - report

From the Vancouver Sun (Working poor can't buy the basics: report by Glenn Bohn, November 23):

A new report based on a provincewide food pricing survey concludes that welfare recipients and the working poor don't have enough money to buy the basic foods that everyone needs to remain healthy.

That's one of the major findings of The Cost of Eating in B.C. report made public today by the Dietitians of Canada and the Community Nutritionists Council of B.C. -- professional groups that represent hundreds of dietitians in B.C.

"We know that people living on low incomes -- the working poor -- consume fewer servings of vegetables and fruit and purchase fewer milk products," said Vancouver dietitian Andrea Ottem, one of the nutrition experts who worked on the report.

"We know that income is a powerful predictor of health, so poor Canadians suffer from more health problems and they die earlier than wealthier Canadians. We also know there's good evidence that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables will help prevent chronic disease. So if families don't have enough money to purchase that food, there will be health consequences."

[. . .]

Read all of Glenn Bohn's article.

See also:

Food banks have trouble meeting growing need - report

Civic leader says working poor a "smouldering crisis"

BC unions say foreign workers are being hired to replace fired Canadians

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Toronto police officer awarded damages after suspect fabricated allegations of a racially motivated beating

From the Globe and Mail (subscription required) (Former police officer awarded damages over false allegations by Kirk Makin, November 23)

A former Toronto police officer has won $25,000 in damages from a suspect who conspired with his girlfriend to fabricate allegations of a racially motivated beating.

Madam Justice Julie Thorburn of Ontario Superior Court expressed sympathy for Jeffrey Pearson over the predicament he found himself in after Shahid Mian and Lesley McLean conspired to frame him 14 years ago.

[. . .]

Mr. Pearson was a 22-year-old rookie constable manning a speed trap on Lakeshore Boulevard the day he pulled over a car driven by Mr. Mian in 1992.

"The motorist, Mr. Mian, received a speeding ticket from Pearson and thereafter, aggressively lunged at Pearson with his keys in his hand and screamed at him," Judge Thorburn said.

Mr. Pearson charged Mr. Mian with assaulting a police officer and causing a disturbance.

"Thereafter, Mr. Mian fabricated a story in order to coerce Mr. Pearson into dropping the charge against him and/or to punish him for charging Mr. Mian," Judge Thorburn said in her ruling. "Mr. Pearson testified that he was horrified and devastated by the assault charge levelled against him. This was made worse as, at the time, the issues of racism and police brutality were receiving a great deal of media attention."

[. . .]

Read all of Kirk Makin's article. (Article requires subscription.)

See also:

Craig Bromell comments on defendants playing the race card

Is it open season on whites in Toronto? Black teenager who brutally attacked old man plays race card and gets 18-months as a youth offender

Reodica inquiry. Is the officer presumed guilty because he is white? (The officer later testified that he was in fact aboriginal.)

Reodica inquest concludes, but the saga continues. The implications for race relations are ominous

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Teaching new immigrants how to dress for winter

From the Toronto Star (Winter dressing for beginners by Nicholas Keung, November 23):

She's not alone in her bewilderment. One of the questions settlement workers and ESL teachers hear most often from new immigrants is: "How do you dress your kids for winter?"

Help arrived this week in the form of a wordless, one-minute animated cartoon and a tip sheet to help immigrant parents figure it out, downloadable from

"One of the biggest challenges for our newcomers is dealing with our cold winter, yet there was no tool available to help them learn to dress for our weather," said Peter Dorfman, provincial co-ordinator of the Settlement Workers in Schools program.

He said teachers complain they can't let some immigrant children out to the playground in winter because they don't have snowsuits and mittens.

"Many of our parents are brand new to the country and most of them are coming from the South," he explained. "It is like (when) you and I go to a hot country, and we may not know how to dress for heat. And we may need some advice, too."

Read all of Nicholas Keung's article.

Toronto District School Board conducting student census

Ontario school boards use ESL funds for other purposes

Toronto high school students who speak Portuguese, Spanish or Somali drop out at higher rates

90 percent of pupils in Mississauga school come from non-English-speaking homes

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Buzz Hargrove warns that cheap Chinese imports threaten Canadian auto industry

From the Toronto Star (Auto industry in danger: Hargrove by Tony van Alphen, November 29):

Auto union leader Buzz Hargrove says a tour of the Far East has convinced him that China will completely overrun the North American vehicle industry within two decades unless governments take action to thwart a potential flood of imports.

Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, said in an interview from Beijing yesterday that Ottawa and Washington need to move quickly with reciprocal trade measures because it is clear China won't allow imports to undermine the country's industrial growth.

[. . .]

Hargove and two senior CAW officials have been quietly conducting a two-week fact-finding mission in China and Korea in an effort to understand the implications of economic growth there on the union's members and future prospects for the auto industry here.

The CAW, which represents workers at the struggling North American-based auto makers, have pushed for tariff barriers on Far East countries during the last two years because the union believes they don't allow similar access to vehicles built here.

[. . .]

Read all of Tony van Alphen's article.

The loss of manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries scares me almost as much as our immigration policy. It's not a level playing field. Canadian businesses have to obey laws designed to protect workers and the environment. That adds to the cost of production, but it also adds to our quality of life. In China, workers don't have the same rights and the Chinese government doesn't let environmental considerations stop industrial development. Property rights are a problem in China as well. Communist officials don't hesitate to push poor farmers off their land if those farmers stand in their way. To compete with China, we would have to abandon many of the laws and regulations that make life livable.

See also:

No Free Trade With Korea (If you click on this link, you can download articles about free trade in pdf format)

Canada interested in Pacific-wide free trade zone

A free trade agreement between Canada and India?

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"The right to decide who lives amongst them is one of the most profound rights of any nation of citizens."

Martin Kelly on British immigration policy:

But it is in the issue of immigration that one sees what one loves, one's home and culture, being altered and bent like plasticine with neither consultation nor consent; the taking of a hammer to an object already under stress.

The right to decide who lives amongst them is one of the most profound rights of any nation of citizens.

Blair came to power in 1997 wanting to increase immigration. No other conclusion supports the facts. Whether he was motivated by ideology, a flawed understanding of economics, a desire to ingratiate himself with the business class or my own personal belief, that he profoundly hates everything about the United Kingdom and its people and will do everything in his power to change both it and them, he did not tell us that was his plan.

Read all of Martin Kelly's blog post

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Police board defends 'don't ask don't tell' policy on illegal immigrants

From the Toronto Star (Board fires back at border agency by Tracy Huffman, November 29):

The Canada Border Services Agency wants changes to the Toronto Police Service's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but officials with the agency admit they haven't even read it.

"I'd like you to review the policy you object to ... that would be useful before we all get into a tizzy," said police board vice-chair Pam McConnell at a meeting of the board yesterday.

[Hyphenated Canadian: How many terrorist attacks do there have to be before people like McConnell finally understand that border security is important?]

McConnell was directing her comments to two officials with the agency who had been addressing board members about the policy that prevents police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of victims and witnesses to crimes unless there's a good reason.

"Let me be clear. The CBSA supports initiatives that encourage victims and witnesses to come forward and assist law enforcement efforts," said John Gillan, the federal agency's director general for the Greater Toronto Area, who said he is concerned the policy may significantly compromise public safety and security.

"The decision to not ask the basic immigration question is a decision to disregard relevant information about a person's background," he said. "The unintended result may be that a person posing a potentially serious risk to public safety remains free to live among us."

[. . .]

Read all of Tracy Huffman's article.

Let's be clear. There are radical political groups who want to make it as difficult as possible for the government to deport illegal immigrants. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is part of an organized campaign to undermine Canada's ability to control its borders. It is only partly about encouraging witnesses to come forward. It is just as much, if not more, about legitimizing illegal immigration. We wouldn't have a problem with illegal immigrants failing to report crime if they weren't here in the first place. I haven't seen any concern from the police board about the problems caused by illegal immigration.

The head of the police services board, Alok Mukherjee, was part of the "human rights" industry. Hamlin Grange, another board member, is a black activist. Pam McConnell is a middle-class leftist. I wouldn't expect any of these people to be very concerned about national security. Take Hamlin Grange, for example. Here's what Rosie DiManno writes in a thoughtful column about the don't ask don't tell policy (A safe city should be priority, November 29):

John Gillan, director general of the Canada Border Services Agency for the GTA, and Reg Williams, director of inland immigration enforcement for the area, got a chilly reception from the board yesterday, although their submission was hardly without some merit. Domestic security is their job, even though some members were downright disdainful. Sniffed Hamlin Grange: "For a moment there, I thought I was listening to Homeland Security from the United States."

But a key finding of the 9/11 Commission Report was a tragic lack of communication — the refusal to share information — among American enforcement agencies so that even identified risk targets came and went largely as they pleased, with and without visas. National security isn't a trifle matter.

Read all of DiManno's column

See also:

Canadian Border Services Agency asks Toronto police to review "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on illegal immigrants

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Demography is destiny. Minorities win more seats in local elections

From the Toronto Star (Minorities made real gains at polls by Nicholas Keung, November 29):

As municipal councils across the GTA start taking oaths of office and settling down to business next week, a few will look a little less white bread than they did before the Nov. 13 election.

Overall, members of visible minorities will hold 14 municipal seats — up from nine in the 2003 election. The gains are all in the regions: four seats in York Region alone, one in Oakville, and one in Clarington, where newly elected Willie Woo will sit as the only visible-minority councillor in Durham Region.

Toronto's 45-member city council, on the other hand, will see a drop from five to four.

[. . .]

Read all of Nicholas Keung's article.

Demography is destiny in politics. As Toronto's demography changes, this will be increasingly reflected in local government. There will be a time lag because it takes a while for new groups to establish themselves, but sooner or later, white Torontonians will be governed by non-whites. Who knows what this city will be like when that happens? By that time some of the enthusiasm for multiculturalism may have waned as people start to see the costs of cultural diversity.

I hate to sound like a broken record or to appear humourless, but to me the expression "white bread" is annoying, even offensive. I think it says something that the Star keeps using it. It shows a hostility towards whites. You can see that same hostility in all the comments about how supposedly boring Toronto used to be. Much of this disdain for whites, maybe even most of it, comes from whites themselves. Maybe it reflects a kind of adolescent rebellion against older generations. I don't know.

There is a double standard regarding race. Whites are required to be colour-blind, while non-whites are encouraged to be racially conscious. If race doesn't exist, why does the Star make such a fuss about it? If on the other hand, race does matter as Nicholas Keung clearly thinks it does - why else would he write this story? - why isn't the racial transformation of Toronto being debated? Why isn't the public being asked whether it wants this demographic change?

Keung's article itself shows one of the problems with a multiracial society. In a racially-mixed city, every political and social issue has a racial dimension. A police officer mistakenly thought to be white shoots a Filipino boy armed with a flick knife. Right away the accusations of racism start to fly. There is an election and people start counting heads to see whether this group or that is adequately represented. From Keung's article:

Visible minorities, according to a Star analysis based on photographs and surnames of the winners, also made some headway in GTA school boards.

Not everyone counts heads like this, but enough people do it for race to be a political factor.

We don't know how race relations in this city will develop. This is an unprecedented situation and we are going into it blind. Political correctness stops us from asking hard questions about the consequences of moving from an almost all-white city to a multiracial one in which whites will soon be a minority.

Whites, who have the most to lose from this change, are not allowed to express any concern. I don't understand it. How can you have such a dramatic population shift without any public debate? Fjordman, who writes about Europe, offers some thoughts about the background of multiculturalism,. His analysis might shed some insight into the ideology behind Canada's immigration policies.

See also:

Iraqi immigrant objects to "white-bread" city councillor

Toronto Star frets that city council is too "white-bread"

Fletcher says Toronto city council too white and too male

Disillusionment on the campaign trail: "I can't talk to anybody. None of them speak English."

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Man was beaten and hacked to death with baseball bats and machetes

From the Toronto Star (Slain man possibly not real target by Peter Small, November 17):

A large group of young men beat and hacked a 21-year-old man to death with baseball bats and machetes in front of a Toronto high school in what may have been a case of mistaken identity, a prosecutor says.

They drove up slowly in three cars to the front of Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute, near Finch Ave. E. and Brimley Rd., shortly after 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 8, 2003, where Janakan Sivalingam was drinking, smoking and watching girls with his friends, Crown prosecutor Megan Petrie told a jury in her opening submission yesterday.

The Crown alleges that Gobianath Suntharalingam, 25, Sujenth Ulaganathan, 23, and Karmugan Palarajah, 23, were among the men in the cars. They have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

None of the victim's friends were taking night classes at the school, but some had come to register, Petrie said as she outlined the evidence she and co-counsel Sean Hickey expect to present.

The assailants, who all appeared to be of Sri Lankan descent and many of whom were masked with bandanas, poured out of the cars and chased Sivalingam and his friends toward the school, Petrie said.

[. . .]

Read all of Peter Small's article.

In this case, "Sri Lankan descent" means Tamil. According to another Star article by the same reporter:

After the attackers kept hitting Sivalingam and swore in Tamil, they all ran off when one of them said the police were coming, the witness said. Sivalingam died seven hours later in hospital.

Maybe I have a really bad memory, but I don't remember this kind of crime occurring in the bad, old days when Toronto was a mostly British Protestant city. Don't misunderstand. The city always had crime and other social problems. It was never paradise, but today I read about things that just didn't happen when I was younger. Bad memory or not, I'm pretty sure I would have remembered stories about rival Somali and Jamaican girl gangs.

A while back I made a facetious remark about another attack involving a machete. I said it must be one of those multicultural things. Of course, there's nothing funny about this kind of crime, but I find it remarkable that there are so many stories about people being hacked to death with machetes.

I also find it remarkable that these stories are considered everyday news buried somewhere in the middle of the newspaper. It's just no big deal any more. What's that you say? Someone was hacked to death with a machete? Hey, that's life in the big city. Get used to it.

My problem is that I can't get used to it. I can't accept what has happened to my hometown. Bad immigration policy is hurting this city. My fear is that the crime I read about today is only the beginning. Toronto has been transformed in a very short period of time. We still don't know the full consequences of that transformation. The black gangs we have today didn't emerge the moment black immigrants arrived here. It took a generation or two for the gangs to form. And the gang problem might still get worse. From the Toronto Star (A look inside 'The Game' by Moira Welsh, April 29):

Troy is a salesman in Toronto's underground weapons market, a business that frequently murders its own, and yet he confesses he is frightened of the youngest gangsters.

"The kids want the biggest guns, and they're not afraid to use them," he said. "Things are getting crazy in Toronto. These kids aren't very smart and they're not afraid of getting caught. It's like they think they're in a movie. And they're doing it to impress the older guys."

[. . .]

Boys in their early teens get power by being so vicious that brutal men fear them. The adult gangsters interviewed admitted they are terrified of the new kids, who brag about carrying the biggest weapons. "Do you have any idea how powerful a 14-year-old feels when he's holding a gun to the head of a guy who is begging him for his life?" asked one man.

Everyone interviewed for this story, from gangsters to high school principals, said that serious intervention is needed to reach the boys before they drop out of high school and join gangs.

One successful drug dealer said the teens he sees are uncontrollable. "It's going to be very hard to reach them," he said. "Somebody has got to create more programs for kids. They've got to keep them busy. They've got to teach them to stay in school."

Read all of Moira Welsh's article.

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Toronto man declares his apartment a nation inside Canada

I thought this was pretty funny:
Toronto man declares his apartment a nation inside Canada

See also:

House of Commons passes resolution recognizing the Quebecois as "a nation within Canada"

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Most English Canadians say Quebecois aren't a nation - Leger Marketing survey

From Canadian Press via (Canadians and Liberals reject Quebec nationhood: poll, November 28):

Canadians overwhelmingly rejected the concept of Quebec nationhood in a new poll released Tuesday, one day after all parties in Parliament declared the Quebecois a nation within Canada.

Outside Quebec, 77 per cent of Canadians rejected the idea the province forms a nation, suggested the Leger Marketing survey conducted for the TVA television network and distributed to The Canadian Press.

Among regional, linguistic and Liberal party breakdowns, French-speaking Quebecers, at 71 per cent, were the only group to “personally consider that Quebecers form a nation.”

[. . .]

Read all of the CP story.

See also:

House of Commons passes resolution recognizing the Quebecois as "a nation within Canada"

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Former US college hockey player dies after being attacked in Toronto

From Canadian Press via the Toronto Star (Brick attack victim dies, November 28):

A former U.S. college hockey star who ended up on life support following an attack in Toronto on the weekend died this afternoon from his injuries.

Michael Serba, 25, was struck in the head with an unknown object, possibly a brick, early Saturday morning after he left a bar.

[. . .]

Police say the attempted murder charge against Nicholas Crowdis, 22, of Toronto, will likely be upgraded at his next court appearance Dec. 4.

Serba played four successful seasons with the Norwich Cadets. This year, the business major was attending graduate school and was expected to finish his studies next spring.

[. . .]

Read all of the CP article.

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Canadian Mark Roswell aka 'Dashan' is a big star in China

From the Toronto Star (Meet Dashan, Canada's Olympic attaché by Randy Starkman, November 25):

As a TV pitchman in China, he's been described as a cross between George Foreman and Elvis.

Pop his name into Yahoo's Chinese search engine and it'll get four times as many hits as Brad Pitt's.

He won't swim or run a single metre at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but he'll be by far the most popular Canadian when the team marches in the opening ceremonies.

It's hard for anyone to match the drawing power of Mark Rowswell, a Thornhill resident better known by his stage name of "Dashan" in China, where Chinese New Year's specials in which he stars attract 800 million viewers.

The Canadian Olympic Committee figured someone with that kind of clout might come in handy for the 2008 Summer Olympics and signed Rowswell up to be their team attaché.

As COC boss Chris Rudge puts it, "Walking down the street with this guy in Beijing is like walking down Yonge St. with Wayne Gretzky on one arm and Shania Twain on the other."

[. . .]

Read all of Randy Starkman's article.

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Italian ambassador protests Mafia label. Apparently there aren't any Italians in Canada

From the Toronto Star (Envoy protests 'Mafia' label from Betsy Powell, November 28):

Italy's ambassador to Canada has complained to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about the way they characterized the massive mob bust last week as a crackdown on "Italian organized crime."

"This can cause a misunderstanding," Gabriele Sardo said yesterday from the Italian embassy in Ottawa. "There is no relationship in this case, in the Montreal roundup, with either my country or (the Italian) Mafia."

[Hyphenated Canadian - I find this hard to believe given that mobsters from Italy are hiding out in the Toronto area. I suppose it's possible the Rizzuto organization has no ties to Italy, but considering that Vito Rizzuto was born in Sicily, I wouldn't be so sure they don't.]

After the arrests of some 70 reputed members and associates of the Rizzuto crime family last week, the RCMP issued a news release under the heading: "A Major Police Operation Targeting Traditional Italian Organized Crime." At a news conference, a senior Mountie also suggested the crackdown had reached "into the very heart of Italian organized crime."

[. . .]

An RCMP spokesman said Zaccardelli, who was born in Prezza, Italy, has tried to clarify the issue. Zaccardelli told the Toronto newspaper there is no "Italian Mafia" in Canada and that the men arrested in Montreal are Canadian criminals, regardless of their ethnic background, part of a Canadian criminal organization and therefore Canada's problem.

[. . .]

Read all of Betsy Powell's article.

Vito Rizzuto was born in Italy. For RCMP commissioner Zaccardelli to say there is no "Italian Mafia" in Canada is silly. Rizutto and his cronies may be Canadian citizens, but they are also Italians. I suppose all those people who took over St. Clair after the World Cup aren't Italian either. Does Zaccardelli object to the fact that part of St. Clair is called Corso Italia even though it is in Canada? What about Little Italy? What about my neighbour 'Papa' across the street? He barely speaks a word of English, but he lives in Canada, so I guess he isn't Italian either. Italian just happens to be the only language he speaks. What about this Winnipeg man who ran for a seat in the Italian parliament? Not Italian either?

And if Rizzuto isn't Italian enough for Zaccardelli, what about these guys? From the Toronto Star (`Dozen' mobsters living free in York by Richard Brennan and Peter Edwards, September 23):

There are at least a dozen Mafia fugitives who either consider York Region home or visit regularly, according to police Chief Armand La Barge.

Canadian immigration officials have known their whereabouts for about 18 months, and yet they have done nothing to round them up in order to decide what's to be done with them, La Barge said yesterday.

"The information has definitely been passed on from York Region police to immigration ... and we are reliant on them to move the files forward and do whatever they have to do," La Barge said, noting that 10 of the men live in York Region and two visit on a regular basis.

[. . .]

Yesterday the Toronto Star identified six men wanted by Italian prosecutors probing the Mafia, including Cosimo D'Agostino, 68, who fled to Canada from Italy in the 1970s after being sentenced to 10 years in prison for cocaine trafficking. All are openly living in the GTA — five in York and one in Toronto.

Read the whole article. See also: Accused mobsters in GTA

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Food banks have trouble meeting growing need - report

From Canadian Press via the Toronto Star (Children, disabled flood food banks, November 28):

One-quarter of Ontario’s food banks are having trouble meeting growing demand as more of the province’s children, disabled and working poor turn to food banks every month, a new report has found.

More than 330,000 Ontario residents use food banks each month — a spike of 18 per cent since 2001, according to a report by the Ontario Association of Food Banks. Of those food bank users, the Ontario Hunger Report found 40 per cent are children and almost 20 per cent are those with disabilities.

Food bank use is highest in Toronto, but the association’s report shows residents in Ottawa, Hamilton and rural Ontario also depend on the donations.

[. . .]

NDP Leader Howard Hampton said the province pockets $250 million a year from Ottawa that is meant to help Ontario’s low-income children. If the province ended that practice, Hampton said fewer children would depend on food banks to eat.

[. . .]

The report found some 17 per cent of food bank users hold jobs. People have lost good manufacturing jobs and are now working part-time or in the retail sector for an inadequate minimum wage, Hampton said.

[. . .]

Read all of the CP article.

There are disagreements about how many poor there are in Canada, because people have different definitions of poverty. Some people point out that there is a big difference between being poor in this country and being poor in say, Africa. People also disagree over whether relative prosperity matters. Some say that even if Canada's poor are relatively well off by international standards being poor relative to other Canadians also has social costs. They argue that even if someone has the necessities of life being poor relative to other citizens means you can't fully participate in society.

These are all important issues, but one thing is clear. Report after report says poverty is a growing problem. It's tied to immigration. We are bringing in too many people and it's driving down wages. As the City of Toronto gentrifies, more and more immigrants are settling in the surrounding suburbs where services, including public transit, are not as well developed. Newcomers who can't afford a car spend hours each day travelling too and from low-paying jobs. The government's own studies show that immigrants are not doing as well as they did in the past.

See also:

Province won't raise mininum wage

Civic leader says working poor a "smouldering crisis"

Study: Canadian poverty rising despite economic boom

Toronto Star columnist: "Working poor are screwed." No mention of immigration's role in lowering wages.

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Canadian Border Services Agency asks Toronto police to review "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on illegal immigrants

From the Toronto Star ('Don't ask' policy on illegals under fire by Phinjo Gombu, November 28):

The Toronto Police Service is being asked to review its groundbreaking "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents officers from asking the immigration status of people they encounter — unless it's necessary to their investigation.

[Hyphenated Canadian - note the adjective "groundbreaking". Mr. Gombu is signalling his approval of the policy. He is presenting it as a progressive, positive measure. "Groundbreaking" is never used in a negative sense.]

The Canadian Border Services Agency fears the policy adopted last February will "significantly compromise public safety and security," says the agency's regional director general John Gillan.

Toronto, with its large immigrant population, is the only city in Canada to adopt such a policy.

[. . .]

In a letter to Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee, Gillan said Toronto police play a vital role in the deportation of illegal residents because they are one of the primary sources of information for immigration investigations.

"The ability to remove inadmissible persons is vital to the integrity of Canada's immigration system and to those who come to this country lawfully," said Gillan.

He is to appear before the police board today.

[. . .]

Board vice-chair Pam McConnell said last night that while she understands Gillan's concerns, she is comfortable with the policy as it stands.

[. . .]

Read all of Phinjo Gombu's article.

The Toronto District School Board has a similar "don't ask, don't tell" policy on illegal immigrants.

One of the groups that pressured police services to adopt the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was No One is Illegal, a radical movement that argues there should be no restrictions on immigration at all. They say all immigration enforcement is 'racist' and no one should be deported from Canada. Among their goals are amnesty for illegal immigrants in Canada and the "recognition of the right to free movement."

It's hard to believe, but they're even worse than the silly Globe and Mail columnist who seriously argued Canada needs to import a million poor Africans. (It amazes me a columnist could write something so bizarre and still keep his job. Canada's "national newspaper" leaves a lot to be desired, at least in regard to its immigration coverage.)

One of No One is Illegal's spokeswomen was interviewed on CFRB this morning. Both the spokeswoman and the show's host fudged the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

We have more than enough problems with legal immigration, but if the media and some politicians can't or won't distinguish between legal and illegal, our country is in a lot of trouble. If we let in every person who wanted to live here, our social safety net would be swamped. Our cities would be like Calcutta or Mexico City. Toronto is already showing signs of developing a permanent underclass. We need more immigration enforcement, not less. Deportations are a good thing. They are necessary to preserve the integrity of our immigration system.

See also:

Illegal immigrants: Toronto police board approves 'don't ask don't tell' policy

School secretary fed up with Toronto board's don't ask don't tell policy on illegal immigrants

Ottawa won't grant amnesty to illegal immigrants

Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would hurt Canada-US relations - Solberg tells committee

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How do you identify your sexual orientation? - The Toronto District School Board wants to know

From the same article I linked to earlier:

Page two begins with a question about disabilities. Immediately after this, almost as if a sub-category of the above, appears what for children might be the most personal question of all: "How do you identify your sexual orientation?" The options present a bewildering menu for even the most broad- minded of families: "Heterosexual (straight), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Two-spirited, Questioning, and Not Sure."

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Toronto District School Board conducting student census

From the Toronto Star (Baffling survey in a class of its own by Anna Morgan, November 26):

Earlier this month, a census was distributed by the Toronto District School Board to students in Grades 9 through 12. Apparently, some personal information was needed to plan for Toronto's changing classroom population.

[. . .]

After the usual identifiers — name, homeroom, birth date — the census delves into questions of race where, in our multicultural world, the number of pigeon holes used to box people in has grown. Students are asked "Which of the following best describes your racial identity: (Pick one only)." Choices are: Aboriginal, Asian (East, South or South East), black (Africa, Canada or Caribbean), Latin American, Indian-Caribbean, Middle Eastern (e.g. Egypt, Iran, Israel, Palestine), mixed background, white (Canada), white (Europe). There is also a box for Other(s), in case the pre-labelled categories didn't marginalize you quite enough.

[. . .]

Read all of Anna Morgan's article.

See also:

Toronto high school students who speak Portuguese, Spanish or Somali drop out at higher rates

School secretary fed up with Toronto board's don't ask don't tell policy on illegal immigrants

90 percent of pupils in Mississauga school come from non-English-speaking homes

Are teachers losing control of some Toronto schools? Are gangs starting to take over?

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House of Commons passes resolution recognizing the Quebecois as "a nation within Canada"

From Canadian Press via the Toronto Star (Quebecois motion passes, 266-16, November 27):

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s motion to recognize the Quebecois as a nation within Canada passed easily in the House of Commons tonight, 266 to 16.

On a day in which a Liberal leadership hopeful came out swinging against it, and his own intergovernmental affairs minister resigned in protest against it, Harper's motion was not threatened and was backed by a huge majority of MPs from all parties.

Several Liberals voted against the motion, including leadership candidates Ken Dryden and Joe Volpe.

Gerard Kennedy said on Canada AM that the motion was divisive. And Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong agreed with him and quit - to be replaced later in the day by Ontario MP Peter Van Loan.

[. . .]

Read all of the CP article.

See also:

Kennedy thunders against 'nation' label

Conservative minister resigns from cabinet over resolution to recognize Quebecois as a nation

"Quebec is a nation, English Canada may be a nation, but Canada is a state."

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Conservative minister resigns from cabinet over resolution to recognize Quebecois as a nation

From Canadian Press via the Toronto Star (Harper cabinet minister quits, November 27):

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stand on Quebec as a nation has cost him a cabinet minister.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong quit his post today over a controversial government motion that recognizes Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada.

The move came just hours before a vote in the House of Commons on the motion.

Chong, who also held the minister of sport portfolio, said he simply couldn’t support the motion and therefore had to resign.

“I believe in this great country of ours and I believe in one nation, undivided, called Canada,” he told a news conference.

“This is a fundamental principle for me and not something on which I can or will compromise — not now, not ever. While I’m loyal to my party and my leader, my first loyalty is to my country. It is for this fundamental principle that I cannot support the motion recognizing the Qu

[. . .]

Read the whole CP article.

See also:

"Quebec is a nation, English Canada may be a nation, but Canada is a state."

Wishful thinking won't make Quebec nationalism disappear

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Montreal anti-Mafia bust could shift power to Toronto

From the Toronto Star (Toronto mobsters see their chance by Peter Edwards, November 27):

It's not all gloom and doom as Greater Toronto Area mobsters huddle in local social clubs to discuss the impact of the largest Mafia bust in Canadian history.

The RCMP takedown of 73 alleged members of the Montreal-based Rizzuto crime family last week has created an opportunity for more business and less competition for organized criminals in Toronto, often seen as the Second City of the Canadian underworld, local mob experts say.

Warrants are outstanding for another 18 accused members of the Montreal organization, believed by police to be the richest mob group in the country.

"The shift of power will come over to Toronto," says one local police expert, who says the Canadian underworld pecking order has been upset.

"Who's in charge?" he asked. "This could lead to violence."

[. . .]

Read all of Peter Edwards' article.

See also:

Anti-Mafia sweep in Montreal

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Anti-gang sweeps placing huge strain on Ontario legal aid plan

From the Toronto Star (Mega-trials strain legal aid by Tracey Tyler, November 22):

"Mega-trials" featuring courtrooms packed with accused people may be one way for police and prosecutors to show they're getting tough on problems such as gangs and guns, but they're quickly bankrupting the province's legal aid system.

Ontario's legal aid plan has been under so much financial pressure since the mid-1990s and its qualifying rules are so tight that a single person earning just $16,000 a year after taxes may be too rich for legal aid.

Now, in a bid to avoid going broke, Legal Aid Ontario has announced it's imposing strict funding caps on big cases.

[. . .]

"I do not believe the players in the judicial system, including the judiciary, are going to be prepared to allow, whether its Legal Aid Ontario or the Ministry of the Attorney General, to avoid their funding obligations," said Louise Botham, president of the Criminal Lawyers Association.

Anti-gang prosecutions and high-profile police sweeps are draining the plan's bank accounts and impairing its ability to serve Ontario residents with other legal problems. While big trials account for just 1 per cent of legal aid's criminal caseload, they use up 24 per cent of its budget, said Janet Leiper, Legal Aid's chairperson.

Without the new caps, big cases likely would cost the plan about $29 million next year. That's the equivalent of almost 5,000 legal aid certificates for people with family law problems, including support and custody battles. Legal aid spends an average of $2,055 on a family law case. Criminal cases, on average, cost $1,658.

But some big criminal cases cost millions. One case with four co-accused is expected to cost $3.2 million when the trial is finished. Another, with 12 co-accused, has already cost $1 million and the preliminary hearing isn't over.

[. . .]

Read the all of Tracey Tyler's article.

See also:

Urban renewal leads to gang turf wars in Regent Park

Toronto Star: Jamestown Crew members and associates in court

Today's police raids targeted Rexdale's Jamestown Crew

CBC: 600 police launch raids against Toronto gangs

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Muslim immigration to the US

Lawrence Auster:

Only the actual cessation of Muslim immigration and the actual departure of Muslims from this country (whether voluntary or forced, and it doesn’t have to be all at once, it can be gradual), can solve the Islamization problem.

Hyphenated Canadian - That I link to an article doesn't necessarily mean I agree with everything in that article. Quite often I find thought-provoking material that I simply want to share. I don't always know myself what to think about something I've read. I linked to Auster's article on View from the Right because it raises important questions about Muslim immigration. Auster says things that we in the West need to talk about.

As for my own views, I believe there should be a ban on further Muslim immigration to Canada. There may be reasons for letting in individual Muslims, but it is not in the best interests of Canada to have a growing Muslim minority. I don't see how after 9-11 anyone could still support mass immigration from Muslim countries. While it would certainly be unfair to blame all Muslims for acts of terrorism committed by a minority of their fellow believers, it's also true that dangerous, radical ideas are popular in the Muslim world right now. Even if those ideas are only held by a minority, they are widespread enough that any country with a sizable Muslim population is vulnerable to terrorism from some members of that group.

That said, I also believe Canada has an obligation to respect the rights of those Muslims who have immigrated legally or who were born here. A Muslim citizen of Canada should have the same rights as other Canadians, but Canada has the right to control its borders. It has the right to implement an immigration policy that won't radically alter its demography.

See also:

Iraqi-Canadians playing prominent role in anti-American insurgency

Somali-"Canadians" fighting for Taliban-like group in Africa

Muslim women and the veil. Shouldn't we have had this discussion BEFORE we allowed Muslims to settle in western countries?

Canadian news articles about the anti-terror sweep in Toronto

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The black-white IQ gap

Steve Sailer writes in Vdare (Debating The Unmentionable: The Black-White IQ Gap, November 26)::

The racial gap in average IQ is one of the most important factors in modern American life. We can tell how important it is because we aren't allowed to talk about it. The IQ gap is rather like the dog that didn't bark in the Sherlock Holmes story, palpable by its absence.

Read all of Steve Sailer's article.

See also:

Los Angeles police chief on race, crime and gangs

What has changed in the last forty years to make Toronto a violent city? It wouldn't have anything to do with immigration, would it?

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Man abducted at gunpoint

From the Toronto Star (Man abducted at gunpoint by Nick Kyonka, November 26):

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was forced into a car and abducted at gunpoint Saturday night downtown.

The man was walking alone in the area of Spruce and Parliament Sts. around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when he was approached by at least two men, police said. At least one of the men produced a gun and forced the man to get into a car.

Once in the car, the man was reportedly beaten with the handgun and forced to turn over his bank card and PIN, said Toronto police Det. Dave Alexander.

[. . .]

Read the whole article.

I like this quote from the police: "This particular sort of abduction and beating and robbery is always kind of worrisome." As opposed to what? Are there other sorts of abduction beating and robbery that are less worrisome?

See also:

Academic says Justice Dept. officials misled politicians about the deterrent value of longer sentences for violent crime

Toronto Star reporters live in a parallel universe

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

A conversation with a drunk man in a west-end Toronto park

[Note: I just re-read this message I posted earlier today. It occurs to me that some people reading it might be wondering what the point is. There is no point. I just thought the conversation was an interesting slice of Toronto life.]

I like to walk. Next to ice skating it's my favourite form of exercise. A typical Sunday afternoon for me is a walk to the library to read for a while followed by a walk to the park where I sit for a time before walking back home. Sometimes I read a paper. Sometimes I just sit and look around. Sometimes I chat with a stranger who is sitting nearby.

It was warm today so I went to the park. I was sitting at a picnic table drinking a cup of coffee when a guy on a bike stopped at the next table and pulled out a can of beer. He started chatting. The first thing he said to me was that his wife didn't like him to drink. He assured me he wasn't an alcoholic and made some disparaging remarks about his wife. He told me that when his wife asked him to buy some food for the cat, which he showed me, he jumped at the chance to get out of the house and that's how he had ended up in the park with two cans of beer.

We proceeded to discuss the merits of various kinds of beer. He said he liked strong beer that was cheap. He said it gave him a nice buzz. He made some more disparaging remarks about his wife. He said Canadian women had it too good and didn't realize how lucky they were. Then he told me that the police had already given him one ticket for drinking alcohol in a public place and went on to make some disparaging remarks about Toronto cops, who in his view were overpaid and rude to ordinary people.

He told me he and his dad used to own a farm north of the city, but they had to sell it because of financial problems caused by the mad-cow disease scare. He then made some disparaging remarks about George Bush. The man said he, his wife and their five children had come to Toronto a year and a half ago. His wife loved Toronto, but he didn't, because there were no Canadians here.

They were living in a city-owned housing co-op in old Chinatown, which is quite a ways from the park, and that most of the people in the co-op were black and that crack was a big problem there. He then told me that a few days ago someone had hit him over the head with a baseball bat during a fight. Then we chatted about a story in the paper about a hockey player who was clinging to life after being hit on the head with a brick in another part of Toronto.

The man said he had lived for a few years in New York and described different parts of the city. He had lived in Queens, which he liked. He said there was almost nothing left standing in the Bronx and that it would be full of condos soon. He said Manhattan and Central Park were nice in the day, but you wouldn't want to go there at night. He said public transit in New York was better than in Toronto. In his view, New York's transit system was cheaper and more efficient. He liked the fact that New York subways ran 24/7.

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Does Canadian law recognize bloggers as journalists?

[Update: Charles LeBlanc was acquitted.]

Martin Kelly is right. They Are Coming For The Bloggers

From CBC News (N.B. judge blasts Crown's case against blogger, November 21):

The judge overseeing the obstruction trial of internet blogger Charles LeBlanc criticized the prosecution's case in open court and even wondered aloud why LeBlanc was arrested in the first place.

Judge William McCarroll stopped short of dismissing the case Tuesday, but asked several pointed questions of the Crown, and suggested police officers may have acted inappropriately.

[. . .]

Read the whole article.

This is an interesting case, because it raises the question of whether bloggers should be considered journalists for legal purposes. For more about the issue, see this CBC story: Blogger's obstruction trial to test definition of journalist.

Hat tip: Small Dead Animals

See also:

Charles LeBlanc's blog

The media's selective concern for free speech: Ernst Zundel and the Dixie Chicks Censored by Corporate Software

Is it legal to say Muslim immigration is bad for Canada? For that matter, is it even legal to ask the question?

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