Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Seine Flows Into The Humber

It's a rare day when the Globe and Mail publishes anything that steps outside its editorial policy of regarding Toronto as the world's model city and reminding its readership how fortunate they are to live in Toronto, or if they don't, how much better a place their hometowns would be if they emulated Toronto.

It's an even rarer day when Michael Valpy publishes such an article.

But the riots in France have forced the Globe to do a little serious introspection. The prospect of seeing their Volvos torched does that to the bobos in the Annex:

To be sure, a Canadian mirror held up to the car-BQs of France shows no violent mass unrest brewing in, say, Toronto's Jane-Finch or Jamestown neighbourhoods, Montreal's quartier St-Michel or patches of Greater Vancouver's Surrey and the Downtown Eastside.

But what recent research reveals is an alarming and disquieting analogue to the demographic portrait of the French suburban cités.

It shows an emerging population of Canadian-raised daughters and sons of visible-minority immigrants à la France whose accents and cultural reference points are as Canadian as maple syrup, but who in many respects feel less welcome in the country than their parents.

"Their parents came to improve their lives," says University of Toronto sociologist Jeffrey Reitz, one of Canada's foremost academic experts on immigration and multiculturalism.

"They can make comparisons to where they were. They can [move] on. But for their children born in Canada, they don't have the option of going anywhere else. And they expect equality. Therefore their expectations are much higher."

The image of Canada as a tolerant and peaceful multicultural society, a Benetton ad brought to life if you will, was never intended to become reality. Certainly it was not intended to integrate immigrants into the mainstream of Canadian society.

It was intended to bring in foreigners to do the scut work by attracting them with false promises of future prosperity for themselves and their children. The bait-and-switch of our immigration policy, which attracts professionally qualified immigrants only to shunt them into menial work because their qualifications and work experience aren't recognized over here underscores that fact.

It also gave Canadians something more to bolster the national sense of smug superiority over the United States, by placing the "mosaic" against the "melting pot" as a sign of our greater tolerance of foreign folkways.

But most importantly, it was intended to entrench the Liberal Party in power by creating an eternally grateful voting bloc whose sheer numbers in the cities would overwhelm the native-born urban Conservative vote.

The Canadian-born children now realize that they and their parents have been had. They'll be far more receptive to demagogues, especially the Islamic ones. In France, Islamic militancy has found its most receptive audience, not amongst the immigrants themselves who might still believe in the French government's promises, but amongst the children and grandchildren who have seen these promises for the lies they are.

And so, too, will they find open ears amongst the first and second generation descendants of immigrants in Canada. They've been deliberately kept from integration into mainstream Canadian society by multiculturalist policies whose primary purpose is to keep the Liberals in power. They know the reality behind the Potemkin village front of Trudeaupia.

The question for Conservatives remains this: how do we get them behind us instead of behind the mullahs?

I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that question. Perhaps no one does.

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