Saturday, March 18, 2017

Immigrants to Canada: Past and Present

The following is a letter from Marilena Pasca (Toronto)
sent to one of my faithful readers who has forwarded it to me.

A Letter to Justin Trudeau

So many letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people
why today's Canadian is not williing to accept this new kind of immigrant.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Canada, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Halifax or Vancouver and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in both good and bad times.

They made learning English a primary rule in their new Canadian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good-bye to their birthplace to give their children a new and better life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. Perhaps some were fortunate my be given 160 acres of prairie grassland. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. It wasn't easy.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. my Uncle Jim, fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Sweden, Poland and so many other places. None of these first generation Canadians ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Canadians fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.
They were defending the Freedom as one people.

When we liberated France and The Netherlands, no one in those villages was looking for the Ukranian-Canadian or the German-Canadian. The people of Paris and Amsterdam saw only Canadians. And they carried one flag that represented Our Country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be a Canadian. They stirred the melting pot into one red and white bowl.

And here we are in 2016 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges...only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules: one that includes a Canadian passport and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.

I'm sorry, that's not what being a Canadian is all about. Canadians have been very open-hearted and open-minded regarding immigrants, whether they were fleeing poverty, dictatorship or persecution...or whatever else makes us think of those aforementioned immigrants who truly did ADOPT our country, our flag, our morals and our customs...and left their wars, hatred and divisions behind. I believe that the immigrants who landed in Canada in the early 1900's deserve better than that for the toil, hard work and sacrifice of those legally searching for a better life.

I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags, fighting foreign battles on our soil, making Canadians change to suit their religions and cultures and wanting to change our country's fabric by claiming 'discrimination' when we do not give in to their demands. It's about time we get real...and stand up for our forefathers' rights.
I am a native of this Country and Proud of it!

And while we're on the subject: Allow CHRISTMAS back in stores and our schools!
I want back the country of my birth!

Opinion and Response re the Richard

This well-written letter expresses the frustration that brought Trump to power.
In Canada we practise the Mosaic (each group has a 'tile'...the right to keep their culture in the overall mosaic that is our country) whereas, in the U.S. they practise assimilation (each group must conform to American cultural standards).

When I was taking my Masters at Canisius in Buffalo, NY, I was often challenged to explain why we (Canadians) had bilingualism in our country...why people got jobs in government simply because they were bilingual...and why we allowed turbans in our police force...and why we allowed certain immigrant groups like Mennonites to have special status...and so on and so on.

We now have immigrants from Muslim countries being brought to our country with all expenses paid and a generous monthly stipend. Is their intent to be a 'tile' in the Mosaic, to build their own schools and churches...challenge our laws regarding clothing, etc. or to assimilate?

Marilena has presented some very compelling reasons why our newcomers from Syria and Africa should assimilate and I would add, “Repay some of the support they have been given at a future time.”
Our current government seems unable
to get out from the populist glow of the International community
to face reality.


Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...March 9, 2017

Regardless of yesterday or today, I believe my foregoing quote by Charles Dickens applies...whether immigrant or fine citizen of Canada. Our country is young and is called an 'an immigrants' paradise' because everybody would have been an immigrant at some point in their life...and that makes them 'welcomers' to newly landed immigrants. Canada is a multi-cultural migration destination; despite this, peace and harmony exist...and foreign people, eager to launch their own endeavour, are assisted whole-heartedly.

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