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Dividing Canada into vote banks, one tribe at a time

Saturday 29 June 2019, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


Dividing Canada into vote banks, one tribe at a time

Tarek Fatah

Published: June 25, 2019 Updated: June 25, 2019 5:17 PM EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media after meeting with the Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, before delivering remarks to highlight the Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up at the Edmonton Convention Centre, May 10, 2019.Ed Kaiser / Postmedia Network

The slow and steady ghettoization of Canada’s urban political scene is gathering pace. Ethnicity, religion and tribalism is being promoted as a tool in the upcoming October elections, instead of debating competing visions about Canada’s future.

Political commentators in the media, academics in universities and vote-hungry politicians may have become numb or blind to what is unfolding, but the rest of the world and most immigrants like me are watching our democracy being used to promote religious hatred, ethnic division and extremism overseas.

On Monday, a leader of India’s opposition Congress Party, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh lambasted the Trudeau Liberal government over “its overt and covert support to the Khalistani movement,” demanding New Delhi “seek UN sanctions if needed,” against Canada.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, Singh said, “It was more than apparent that Canada had been extending its support to Khalistanis despite New Delhi’s protestations.”

To gain insight into what Amarinder Singh is talking about, one needs to take a peep into the city of Brampton just northwest of Toronto, which is a microcosm of all that ails urban Canada and how the federal Liberal Party plays a role in unwittingly inflaming racial and religious minority community divisions.

All five Liberal Party candidates in that city are Sikhs, the party effectively shutting its door to the myriad of other citizens who just want to be Canadian and are not bound by religious ties to a Temple, Church or Mosque. This has led to Brampton’s Hindu community throwing their weight behind the opposition Conservatives.

The role of religious and racial identity is of such significance that the Conservative candidate in Brampton East was previously identified as Ramona Benson and will now appear as Ramona Singh on the ballot, seeming to have dropped her WASPish last name and adding Singh. I asked Ramona why her name changed, but she insisted that Singh was her last name all along.

What has Canada become? Who could have imagined the name ‘Benson’ or ‘Jimmy’ would become a liability for a candidate in a federal election in Canada. Sad.

Elsewhere on June 21 in Toronto, many prominent Liberals appeared alongside a group called ‘Canadian Muslim Vote’, where Justin Trudeau himself implied opposition Conservatives were Islamophobic and racist, sending the partisan Liberal Party Muslim tribe into a thunderous applause.

Notwithstanding Minister Maryam Monsef’s shout-out at the event that “Muslims are rocking it in Canada,” Trudeau’s remarks were disgraceful as was the conduct of his Muslim vote bank who gave their handsome leader a thunderous standing ovation.

Ostensibly the event was non-partisan. Of course, it wasn’t. Two Muslim candidates running on the People’s Party of Canada ticket – Tahir Gora from Mississauga-Malton and Hazar Alsabagh from Mississauga-Erin Mills – were not invited, nor was their leader Maxime Bernier. Though Jagmeet Singh of the NDP did fall for the trap and accorded the event an undeserved degree of legitimacy, as did Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt, who described the moment Trudeau implied Conservatives were racist as “shocking.”

Canadian Muslim Vote? What next? Imagine a Canadian Jew Vote? How about a Canadian Catholic or Buddhist Vote? Why not Hindus as well? Shouldn’t they too rally their troops and get prepared for a medieval showdown with Muslims in our cities to rival the horror of the 1947 Partition?

Now the head of the Quebec Council of Imams Hassan Guillet has also joined the Liberal bandwagon from the Montreal riding of Saint-Léonard–Saint-Michel. He told Postmedia “the Muslim community is as big as the Italian community. The demographic changed enormously.”

O Canada, who stands on guard for thee?