“In India, Pakistan and parts of the Middle East, people don’t talk about moving to Toronto; they talk about moving to Thorncliffe Park [which is 80% Muslim]”
Thorncliffe Park Drive cuts through the residential area known as Thorncliffe Park in Toronto’s East York. Historically, and perhaps tellingly, East York was the only borough in Canada running its own affairs autonomously from the City of Toronto until 1998 with which it eventually merged.
Around this same time, multi-culturalism was rapidly expanding through migration into Thorncliffe Park. Literally sticking out from this backdrop on the Don Valley Parkway are the 43 storey towers of 85 and 95 Thorncliffe Park Drive known as “Leaside Towers”. These towers come complete with indoor pool, and at least when I lived there, a doorman and a car jockey. Although austere looking, Leaside Towers stood tall and proud in this pleasant and safe multi-cultural neighborhood.
So when an image of 95 Thorncliffe flashed on the news as the home of Bruce McArthur, the alleged Toronto serial murderer, it was stunning on many levels. Why such horrific murders, and why did it sound like a disproportionate number of Muslim sounding names were his victims? What would possess someone to commit such evil acts of murder and dismemberment in this placid, happy little community of Thorncliffe Park.
Only months after that, an image of 43 Thorncliffe flashed on the news, mere buildings away from 95 Thorncliffe, it was a lower income version of Leaside Towers. The police identified 43 Thorncliffe as the home of Faisal Hussain, of Pakistani-origin, as the ISIS-style killer of a young girl and young woman in neighbouring Greektown.
This was a new kind of horror intensified by seemingly crazy coincidences of two men, neighbours really, committing these atrocities. Adding to this was my recollection of the beautiful Greek Orthodox church I saw everyday across the street from my 95 Thorncliffe view. It was always a very welcoming community, gathering place.
These coincidences started to make sense when explained by Stats Can data, and a November, 2017 Globe and Mail article (written prior to the Danforth killings) on Syrian refugees living at 95 Thorncliffe titled “Toronto Syrian Refugees Still Struggling to Settle in Toronto After Year of Government Support”, Globe and Mail, . It turns out Thorncliffe Park is not the wonderfully multi-cultural community I left, but a community now dominated by 80% Islamists.
If Thorncliffe Park is a microcosm and/or a glimpse into the future, we have moved from a very positive multi-culturalism to a very unhealthy form of “extreme multiculturalism”.
While Maxime Bernier’s platform may not be entirely palatable for many, Thorncliffe Park, is perhaps what he means by “extreme multiculturalism” gone wrong, and a balkanization or tribalism within Canada.
“Islam is the most common religion represented [in Thorncliffe Park], reflected by the presence of a mosque, halal grocery stores and after school Quranic teaching (Madrassah). 80 percent of the population is Muslim and the majority of immigrants are from South Asia, according to the 2011 National Household Survey. (Emphasis added.
Along with having a mosque, 4 Thorncliffe Park Dr is the Islamic Centre of Toronto, one of the three largest Islamic Centres in Toronto.
Keep in mind that this November 2017 story by the Globe and Mail was written before: the Danforth killings of two young girls by a man of Parkistani-origin at 43 Thorncliffe Park Drive; before the killing of Marrisa Shen by a male Syrian “refugee” like those living in 95 Thorncliffe Park Drive; and, before Bernier’s “extreme multiculturalism” tweets. Reading it now, either a Globe and Mail journalist went rogue; or, they were naively (rightly?) thinking that this would all be palatable to a Canadian audience – at least as recently as November, 2017.
The Globe and Mail article, even from a left-wing perspective, stunningly outlines the hard numbers concerning the 22,405 government assisted refugees and 14, 960 privately sponsored refugees that arrived in Canada between November 2015 and February 2017. It was in March 2016 that the government made Leaside Towers on Thorncliffe Park Drive home for more than 24 large Syrian refugee families in what was supposed to be their first year off of government funding. The Globe and Mail states:
As government-assisted refugees, they received about $9,500 in start-up costs and $1,600 a month for their living expenses for their first year in Canada. This Floor 42 two-bedroom apartment alone is $1,635 plus utilities. But at the start of this year, the stipend ended, and they were left to fend for themselves.
The start of the second year in Canada – when the proverbial cord is cut – is seen as the crucial launch point for refugees, a point many are reaching now. The thinking goes that if Ottawa or private sponsors can carry them along in their first year with financial resources, language lessons and assistance navigating schools and clinics, the newcomers will have the tools to carry forth on their own by Month 13.
At the end of their first year, most do what Mr. Al Rasouland Ms. Al Mekhlef do: cover their expenses with welfare and the federal child benefit…The way Ms. Al Kadersees sees it, the bigger families are the luckier ones, since they receive the benefit for all their children. Their friends the Al Rasouls, for example, receive $3,400 a month for their six children, on top of their welfare payment.
These are apparently the money managing skills refugees have been taught by the Canadian government.
The Globe article also states that only “a small portion of [refugees] have functional English or French skills at the end of their first year [when they are to go off government assistance and only] a sliver are able to find jobs – while simultaneously re-telling a Syrian refugee’s unabashed explanation that if the other refugees are not cajoled to “go to the library in building 95 for the evening English class organized by volunteers…they don’t go”.
This may be partly explained by the fact that about one-third of government sponsored Syrian refugees and 12% of privately sponsored refugees have had no schooling whatsoever. The refugees also get Canadian-refugee style financial schooling.
While almost certainly well-intended, at least some of those who are “helping” refugees settle in have adopted the government view with regards to Canadian tax payer money: “Ms. Georgis noticed some of [the refugees] were buying cars and it gave her pause. But she watched the positive effect it had on the mental health of the men, the clients who struggled most with the transition to life in Canada and loss of identity as family breadwinners.” The article goes on to explain:
“it’s the family’s second car; the first, purchased through Kijiji eight months ago for $1,200, turned out to be a lemon. There was no question they’d replace it – they’re still not used to the Canadian climate and driving has become a necessity.”
Are these advisors not letting refugees know there is such a thing as public transit that millions of Canadians happily use every day, and for whom it is not a hardship but a way of life?
Speaking of which, the “hardships” and “offences” that the Syrian “refugees” must also endure include being forced to pray in their luxury apartments if they don’t want to go to the mosque mere moments away.
The Syrians didn’t understand why they couldn’t use the communal spaces [in Leaside Towers] for what they saw as harmless group activities and also took offence to the presence of dogs in the building (which many consider haram, or forbidden). Other tenants saw the Syrians as acting entitled…Just like the elevator, these too are cramped quarters. They had hoped by this point they’d be [in a penthouse suite] on Floor 43, in a spacious three-bedroom apartment.
Are Canadians being taken for fools, and the refugees figure if we are that stupid we deserve what we get?
From the viewpoint of their luxury apartments, do the Syrian “Refugees” wonder about the homeless Canadians they see on cold winter nights lined up at the Salvation Army for a bit of soup and a cot?
The Trudeau Liberals are not providing us with data, but if this left-wing Globe and Mail article is an accurate depiction, Canadian taxpayers are as responsible for this ridiculous situation as the Syrian refugees for allowing this to go on.
Clearly, the Globe and Mail article was written about the Syrian refugees, and its article was not intended to reflect the many migrants coming to Canada who are productive members of our Canadian society, and who are presumably as dismayed as any “Canadian-borns” at this lack of government oversight and use of taxpayer money. The Trudeau Liberals must be voted out in October 2019 so that Canada can bring back responsible, legal migration. We need to get our Canadian homeless off the streets, bring back multiculturalism, and stop luring “radical multiculturalism” with luxury lifestyles that Canadian taxpayers can’t afford. Worse, it appears to be bringing tribalism, and maybe little caliphates to Canada.