I still remember, I was put in an ESL level 2 [English as a Second Language] class in one of the suburbs of Toronto, after I came to Canada in 1995. The whole class is full of immigrants. I was really in shock. I used to wonder, how could this be? The country I’m from does not even handle another set of people – Tamils, while Canada accepts and most importantly welcomes people from all over the world. We had to write journals everyday in our ESL class. I remember, I always write about how Canada is a racism free country and how I truly feel the freedom and all. My English teacher used to tell me, that I can’t escape writing about this all the time. I have to come up with something new. I was not writing to escape the hardship of writing English journal everyday, where English is not my strength. I truly felt it.
More or less, I did not feel any racism up until recently – till less than 500 Tamil asylum seekers landed in BC.
Canada’s Public Security Minister Vic Toews insists the MV Sun Sea, which arrived on the BC coast carrying just under 500 Tamil refugee claimants, is full of terrorists and human smugglers. But neither recent history nor reliable intelligence seem to back up his claims. Even strange is how he commented about the asylum seekers even before they landed and identified. It makes me wonder, if it were white Caucasians on board, would he have commented the same way? I’m sure he would have said, we cannot comment on the asylum seekers as we do not have any info of how many and who they are. Only after Canadian border services identified all, he might have commented positively or negatively. Just blatantly to say they are terrorists and human smugglers even before they know the exact head count of how many people on the boat is really makes it a racist reaction.
To make it worse, Toronto mayor wanna be Rob Ford said that there should be no more refugees allowed in GTA. He is working against the majority immigrants population in GTA. I am an immigrant to Canada, and I would like my relatives to come to Canada, and hopefully they will reside nearby where I reside in GTA. Concerned enough, Rob Ford has been charged with assaulting and uttering death threats against his wife after police were called to his Etobicoke home yesterday morning. Wanna be Toronto Mayor beating his wife, advocating against immigrants. So definitely, I’m not voting for Rob Ford.
As the crown for all these racist reaction, GTA’s prominent media puts out a poll asking users to vote “Will you welcome the Tamil migrants to Toronto?” I just wonder again, would it be OK to say “Will you welcome the Chinese migrants to Toronto?” or “Will you welcome the French migrants to Toronto?” If this poll is not racist, what is racist? As I’m a Tamil living in GTA, I really got offended. I sent an email to them from my work email address, and I did not receive any reply back.
The Canada that welcomed me does not seem to be the Canada that rotates now. Is it the Conservative government racist or is Canadians overall becoming racist?