How to act if refugees come to Canada on a boat

What To Do If People Come To Canada On A Boat And Ask To Be Admitted As Refugees (via funkaoshi):

1. Don’t panic!

Take a deep breath.

2. Remember that there is a process in place to deal with this issue.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

The Canadian refugee system has two main parts:
– the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people seeking protection from outside Canada; and
– the In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada.

If you can see the boat full of people from your house, that means they will likely be processed under the In-Canada Asylum Program. To calm your fears, Citizenship and Immigration Canada further explains that:

Refugees come from around the world and many make their claims in Canada….The asylum program works to provide refugee protection to people in Canada who are at risk of torture, or cruel or unusual punishment in their home countries.

Not everyone is eligible to seek asylum. For example, people convicted of serious criminal offences and people who have had previous refugee claims denied by Canada are not accepted.

3. Don’t kill asylum seekers.

Even if you are still alarmed after reading about Canada’s refugee process, don’t kill these strange newcomers, regardless of what the Toronto Sun helpfully suggests.  Killing asylum seekers is a violation of their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

If you look carefully at your copy of the Charter, you’ll notice that some rights are only for Canadian citizens (like the right to vote, article 3) and some rights are for “everyone” (like the right to life, liberty and security of the person, article 7).

Do asylum seekers and refugee claimants who arrive in Canada on a leaky boat count as “everyone” under Canadian law? The Supreme Court of Canada answered this very question in their April 4, 1985 decision in Singh v. Minister of Employment and Immigration. According to the Supreme Court, foreign nationals in Canada have Charter rights, so killing them would be illegal.

Read the rest at Kanakaweb

Québec’s bill to control niqabi women is sexist and ableist.

In Canada, the province of Québec wants to pass Bill 94 to exclude niqabi women from essential government services, public employment, educational opportunities, and health care. They hope that this will make niqabi women uncover themselves.

Dana Olwan writes:

Bill 94 is borne out of a masculine logic that projects men as guardians of women’s independence and free will, rendering women dependents in constant need of state protection. As residents and citizens in need of state protection, we are to believe in the magnanimity of the writers and supporters of the bill. We are told that Bill 94 does not target one group or another but that it affirms the secular nature of Quebec in particular and Canada in general. To more readily absorb this historical and political distortion, we are reminded of the tyranny of religion and blinded to the dangers of staunch secularism.

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Québec wants to make niqabi women illegal.

The creeping racism and eroding of civil liberties of Arizona makes me worry about the Quebec Provincial Bill 94 to exclude niqabi women from social services, employment, health, and education.

If you are Canadian and if you are not, you can take action against Bill 94. If you are emailing or writing to a government official, you can make use of the Non/No Bill 94 Coalition Statement.

Update: There is a Sample No Bill 94 Letter to Premiere Jean Charest

Google’s race and gender makeup is Trade Secret in tech business, says Google

Google, Don’t Be Hypocritical (NBC Bay Area, emphasis mine):

Despite its supposed mission to “organize the world’s information,” Google has fought to hide data about the race and gender makeup of its workforce.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that it had fought for 18 months through Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain data collected by the Department of Labor about the employees of Google and 14 other large Silicon Valley employers.

The question of diversity cuts to the core of Silicon Valley’s values. Investors, entrepreneurs, and managers love to tout the technology industry’s so-called meritocracy, in which talented workers rise quickly to the top. And yet the reality is that the technology industry remains dominated by white males, especially in management.

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Racist white man attacked Asian Canadians with pickup truck.

Ontario man jailed for attack on Asian anglers (CBC News):

[A white] Ontario man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail Friday for attacking a group of Asian anglers and their friends in 2007.

Justice Alfred Stong also sentenced Trevor Middleton, 23, to three years’ probation after he has served his sentence, and 240 hours of community service helping seniors and people with mental disabilities. Middleton will also be required to attend a cultural awareness course, and he’s been banned from driving for 10 years.

According to Justice Stong, since some of the victims were Asian Canadians, what made them stand out visually in the overwhelmingly white town must have been their “culture”, which was made conspicuous by the fact that they were trying to fish from a dock in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, alongside their white friends.

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Canada outlawed First Nations political activism until ~1970.

Excerpted from Whitey Don’t see that: The rising recognition of ‘white privilege’ in Western academia (PDF) by Momoko Price at The Ubyssey, November 2006:

Dominique Clement, a human rights historian at the University of Victoria, said researching the First Nations social movement during the 20th Century is a funny thing, because there are very few documents on the topic to research.

“First Nations is interesting. There’s very, very little written on First Nations human rights activism. There’s this weird period between 1910 and 1969 where First Nations were not terribly politically active.”

You might wonder why this might be the case. And unless you’re up-tospeed on graduate-level Canadian history, you probably won’t guess the real reason. It wasn’t simply because First Nations were poor, or displaced, or lacked support (though these reasons obviously contributed.) It was because Aboriginal activism was explicitly against federal law.

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Police threatened to charge aboriginal beating victim if he pressed charges.

In February, two security guards in Toronto allegedly beat an aboriginal man, sending him to the hospital with three broken ribs and a punctured lung. The security guards said, “You natives are nothing but trouble,” and said that natives were drunks and would never amount to anything.

When the victim, Cliff Hussin, wanted to lay criminal charges against the two security guards, the police told him that if he charged the security guards, the police would charge him as well. Hussin is on probation and out on bail from previous assault charges. As Hussin fears that he may land back in jail, he will likely not press charges against his assaulters. Read the rest of this entry »