News from Canada's Ethnic Media

In Canada, there are over 450 presses catering to the needs and interests of communities that are neither English nor French. Each of these newspapers and magazines offers a different viewpoint and perspective on our multicultural society.

Every week we present summaries of important issues as they are reported by various ethnic newspapers and other media monitored by Pluri Vox correspondents. Below you will find some recent headlines from the publications we are monitoring.

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Headlines for Canada's Cross-Cultural Newspapers

March 2006: 

In view of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Kandahar, an advance team has already left for Afghanistan. Canadian forces have taken over charge from their American counterparts. Because of this, Canada's international image has totally changed. Canada's independent foreign policy has taken a turn of 360 degrees towards Washington. Kandahar is the most dangerous zone in the theatre of war. This situation is not only dangerous but will also bring the Muslim world to clash with Canada. The Prime Minister is going to Afghanistan to boost the morale of the Canadian forces. After this visit, the Prime Minister has to frame a new foreign policy. As such, Canada will be an equal partner in the American war of terror. (News: Sunday Times, 01 March 2006, Toronto, Pakistani/Urdu.)

Immigration processes for the new immigrants who join the Canadian armed forces will be accelerated, reports said. The Canadian Chief of Staff for Defence has said this is a remarkable scheme which will be pursued by the Conservative Party because the government plans to recruit 23,000 more personnel. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) also said any soldier who helps enroll another person into the forces will be granted one week's additional vacation. People normally do not join armed forces despite good benefits, sophisticated technical training and other facilities, the CDS said. Now, we shall offer more benefits. Government will earmark $ 2 billion towards this project. "I do not know whether or not this allocation will be enough because one-fourth of the Canadian infrastructure has gone old, " the CDS noted. (News: Urdu Times, 02 March 2006, Toronto, Pakistani/Urdu.)

A bribery scandal which began four years in the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has yielded 278 charges against 11 persons. A judge at the IRB is also involved. Recently, the Quebec Superior Court has started hearings in this case involving a Chinese national Mr. Leo. The Crown prosecutor has recommended a minimum of 2 years jaiI sentence for the defendant. Mr. Wong, another prominent member of the Chinese community at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Montreal has already been convicted. Mr. Leo and another accomplice were assigned to collect cash from refugee claimants who, in turn, provided this money to the judge of the IRB. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) acquired the services of a person who contacted Mr. Leo seeking immigration for his spouse.(News:: Urdu Times, 02 March 2006, Toronto, Pakistani/Urdu.)

Mr. Peter Kent, the Conservative Party candidate (St.Paul's) at the elections had stated that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should be banned from Canada along with its supporters. In making these statements, he was very attached to the CTB, CTV and other medias and do not seem to know history. If LTTE is a terrorist organization, what about the African National Congress headed by Nelson Mandela.? What about Mahatma Gandhi or Nethaji Chandra Bose? The Indian Tamil population which is more than the population of Canada has endorsed that the LTTE is a Liberal Organization and not a terrorist organization. There are 23 Tamil parliamentarians in the Democratic Socialist republic of Srilanka. Would the Conservative Party curb the members of the parliament in Canada because they are associated with the LTTE?. What would be the fate of 250,000 to 300,000 Tamils in Canada?. Would they be deported by the Conservative government?. The LTTE is the only organization now fighting for the rights of Tamils with the help of the international community. It should be understood that the LTTE is fighting for the rights of Tamils all over the world. That is why the leaders in Tamilnad, India respect the LTTE. Several Western countries have also acknowledged LTTE as a liberation movement. The statement of Mr. Kent is contrary to Tamil public opinion. (Opinion: The Ceylon Times, 14 January 2006, Toronto, Tamil/English)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper represents Western Canada, and had earlier expressed the hope that a person from the Western Province should take up the leadership of Canada. Expect this new government to be prone more friendliness with the U.S. And yet, since the Conservative government doesn't have an outright majority, it has to accommodate the wishes of the other parties. Though some of the key ministries have gone to persons who have expressed their displeasure at the cordial relationship between the Liberals and the Tamils, it is hoped that they would adopt a balanced stand when they start to wield the reins of power. (Opinion: Thamilar Senthamarai, 27 January 2006, Toronto, Tamil/Tamil.)

Canadians are genuinely nervous as to how new Canadian foreign policies are going to shape up. Though Canada and the United States are made up of diverse ethnic groups, the U.S. approach to multiculturalism is different. The U.S. favors a melting-pot approach and expects all to assimilate the American identity. Whereas Canada has encouraged its people to celebrate and nurture diverse traditions and cultures with it mosaic approach. All urban centres of Canada have truly become world class with culture, food and customs from every corner of the world. The Tamil Canadian with an estimated 300,000 people are well known for keeping their culture alive in Canada. The Tamil economic and cultural presence is very significant in the Greater Toronto Area. Similarly, there are Indo- Canadians and Chinese -Canadians who form a human link between Canada and various parts of the world. Srilanka only serves as a strategic location in South Asia and the foreign policy of Canada may be influenced by this factor. However, Canada is now home to nearly 10 percent of the Tamil population of Srilanka. Canada cannot bluntly adopt U.S. or U.K. foreign policy. The Canadian government must reflect the values of all Canadians and must be inclusive of all them. Canadians hope that the Conservatives will, indeed, make an effort to understand all types of Canadians. The foreign policy announcement is a great opportunity for Conservatives to ease some of the nervousness Canadians have with regard to the Conservative way of government. The Department of foreign affairs should establish a mechanism to effectively consult Canadians. It should be a process that would encourage Canadians to play an active role in their government. With globalization and emerging new economies, the opinion of Canada matters to the Tamils more than ever before. (Opinion: Tamil Phoenix, February 2006, Toronto, Tamil/ English.)


Past Headlines: 

RACISM AND POLICE RELATIONS

  • Tolerate racism at own risk, columnist warns
  • Police arrests at Somali restaurant may tip scales
  • Cameras, education needed to stamp out racism
  • Toronto police wants female Tamil officers
  • U. of T., Chinese group launch anti-racism discs
  • Poles also "shivering" from swastika desecrations
  • Check-point drama sparks student ban at York U
  • McGuinty, bishops denounce anti-Semitic attacks
  • Judge wrong to deny hearing on "nigger" text

IMMIGRATION AND CORRUPTION

  • 11 charged in Immigration & Refugee Board probe
  • Sgro wants to "eliminate" politics at Immigration board
  • Chinese residents lose status on single visa application
  • $15K fine too low for Fililpino nanny fraud: victims
  • Taiwan emigration surges after election scandals
  • Tamil spousal sponsorships yield rocky marriages

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DIPLOMACY

  • 50,000 Canadians in Lebanon promote trade
  • Watch Australia for MidEast policy: analyst
  • Liddar's cancelled Chandigarh posting "humiliating"
  • $70,000 raised for Chernobyl orphans
  • Columnist asks: Whom do terror warnings profit?
  • Ukrainian radio cuts suspended until elections

ENFORCEMENT AND DEPORTATIONS

  • Arrests, injury mark Pakistani's deportation protest
  • Cotler's Nazi deportations an "affront on liberties"
  • Auditor Fraser should check $7 billion security bill

CROSS-CULTURAL TIES

  • 3,000 mark Iranian new year, seek official holiday
  • Liberals pressure Lebanese candidate to exit race
  • BC college awaits $1 million for Indo-Canadian chair
  • Canadian nurse saved 5,000 orphans, records show
  • Chinese dolphins may live at BC aquarium