Canada is Far Too Accommodating
The Western Standard
September 6, 2007
There is an ongoing debate in Canada surrounding the issue of integration vs. accommodation when it comes to new immigrants. When people immigrate to a new country, there is usually an expectation that they alter their ways somewhat to integrate into the new society and culture. In Canadian society, however, we seem to be far more accommodating than other countries when it comes to immigration, and in my opinion, we accommodate too much and immigrants integrate too little.
Today we see just one more example of how Canadian society has become far too accommodating.
Rightfully, current electoral laws require that all voters prove their identity before being allowed to vote. However, Elections Canada has unfortunately made an exception to those rules to accommodate Canadian Muslims.
Despite heavy controversy over face coverings at the polls for the last Quebec provincial election, federal election officials say Muslim women will not have to remove their niqabs or burkas to cast their ballots in three federal byelections in Quebec on Sept. 17.
According to Elections Canada, women wearing niquabs or burkas will still be required to bring a piece of identification with a photo. However, of what use is that photo id if Muslim women are not required to show their face? Just how are we supposed to verify their identity? Why do we make the exception?
Unfortunately, the problem goes much further than this specific example.
Consider the incident earlier this summer when Paramount Canadas Wonderland awarded compensation to a Sikh man after he complained he was discriminated against for refusing to take off his turban and wear a helmet to drive a go-kart. The insanity is mind boggling how the amusement park was required by law to require all riders to wear a helmet for safety and insurance reasons, yet someone would accuse them of infringing on a religious right to wear a turban and actually be awarded compensation as a result of their accusation.
To make matters worse, the Ontario Human Rights Commission is now seeking an exemption for Sikhs from the provincial helmet laws. If they succeed, and a Sikh gets injured while riding a motorcycle or go-cart without a helmet, the Ontario government is opening itself up to being sued for permitting an unsafe practise. And guess who will end up paying for these legal settlements? Furthermore, it is our public health care system that will pay for their medical treatment.
And the madness doesnt end there.
Every December, we read about Christmas trees being removed from public spaces out of fear the display of a Christian icon may offend other religions. After public outcry, the Christmas trees are often, but not always, replaced. Most people say that seeing symbols of another culture does not offend them, but the removal of their own religious symbols will anger them greatly. So why do we do it?
Many people are quick to blame the immigrants for asking too much of our society, and certainly they must accept some of the responsibility. However, are the immigrants really the whole problem? Isnt our society just as much to blame for being too liberal and bending over to their ongoing requests? If our society, judges and politicians didnt have a history for giving in to these types of requests, immigrants wouldnt feel they have a right to continually challenge our existing ways.
Some people call this progress. I just call it sad.
When we see people making changes to our culture that we disagree with, we must continue to be vocal in our opposition. Welcoming new immigrants is important, but our heritage and identity are important too, and we should never feel guilty for proudly standing up for our traditions.
Cross-posted at www.exactlyright.ca.
Posted by Dave Hodson on September 6, 2007