New Canadian Media
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 20:45

Mayor Jeffrey’s Hypocritical Pandering

Commentary by Surjit Singh Flora in Brampton

I don’t know why hypocrisy by politicians still manages to surprise me. Recently, it was being paraded in plain sight by Brampton’s Mayor Linda Jeffrey when she waded in on the recent controversy around Muslim prayer in Peel public schools.

But before I comment on Mayor Jeffrey’s latest hypocritical pandering, lets revisit Her Worship’s own entanglement with prayer in a public institution – her own council chamber.

In 2015, Brampton’s newly elected Chief Magistrate and her council acted on one of Jeffrey’s own campaign promises and dropped reciting the Lord’s Prayer at Council meetings, killing a 163 year tradition that went back to the first Brampton village council meeting of January 1853. This was done after a public meeting to discuss the plan was cancelled in the face of fierce public outrage. 

More recently, the Peel District School Board attempted to implement changes to the practice of Muslim prayer in their schools by providing prepared sermon texts by local Imams for the youth to use. This did not go over well with Muslim students, and in the process of receiving public delegations, a number of people expressed their opposition to any kind of prayer in a public school.

Some remarks had racist overtones. Public delegations were eventually stopped and the changes shelved.

"Have your backs"

Recently, in an interview on TVO, Mayor Jeffery said that she felt her expression of support for the Muslim community was needed after hearing from religious leaders, who were anxious about the tone of comments on social media and elsewhere. “I want people to feel welcome in Brampton; I want them to feel safe. I want them to know I have their backs.”

I am certain Brampton residents join me in wishing Mayor Jeffrey truly “had their backs” at Council. Given the endless squabbling and complete lack of cooperation among all Council members and Jeffrey’s inability to lead, Brampton has lurched from one debacle to another since Mayor Jeffrey was elected.

And many Bramptonians have been telling me they are fed up with Jeffrey’s constant taking credit for achievements that are in fact largely the work of her predecessor Susan Fennell and the previous council.

The funding of the Peel Memorial Centre for Health and Wellness, the original University plan, Brampton’s significant investment in expanded public transit, major infrastructure investment – all under Fennell. Jeffrey’s administration began with the failure to secure the approval to complete the LRT line through Brampton with the loss of $300 million in funding, and her record has not improved. 

Religious accommodation

Religious accommodation has been a fixture of life in Canada for years. Sikhs have worn kirpans, Muslim women the hijab, and for the most part Canadians have accepted diversity and gotten on with their lives.

While we must all defend the rights of our fellow citizens regardless of race, creed or colour, I believe politicians like our own Mayor need to remember their own public record before they wade in on any issue.

Jeffrey banned prayer in City Hall, and now supports it in Public Schools. Mayor Jeffrey needs to be reminded that, try as they might, even politicians can’t suck and blow at the same time, and voters have long grown tired of the hypocrisy of it all.


Brampton-based Surjit Singh Flora is a veteran journalist and freelance writer. 

Published in Commentary
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 19:42

Mr. Reyat, Please Do the Right Thing

Commentary by Suresh Kurl in Richmond

Time passes, sometimes leaving behind only a knot of hurtful memories. Thirty years have gone by waiting for the news, when the living victims of the Air India tragedy would hear, feel and spend the rest of their days with some sense of justice. It seems like they will never realize their hopes.

Just ask those whom destiny left behind only to mourn loved ones lost on June 23, 1985.

The Air-India Bombing was not a car accident caused by a drunken driver on an icy Canadian road. It was a well planned, well financed and well executed aviation mass murder of 331 individuals. They had no idea before and after they boarded the plane that they were being taken – not to meet their relatives – but to the end of their own lives. Eyes still get moist and tears still roll down the cheeks when someone or something reminds Canadians of that dreadful day.

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the designated technician-cum-schemer of the 331 murders, made the bomb, tested the bomb and handed it over to his associate master-minds to execute the rest of the plot, to shatter the plane over the Atlantic Ocean. They did this rather effectively, leaving the Irish authorities scooping dead babies, lifeless adults, packed suitcases, floating dolls and pieces of the broken airplane for evidence.   

Two wrongs don't make a right

The Air India Bombing was plotted and executed to avenge the wounded honour of the GoldenTemple, a respected seat of worship and devotion. This temple assault, referred to as "Operation Blue Star" by the New Delhi government, had the approval of the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was no less evil than the bombing of the Air India flights that followed.

Mrs. Gandhi could have chosen some other political and peaceful solution to resolve the national crisis, but she did not, just as Mr. Reyat and his associates could have adopted some other peaceful path to achieve the Sikh separatist agenda. But they did not, because they, especially Mr. Reyat, the designated technician, must have believed, "Two wrongs equal one right."

Co-incidentally, there are a few similarities between Mrs. Gandhi and Mr. Reyat. Both of them have the same derivative Sanskrit root, "in-" meaning, stubborn, determined, bold and energetic. 

Second, both of them suffered the consequences of their Karma (behaviour). PM Gandhi was assassinated at the hands of her trusted body guards. Reyat was doomed by his loyalty to his co-conspirators.

Not a solo plot

Who will ever believe that such a plot was the work of one person?  

Moreover, Mr. Reyat ended up protecting, insulating and covering his criminal associates through his own "perjury".  I call it destiny.

Third, their actions were a response to the demand for the creation of a separate nation, "Khalistan'.

Fourth, no one seems to admire them for the violence soaked sacrifices they made to  attain their objectives.  

Last week, Mr. Reyat was released from federal prison; technically, "paroled out". Where Mr. Reyat is going to live or with who he is going to live with is not of significance. What is significant is that he could never be free from the prison of his own guilt.

He might not even be able to sleep soundly. He might even suffer vivid nightmares of exploding planes and falling dead babies from the sky: all because he is unwilling to reconcile with the truth, compassion and honesty and universal love, the tenets of every religion, including his own religion.

Redeeming himself

Spiritually speaking, Mr. Reyat can only redeem himself of his portion of sins by disclosing the names of those who were involved in plotting, financing and executing this crime, which put him and him alone away in prison for a long time and caused him to suffer, socially, financially and spiritually.   

Mr. Reyat is a Sikh. If he believes in God, he must also believe in Karma, its consequences and rebirth.  If all this is true then the only option Mr. Reyat has is to pray for peace and strength to tell the truth and cleanse his conscience. Truth sets us free. Truth heals our wounded spirit. Truth prepares us to face our Creator.

As a spiritual human being, I am asking him to do the right thing for his soul and for the sake of his children and their children. He alone has the power to offer the gift of justice and peace to those he has victimized.  

Mr. Reyat, leave this world with your head high with pride, not bending low, burdened with the weight of lies and a guilty conscience. 


Dr. Suresh Kurl is a South Asian Community Activist, a former university professor, retired Registrar of the B.C. Benefits Appeal Board (Govt. of B.C.), a former Member of the National Parole Board (Govt. of Canada), a writer and public speaker.

 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary

 BY INDIRA PRAHST Sociologist, Vancouver   HUNDREDS of Sikhs participated in a peaceful commemoration last Saturday (June 5) in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, marking the 32nd anniversary of Operation Blue Star, the 1984 Indian Army attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. According to the organizer of the event, Tajinder […]

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Published in National

THE World Sikh Organization of Canada has worked with NHL hockey arenas across Canada to implement kirpan accommodation procedures for Sikh guests. Beginning in the 2015-16 NHL season, arenas were instructed to introduce airport-style security screening of guests, including walk-through metal detectors.  The WSO says it began working with arenas across Canada on creating a […]

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Published in Arts & Culture

PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau told a student from Punjab during his engagement with students from American University in Washington, D.C., in a question and answer session: “I have more Sikhs in my cabinet than [Indian Prime Minister] Narendra Modi,” when he congratulated Trudeau for having several Punjabis in his cabinet. Trudeau’s remark drew laughter, according to Toronto […]

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Published in National
Saturday, 13 February 2016 21:33

Faith Communities Step Up to Welcome Refugees

by Leah Bjornson in Vancouver 

In this week’s round-up of what’s been making headlines in Canada’s ethnic media: faith-based organizations are at the forefront of Syrian refugee resettlement efforts; Taiwan’s elections are lauded as a step towards democracy in China and members of Vancouver’s Sikh community are helping to spread the love this Valentine’s Day. 

Refugee crisis brings back painful memories for Jewish community 

Faith-based organizations in Canada play a pivotal role in resettling refugees during crises, one not often undertaken in other countries, according to a panel hosted by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute of the Greater Toronto Area earlier this month. 

Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders explained to an audience on Feb. 5 that unlike in other countries, where the government has greater control over resettlement processes, in Canada, many faith communities make efforts to privately sponsor families and assist them in their transition period. 

As reported in The Canadian Jewish News (CJN), the Jewish community has stepped up significantly to assist in the ongoing crisis. In total, 35 groups working with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) have formed sponsorship initiatives. Even more have formed independent sponsorship groups looking to bring Syrian families to Canada. 

“We’re responding to this crisis as Jews, because it’s the right, humanitarian thing to do.”

The Canadian Jewish community has a long history of supporting incoming refugees. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the community actively sponsored many Vietnamese families escaping the aftermath of the Vietnam war. 

Naomi Alboim, professor and chair of the policy forum at the school of policy studies at Queen’s University and one of the panellists at the event, explained to the CJN that the current anti-refugee movement sweeping Europe “brings back painful memories” for the Jewish community. 

“We’re responding to this crisis as Jews, because it’s the right, humanitarian thing to do,” she said. “We’re paying it forward.” 

This faith community is not alone in its endeavours. Toronto’s Muslim and Catholic communities have also stepped forward to contribute in some way. Some synagogues have even joined mosques or churches to submit joint applications to sponsor Syrian families. 

The article makes note of an event in December, during which Jewish communities in Vancouver fundraised to bring two Kurdish families to Canada. 

Taiwan election heralded as beginning of democracy in China 

Panellists lauded Taiwan’s recent election of its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, as a sign that “democracy is compatible with Chinese culture” at a recent event hosted by the Canada-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group. 

The forum, held on Jan. 28, discussed the election that saw the former opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party, beat the Kuomintang with 56 per cent of the popular vote. Known for being pro-China, the Kuomintang has ruled Taiwan for the past eight years. 

This is also the first time that the Kuomintang has lost control of the legislature. 

“If you want to see what China could do with democracy — go to Taiwan.”

Panellist Andre Laliberte, a professor at the University of Ottawa, told Epoch Times after the event, “It is proof that people who have Chinese culture can have democracy, and democracy is compatible with Chinese culture.” 

Laliberte was joined on the panel by Wu Rong-chuan, the newly arrived representative for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, or the Taiwanese embassy in Canada. Wu told the Times that he felt voters had acted more rationally during this election than in years past and that policies were well discussed. 

“There was little sensational language during the election,” he said. 

Canadian Senator Michael MacDonald expressed his hopes that this victory would mark the beginning of significant change in what is “going to be the big, emerging real quest in mainland China for democracy.” 

“If you want to see what China could do with democracy — go to Taiwan,” he said. 

Sikh volunteers spread the love this Valentine’s Day 

Sikh organizations in Vancouver are scrambling this weekend as they finish collecting 900 roses, chocolates and greeting cards to distribute to shelters across the Lower Mainland for Valentine’s Day. 

Hosted by Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen and Global Girl Power in partnership with Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, this annual event sees donors and volunteers working for several weeks to raise money and organize the logistics for the big day. 

“Sikhs believe in Guru Nanak’s philosophy to love all and feed all.”

“Sikhs believe in Guru Nanak’s philosophy to love all and feed all,” Roveen Kandola tells The Indo-Canadian Voice. 

Kandola, who works with Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, adds, “It’s important that during these times, we think of those less fortunate and make their day much brighter.” 

Over the past three years, this initiative has reached over 100 shelters in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland including Burnaby Safe House, Elizabeth Gurney House and Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter. 

The intent of the event is to give women and children at these locations “the opportunity to experience a more enjoyable Valentine’s Day,” the Voice reports. 

Irene de Ocampo at Elizabeth Gurney House says she is very thankful for the work of these volunteers and donors. “Our residents (moms and kids) truly appreciate your generosity.” 

All packages will be distributed to shelters this weekend.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Top Stories
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:14

Politics a Natural Fit for Many Indo-Canadians

by Simran Singh in Vancouver 

Indo-Canadian representation in Canada’s new government goes beyond the cabinet ministers Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced to the country at his swearing-in ceremony earlier this month. 

In what he called “a cabinet that looks like Canada,” 15 of Trudeau’s 30 ministers are women, two are aboriginal, two have disabilities and four are Indo-Canadian Sikhs. 

The Indo-Canadian representation of Trudeau’s cabinet was noted around the nation and internationally. From India’s Hindustan Times to New Zealand’s Indian Weekender, global news media showcased Canada’s newly appointed Indian cabinet ministers. 

A total of 23 Indo-Canadian representatives were elected into parliament in the recent election, an astounding increase compared to the nine Indo-Canadians elected in 2011. 

Moreover, 20 of the Indo-Canadian MPs speak Punjabi, making it the third most-spoken language in Canada’s House of Commons after English and French. 

Most Indo-Canadian politicians originate from the northern Indian state of Punjab, which has a rich, politically, fuelled history.

Punjab: A political hotbed 

Although this year’s Canadian cabinet announcement appeared to draw a lot of attention to Indo-Canadians’ representation in politics, their involvement has remained steadfast in all levels of government across the nation. 

Most Indo-Canadian politicians originate from the northern Indian state of Punjab, which has a rich, politically, fuelled history. Their political inclination is embedded in their cultural background and heritage. 

"[Y]ou are dealing with a group of people that never led any kind of comfortable lifestyle. They were constantly invaded."

“The first thing you have to look at is that Indo-Canadian politicians are mostly Sikhs and [they are] a small, yet highly motivated, religious sect that developed a kind of reformation movement,” explains Shinder Purewal, a professor of political science at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C. 

Purewal adds that the geographical positioning of Punjab in India has made it a political hotbed for centuries. 

“Every invader from Alexander the Great down to the Ahmad Shah Abdali came through the Punjab,” explains Purewal. “So you are dealing with a group of people that never led any kind of comfortable lifestyle. They were constantly invaded. It moulded that spirit of trying to resist oppression and exploitation and that kind of unity created is highlighted [in the] Sikh diaspora.” 

Gradual political participation in Canada 

That sense of unity remained for Punjabis when they first settled in British Columbia in 1903. 

In 1907, the province of B.C. disenfranchised not only Punjabis, but all of the South Asian diaspora. They were not allowed to vote in federal elections or participate in politics. 

After 40 years, the voting restrictions against South Asians were lifted in 1947, but their political involvement developed slowly. 

“The numbers didn’t warrant for [Indo-Canadians] to actually be successful at either provincial levels or federal levels,” says Purewal. “But they did work for the parties mostly as volunteers and also raising funds. They were doing this from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s onward.” 

“My activism started almost right away when I came to Canada."

Although political participation was gradual, Indo-Canadians were motivated and outspoken on many issues impacting their communities. 

Ujjal Dosanjh, the first Indo-Canadian provincial premier and a former Liberal federal cabinet minister, began his community activism by advocating for the wellbeing of B.C. farmworkers. 

Many of these workers were South Asian and Chinese immigrants, who were being underpaid and mistreated. 

Like Dosanjh, Raj Chouhan, a long-time member of legislature in B.C., explains how he was driven by advocacy for farmworkers during his early days in Canada. 

“My activism started almost right away. When I came to Canada, I saw people working in the farms – they were treated so badly,” says Chouhan. In 1980, after speaking out on the issue, he became the founding president of the Canadian Farmworkers Union. 

Inspiring the next generation 

Both Chouhan and Dosanjh point to the political culture of India as a nation playing a large role in motivating early Indo-Canadian politicians. 

“I had this sense of pride in our history and our civilization, and in the morals and values of the independence movement,” Dosanjh recalls. “There was politics all around as I was growing up.” 

“[Politics in India] is part of life, it’s like a second nature.”

India’s democratic system is the largest in the world. It fosters a feeling of responsibility to get politically involved amongst Canada’s South Asian diaspora. 

“[Politics in India] is part of life, it’s like a second nature,” Dosanjh says. “It is a very comfortable position for [Indians] to be in when they come to Canada – to be part of the political system.” 

That political voice has grown stronger as the South Asian representation in Canada’s highest level of government serves as inspiration for the next generation of young Indo-Canadians. 

But Dosanjh highlights that no matter who you are, politics is about believing in yourself and your values. 

“You don’t do it for glory. I did it because I believed in it […] Winning or losing isn’t the issue. In the end you have to look at yourself in the mirror and see if you have been true to yourself,” he says. 

“I would say to young people, if you believe Canada can be a better place, and you want to make it better, go into politics.”

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Politics
Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:01

Modi Meets Sikhs in London

London (IANS): Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met with members of the Sikh community living in London ahead of his formal talks with the British leadership. “The UK visit begins with a meeting with the Sikh community in London,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted on Thursday. “Deepening diaspora linkages. Before formal engagements, […]

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Published in India

Amritsar (IANS): Tension prevailed as black flags were shown and swords were brandished inside the Golden Temple complex on Wednesday by rebel Sikh elements who were opposing the Akal Takht Jathedar (Chief) Gurbachan Singh issuing his Diwali message for the Sikh community. In a related incident at the same venue, rebel Sikh leader Dhian Singh […]

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Published in India

by Ranjit Bhaskar in Toronto

As Oct. 19 is only days away, a quick look at ridings with interesting ethno-cultural dynamics at play will give you an idea of what to watch out for on election night.

It is highly likely that there will be 50 or more minority legislators in the newly elected House of Commons – made possible in part because all three major parties have fielded candidates who share the cultural heritage of dominant populations in several of Canada’s 338 ridings.

While ethnicity is not the only influence on voting behaviour, ridings that have 20 per cent and above of people from a single group are indicative of the effectiveness of micro targeting by the parties. For one, these are large, but focused, groups that can be easily reached through advertising, often in languages spoken at home.

South Asians

The Conservatives targeted South Asian groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) in 2011 with significant success. But there are many indications to suggest that large sections of this heterogeneous group may vote Liberal as the party’s emphasis on issues like family reunification resonate with them.

Ridings to watch in the GTA are all five Brampton ridings and the five Mississauga ridings of Mississauga Centre, Mississauga East-Cooksville, Mississauga-Erin Mills, Mississauga-Malton and Mississauga-Streetsville. Many of them are three-way and two-way fights between candidates of South Asian heritage.

[T]here are many indications to suggest that large sections of this heterogeneous group may vote Liberal as the party’s emphasis on issues like family reunification resonate with them.

Ridings of interest in the Toronto suburbs are Scarborough Centre, Scarborough North, Scarborough Southwest, Scarborough-Guildwood, Scarborough-Rouge Park and Etobicoke North. The NDP’s Rathika Sitsabaeisan and Liberal’s Bill Blair are the prominent candidates here.

Further west in Alberta, the ridings of Edmonton Mill Woods and Calgary Skyview are the ones to watch as they will decide the fate of Conservative incumbents Tim Uppal and Devinder Shory respectively in three-way fights amongst candidates of South Asian heritage. Calgary Forest Lawn will also be of interest as Deepak Obhrai, a prominent Conservative incumbent, is contesting from there.

In British Colombia, Surrey Centre and Surrey-Newton will witness three-way races between candidates of South Asian heritage. The other ridings to watch are Fleetwood-Port Kells, where Conservative incumbent Nina Grewal is contesting, and Vancouver South, where the Liberals have fielded star candidate Harjit Sajjan.

Chinese

In 2011, like with South Asians, the Conservatives were able to woo the ethnic Chinese vote successfully. And like the South Asians, some sections of this heterogeneous group are riled by changes in immigration and citizenship policies.

The new Express Entry program and the elimination of the immigrant investor program in 2014 have made Chinese immigration to Canada harder. Expect this dissatisfaction to be reflected in the way the community votes.    

In British Columbia, the Vancouver area ridings to watch are Richmond Centre, Steveston-Richmond East, Vancouver South, Vancouver East, Vancouver Granville, Vancouver Kingsway, Vancouver Quadra, Burnaby North-Seymour and Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.

[L]ike the South Asians, some sections of this heterogeneous group are riled by changes in immigration and citizenship policies.

Further to the east, the riding to watch is Calgary Nose Hill in Alberta where prominent Conservative incumbent Michelle Rempel is seeking re-election.

In the GTA, the ridings to watch are Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, from where Costas Menegakis, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, is contesting; Markham-Stouffville, where Paul Calandra who served as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary, is contesting; Markham-Thornhill, from where Liberal immigration critic John McCallum is contesting; Markham-Unionville; and Richmond Hill.

In the Toronto suburbs, the ridings to watch are Scarborough-Agincourt, Scarborough North, Willowdale and Don Valley North, where Conservative Joe Daniel is facing a strong challenge from Liberal Geng Tan.

Daniel has stirred controversy by speaking out on “so-called” refugees fleeing Syrian violence, criticizing Saudi Arabia for inaction on the crisis, and suggesting a Muslim “agenda” is pushing refugees into Europe.

Ukrainians

As Harper has made support for Ukraine a key part of his foreign policy initiatives, it would be of interest to know how it translates into keeping ridings with significant Ukrainian populations safely within the Conservative fold.

The ridings to watch are Lakeland in Alberta, Yorkton-Melville in Saskatchewan and the Manitoba ridings of Kildonan-St. Paul, Elmwood-Transcona and Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman.

Italians

The two ridings with a high concentration of Italian voters are in the GTA: King-Vaughan and Vaughan-Woodbridge. Both elected Conservatives in 2011, along with the other Ontario riding in play, Sault Ste. Marie.

The ridings to watch in Montreal are Saint Leonard-Saint Michel and Honoré-Mercier.

Non-Christian groups

When it comes to religion, no non-Christian community is in majority in any of the ridings.

The highest proportion is in Surrey-Newton with 44 per cent Sikh, followed by 34 per cent Sikh in Brampton East.

Sikhs have been able to rally together to ensure that fellow community members get elected to parliament from ridings where they are predominant.

Being a close-knit religious community, Sikhs have been able to rally together to ensure that fellow community members get elected to parliament from ridings where they are predominant.

The current House of Commons has six Sikh MPs, a ratio well above their population figures.

“Jewish” ridings

The GTA suburb of Thornhill has the next most populous religious group in one riding with 37 per cent Jewish, followed by Montreal’s Mount Royal with 31 per cent. In Toronto, 25 per cent of both Eglinton-Lawrence and York Centre are Jewish. 

Eglinton-Lawrence is of added interest as Conservative Joe Oliver is in a tough three-way fight against Liberal Marco Mendicino and NDP star Andrew Thomson.

Oliver is one of the most senior Jewish parliamentarians. If he loses, it would be only the third time since Confederation that an incumbent finance minister is defeated.

[T]he days of any one party monopolizing certain ethno-cultural votes have ended.

The Muslim vote

Statistics Canada says Muslims comprise between 12 and 19 per cent of the population in 19 federal ridings – 11 in Ontario, six in Quebec and two in Alberta.

In the 2011 elections, 21 ridings in Ontario with notable Muslim populations were won by the smallest of margins.

According to non-partisan organization The Canadian Muslim Vote, had Muslims voted in greater numbers they could have been a deciding factor in determining who got elected.

High Muslim voter turnout could make a significant difference not only in ridings with high Muslim populations such as Don Valley East and Mississauga Centre, but also in key ridings in Calgary and Edmonton.

No monopoly on ethno-cultural vote

Other ridings with significant ethno cultural factors at play include Spadina-Fort York in Toronto, where Liberal star Adam Vaughan is fighting NDP star Olivia Chow.

The three Etobicoke ridings in Toronto are also significant as Ukrainian, Somali, South Asian and Ahmadiyya Muslim groups have influence in the area.

For the Conservatives, winning these ridings is important to maintain presence in a city that has been traditionally carved out between the Liberals and the NDP.

But the electoral fights in all of the above ridings indicate that the days of any one party monopolizing certain ethno-cultural votes have ended. These groups are now voting like the rest of Canadians without regard to narrow cultural or ethnic identities.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

 

Published in Top Stories
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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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