Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We've all heard the rude remarks and/or seen the bigotry in action: the Chinese are taking over Vancouver, Muslims are violent people, or Hindus are untrustworthy (this is usually a remark regarding "brown" people, but frequently bigots will use "Hindu" instead, not realizing that Hinduism is actually a religion and not a race).

As White folk, I'm really insulated from this kind of prejudice, unless, of course, you want to attack me for being French and/or Italian, but really, I can honestly say that I do not experience discrimination when it comes to my background. A colleague of mine is an immigrant and a visible minority. I am always eager to hear what she has to say about her experience immigrating to Canada, learning English and just trying to get a job. It's hard and I don't think non-visible minorities in Canada have any idea what it's like.

"Sue", my colleague, is a very, very strong person. She has always looked after herself, went to university and took care of her ailing parents. She speaks more eloquently than I do and with only the slightest detection of an accent. Yet, she says that without a doubt, moving to Canada was the single most difficult thing she has ever endured.

I am critical of the Conservative 2006 Budget on many fronts, but I must say that I applaud the Conservatives for realizing the need to recognize foreign credentials. In his budget, Flaherty promised to set aside funds to help immigrants get their foreign professional credentials recognized in Canada, a major obstacle for many forced into low paying jobs here.

"Sue" is also happy and I'm sure the surgeon-turned-cab driver who took me to Kits on Monday is also appreciative of this.

Recognizing foreign credentials is not just good for immigrants, but for all of us. We would all benefit from having more qualified doctors and nurses in Canada. But still, this is just the beginning and it can't just stop there.

Legal discrimination is much different from systemic discrimination. The Government can always open up the way for immigrants and visible minorities, but unless we change our views and stop seeing these people as the "others", they will continue be regarded as second-class citizens.

I would encourage everyone to check out this site. It is created by a team of former Canadian citizens who detail the experiences of immigrants in Canada. Very humbling.


At 9:58 PM, Blogger Manoj said...

True say.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Manoj said...

Although I hate the webiste
its just rubbish... its focus is on turning immigrants away from canada while on the other hand, canada is trying to provide a ray of hope.
i'm of visible minority and i was never discriminated. i think that website is just bullshit.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i just want you to realize that the website is very true. the comments and experiences are from real people. of course if you live here in Canada, you're first reaction is to be defensive. i love Canada too. But, unfortunately the contents of the website is 100% hard to swallow truth.

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pedro:

I defend your right to say whatever you please about any website.

I see you are Liberal. should be a part of your party's platform.

I understand the frustration all Canadians feel when immigrants voice real opinions. Democratic opinions.

But you have to understand, not all immigrants are bought and paid for by the current government.

In the U.S. meritocracy rules. In Canada, well I leave it to the members of this web forum to answer.

Proud Canadian, who loves the U.S.
and loves all immigrants!

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely makes me nervous about coming to Canada. I got my landing papers (PR) but am real scared about arriving in Toronto. Any suggestions?

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My suggestion is: if you have a good life where you live (career + private life) then DO NOT COME!!! The chances of you getting frustrated are real. If your home country is torn by unbearable violence, or political or religion oppression, then come. But be advised that the Canadian job market may not welcome you at all.

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In time: if you do come, while you look for a job start volunteering and pursue some Canadian/international professional designations in your field (e.g., CSC/CFA/CMA/CGA/CA in the financial industry).

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... is very,very popular around the world.(just Google search it) and do not dismiss
comments and experiences from hundreds of thousands of people around the planet just because you are patriotic.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving your homeland is natural, but facts are facts. For immigrants, there are too many challenges in Canada. As far as discrimination is concerned, it is a part of human nature and it is every where in the world. It all depends upon you, weather you feel it or you are so busy that you do not have time to think about it. May be some people do not realize that they are being discriminated.
New comers should be prepared to start from a general labor job and may be keep doing it for ever.


At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be a fool or dumb for a colourful person to say he/she doesnt feel the horrible attitudes from the general idiotic canuck. Discriminations vs the coloured are everywhere inside this bloody empty freezer. Simply look around you, all govt/good office jobs are pales, all janitors, cheap retail jobs are coloured!

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not immigrate! Home is always the best place to be especially true for colourful people moving to the beige world. If you still do not believe try it yourself.


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