Are you currently unemployed? According to the new Canadian citizenship guidebook for prospective immigrants, over 8.6% of unemployed Canadians are not fulfilling the Canadian responsibility of having a job, which now comes with the rights of having a Canadian citizenship.
The new Canadian citizenship guidebook was unveiled last week, redefining what it means to be Canadian. After all, new Canadian immigrants are more likely to be unemployed, which must mean—according to the authors of the guidebook—that their economic difficulties are a result of their failure adopt Canadian values. In addition, the new guidebook tells prospective immigrants, “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, “honour killings,” female genital mutilation, or other gender-based violence.”
Firstly, earlier this year, a University of British Columbia study found that resumés with English names received 40 percent more callbacks from Toronto employers than identical resumés with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani names. Canadian employers are engaging in name-based discrimination against job applicants, which has a substantial effect on the employment rate of immigrants, since most Canadian immigrants today originate from Asia (58.3%).
Secondly, the new guidebook suggests that non-Canadians who are thinking of acquiring Canadian citizenship are more prone to barbarism compared to people who were born inside Canada. Additionally, the authors of the guidebook make special mentions of “honour killings” and “female genital mutilation” among non-Canadian prospective Canadians, which normalizes the culture of post-9/11 Islamophobia into government documents.
Most Canadians seem to believe that the post-9/11 rise in news coverage of “honour killings” and “female genital mutilation” done by Muslims reflects an increase in “Muslim fundamentalism” post 9/11. According to their worldview, after September 11th, 2001, Muslims all over the world (separated by different languages and geography) collaborated together to further incense the global anti-Muslim anger by engaging in cultural practices that offended Western sensibilities, and it has nothing to do with U.S. propaganda using Orientalism to justify the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sadly, the new Canadian citizenship guide for immigrants reflects what most Canadians fear the most about immigrants (i.e., that they might be Muslim or Arab, and that they might be “barbaric”), not what most immigrants are (i.e., Chinese, Indian, and Filipin@, of various faiths and non-faiths, and, of course, decent people of all ethnicities and religious/non-religious identities). Like before, the federal government under Conservative leadership entrenches more xenophobic attitudes into the institutional systems of Canada.
In 2007, Hérouxville, Quebec—a small rural town where almost everyone is white, French-speaking, and Catholic—created a code of conduct for immigrants, and it was widely criticized for being ridiculous and xenophobic. The code of conduct ruled that immigrants should not stone women in public, burn them alive, burn them with acid, or circumcise them.
Back in 2007, the world rightly recognized that the Hérouxville code of conduct for immigrants was xenophobic and absurd. However, in 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney unveils an eerily similar Canadian code of conduct for immigrants, and very few Canadians recognize it as the very same xenophobic absurdity on a larger scale.