Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole.

Diversity: the state of being diverse; variety.

Diversification: the action of making or becoming more diverse or varied

While Maxime Bernier’s choice of words may be a little grating in spots (for example, “where do we draw the line….on diversity”) there is truth in his message. It seems MP Bernier is saying “unity is our strength, not diversity”; or, even “unity is our strength, not economic diversification.”

On the other hand, PM Trudeau’s “diversity is our strength” message seems to be interpreted by some immigrant communities as implied consent to treat Canada as a diversified offshore investment to withdraw from and visit. For example, the Canada Border Services Agency laid over 450 charges – in PEI alone – against immigrants fraudulently abusing Canada’s business start up program last week.

PM Trudeau’s “diversity is our strength” argument prioritizes an economic view of Canada: diversify a population for planting around the world to safely invest in Canada’s future financial prosperity.

The other approach, seemingly Maxime Bernier’s, prioritizes a Western democratic freedoms and principals view of Canada. A Canada with heart again. Prosperity will follow if all Canadians regardless of their colour, religion, sex are working to achieve the same goal of a happy, united Canadian future.

It seems that Andrew Scheer and some Conservative Shadow Cabinet members are looking for factual examples of a so-called balkanization or tribalism happening in Canada. Here are just a few examples from my one person view of Canada:

  1. In British Columbia, within the last year, Canadian national networks reported:
    1. an Asian cab company in Richmond was refusing to pick up “Westerners”. There were no repercussions.
    2. An Asian landlord would not rent to “whites” . Again, there were no repercussions.
    3. An Asian condo owner openly flaunted Canadian the law by renting out her condo as a hostel. She  thumbed her nose at her neighbours, the City of North Vancouver, the Civil Rights Tribunal, and the BC Supreme Court. After a period of years, the City is finally taking her to court.
  2.  In the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa:
    1. CTV News reported, in a carefully crafted way, making it appear to be a nice and needed undertaking, that a Muslim family will only adopt Muslim children.  No government authority has spoken out against this discrimination by Muslims against other Canadians in need.
    2. M103 was approved in our Canadian parliament highlighting and singling out special protections for Muslims. This is contrary to Stats Can evidence that Jewish Canadians and African Canadians are the most discriminated against. This was an endorsement of tribalism although it was crafted to appear otherwise.
    3. There is at least one Muslim only rental building. Not only are there no repercussions for this discrimination, it is endorsed and subsidized by the Canadian government

Shockingly, CTV News seems to think that because Maxime Bernier (apparently) didn’t offer an example of Canadian culture in his interview, there isn’t a Canadian culture. Here are just a few examples of Canadian culture, that I limit to my time living and working in Toronto, relative to immigration:

About 30 years ago I lived on The Danforth very close to Greek Town. I loved Greek Town for its hospitality and happy welcoming spirit to everyone. Also in East York, there was an annual festival where each culture would have a building in which there would be fabulous food and entertainment. I was so proud to be Canadian and looked forward to this multi-cultural event every year. 

About 20 years ago I lived on Thorncliffe Park Drive. I loved to ride my bike around the park just below it because as you rode past different groups of picnickers, you could smell the food, and hear the happy chatter and music from all over the world. It was truly a powerful experience of a united humanity. It was bliss.

So, a few weeks ago when a Muslim man from Thorncliffe Park Drive went to The Danforth and shot a young Greek girl and woman, two very innocent people, like most people, I felt the bullets on an emotional level. When a “diversity is our strength” vacationing PM Trudeau failed to show up in the aftermath of the killings and help Canada grieve, the emotional gun shot wounds bled a little more. 

PM Trudeau has also failed to even comment about the geographically symbolic Ottawa mosque which has been given permission to continue in spite of it having invited speakers that (according to the Canada Revenue Agency) “promote hate and intolerance” towards “the West, Jews, women, and gays”. The CRA punished the mosque with a slap on the wrist, but they can continue to operate.

These are just my factual examples of why I see truth in Maxime Bernier’s message.  Canada is not an offshore bank account that needs to protect itself with economic “diversity.” We need to unite as a country again, and hold everyone, no exceptions, to the principals of Western democratic freedoms.

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