Category Archives: Multiculturalism

MISSISSAUGA: Pakistani woman takes federal government to court over nikab ban

Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told

A ban on veils while taking the citizenship oath was driven by Kenney’s own ideology, say lawyers for Zunera Ishaq, who is challenging the policy in court.

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The federal government introduced a new policy to ban new citizens from wearing face-covering veil during the oath taking at citizenship ceremonies like this one in Toronto.

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Oct 17 2014

A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.

Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.

“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.

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It’s the first such challenge against the niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies; if successful, it could strike down the policy. Continue reading

BURNABY, B.C.: Mayoral candidate Sylvia Gung wants to ban any display of affection, from wedding kisses to holding hands

You may not kiss the bride.

That’s what grooms will be told at the altar if this Burnaby mayoral candidate wins the Nov. 15 election.

Sylvia Gung is running on a platform to create a “wholesome society,” which would mean banning any public displays of affection including wedding kisses and holding hands in public.

These behaviours “hurt public decorum and lead to further violence,” according to Gung’s profile on the city’s website.

This is Gung’s second run for the mayor’s seat.

She’s up against incumbent Mayor Derek Corrigan, who has held the position for 12 years. Corrigan is known for his adamant opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion.

There are four other candidates vying for the city’s top job.

Helen Hee Soon Chang, who has been elected as a school trustee, organizes multicultural forums and would strive to boost safety and inclusivity.

Realtor Raj Gupta, who ran unsuccessfully for the B.C. Conservative Party in the 2013 provincial election, promises to cut property taxes and improve spending.

Entrepreneur Daren Hancott, leader of the Burnaby First party, pledges his management expertise will make him a capable leader at City Hall.

Allan Hutton, a longtime Burnaby resident and volunteer, wants to preserve the city’s natural areas and create an accountable government.

VANCOUVER: City’s real estate market invaded by millionaire Chinese immigrants

Vancouver’s real estate boom: The rising price of ‘heaven’

IAIN MARLOW AND BRENT JANG

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

 Qiqi Hong walks past her sleek, blue-tiled hot tub and an infinity pool that seems to disappear like a waterfall into the chilly air above West Vancouver. She leans on the patio railing and breathes in the majestic ocean view that takes in the towering Douglas firs of Stanley Park, the skyscrapers of Vancouver, the Asia-bound freighters anchored in English Bay and – way off in the misty distance – the faint, rugged outline of Gabriola Island.

“We’re in heaven,” says Ms. Hong. “I can’t find any house that can compare to my house.”

The serene West Coast lifestyle did not come cheaply: Ms. Hong’s home cost $6-million. But it is an investment she can easily afford. The irrepressible businesswoman founded a successful lighting-design business in Beijing that thrived in China’s building boom. It now has more than 100 employees. But tired of Beijing’s hectic pace and foul air, she decided to come to Vancouver – after looking in Switzerland, Germany and the United States – on the Canadian government’s immigrant investor program in 2011. She now also owns three other houses on Vancouver’s west side, each valued in excess of $1.3-million, as well as a downtown condo she uses on weekends and lends to visiting friends.

Demand from wealthy migrants from mainland China such as Ms. Hong has helped make the Vancouver area the most expensive real estate market in Canada. The average price of a single-family detached home is $1.26-million, higher than any other Canadian city. The rising flow of foreign capital – stemming from a long tradition of transpacific migration and investment – has turned Vancouver into a truly global real estate market. One large real estate firm calculated that roughly one-third of the detached homes it sold within the City of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Vancouver developers and real estate firms have hit the jackpot, and some have rushed to set up offices in Shanghai and Beijing. Some now say Vancouver is a bedroom community for the world.

The upscale Point Grey neighbourhood is on Vancouver’s west side, where benchmark prices for detached homes have soared. DARRYL DYCK FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

But Vancouver real estate prices have also become increasingly unhinged from local incomes, prompting concerns about affordability. It has led to middle– and even upper-middle class Vancouverites renting permanently or fleeing for cheaper suburbs such as Burnaby. There is a search for better data on foreign buyers, which is only haphazardly tracked. There is now a heated debate – that includes accusations of racism – about whether anything should be done to curb foreign buying, or if what is happening is simply an inevitable, and welcome, facet of globalization in a free market.

After all, the ebullient Ms. Hong hasn’t just bought houses here. She founded a charity with other wealthy migrants from China; the group just held a Thanksgiving lunch for 1,000 seniors and recently collected $250,000 for a local hospital and pet shelter. She has founded several businesses in Vancouver, including one in real estate, and drives to ESL classes. She’s learning English, and has even joined a protest, hitting the streets during the recent B.C. teachers’ strike. While she stays busy in Vancouver, her husband frequently flies to China to manage the firm.

In my opinion, I think it’s good for the economy,” Ms. Hong says, noting that the number of Chinese residents on her street has soared in recent years and that the local businessman she bought her house from made a cool $1.5-million more than he originally paid. “In Vancouver,” Ms. Hong says, “the house prices are perfect.”

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Tim Murray: The Department of Grovelling Apologies

Announcing  the formation of D.O.G.A.

The Department of Grovelling Apologies

tim apologyNavigating through a labyrinth of government agencies, departments and ministries to locate the appropriate service provider or information source can be exhausting and time-consuming to say the least.  To remedy this problem, governments at both the federal and provincial level have established  central directories which efficiently steer citizens to the department that would best be able address their questions.  “Inquiry BC”, “Service BC” and “Service Canada” are examples that come to mind.

These centres are one-stop points of contact for hundreds of services provided on behalf of government ministries, agencies, Crown corporations, various levels of government and private sector organizations. They provide toll-free access to basic Government information over the telephone to millions of callers.

Sadly, however, no contact centre has been available to capture the growing number of callers who are summarily accused, tried and convicted by the MSM and social media for making off-hand comments that are judged to be hateful, insensitive, racist, sexist, homophobic or ‘Islamophobic’ .  These callers are desperate to make immediate amends by contacting the identity group they have offended.  In such cases, timing is decisive. A tardy apology can be a career-ending mistake with devastating social repercussions.  Finding the right contact quickly can be the difference between damage control and damage out-of-control. Continue reading

VANCOUVER: Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar (2013)

Indo-Canadian women claim to hear taunt ‘Surrey’s that way!’ at Gastown bar

Published: November 10, 2013

Raj Khangura 24, (left) Jas Dhillon (centre) and Mandeep Grewal 28, were out for Dhillon’s 26th birthday at The Charles Bar last month. She and her friends believe they were victims of racism because as they left the bar manager shouted at them “Surrey’s that way!” Mark van Manen/ PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver’s Jas Dhillon will forever remember her 26th birthday – a day she’d much rather forget.

On Oct. 19 she hoped to celebrate over dinner with friends at The Charles Bar in Gastown. According to Dhillon, she and her friends – all Indo-Canadian women – arrived for their 6 p.m. reservation and were greeted with nothing but rude service, only to be kicked out of the establishment by 7 p.m. as a bar manager allegedly shouted at them, “Surrey’s that way!”

For Dhillon, that final comment changed it from being bad service to something more serious, she said, because she believes it was in reference to the Lower Mainland city’s large East Indian community.

“That’s ridiculous,” Dhillon told Vancouver Desi. “To be honest, we don’t think that kind of stuff still happens.

“To have that happen in Vancouver, in our own hometown – we were just shocked.”

According to Dhillon, the poor treatment began early in the evening, when she realized they were short a few chairs and sat at another booth , which seemed to prompt the manager to approach her and say she’d be kicked out if she didn’t go back to her table.

“The last thing I want to do is leave – it’s my birthday, I don’t want to ruin the party,” said Dhillon. “It’s six in the evening, we’re just sitting there having a good time … Why is this guy being so rude to me from the get-go?” Upon telling her friends what happened, some wondered if it was racism, but they brushed it aside and carried on with their evening. Continue reading

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.: Harwindip Singh Baringh killed in apparent drive-in shooting

Neighbours heard up to six shots fired as a young man was killed in Abbotsford Thursday evening.
(…)
CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, October 3, 2014 2:34AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, October 3, 2014 8:05PM PDT

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Witnesses found the victim, identified as 18-year-old Harwindip Singh Baringh, slumped over the steering wheel of a dark SUV.

“The passenger-side door was open. Car was just sitting there running, guy bleeding everywhere,” Daniel Lockhart said. “He honestly seemed like he was alive for the first 10 or 15 minutes.”

Police on scene of an apparent drive-by shooting that ended the life of a male believed to be in his late teens.

Abbotsford police received a flurry of 911 calls but the suspect was gone before officers arrived in the residential neighbourhood.

Baringh was pronounced dead at the scene.

A crowd of people formed outside after the shooting, and neighbour Raj Gill said the victim’s family was among them.

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A motive hasn’t been established in the killing, but investigators believe it was targeted.

Const. Ian MacDonald said it appears Baringh was killed in a drive-by shooting.

“Witnesses indicated that two vehicles left the area at a high rate of speed,” MacDonald said. “We searched the area for any other victims and any other suspects that might be involved in this shooting.”

Officers are searching for a white Acura TL and a dark-coloured sedan. No arrests have been made.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called to help probe the shooting, which marked the third case IHIT took on in just 24 hours in the Lower Mainland.

Anyone with information on the killing is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro

Read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/victim-of-deadly-abbotsford-shooting-id-d-as-teenager-1.2036895#ixzz3FHvDUyiB

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http://www.voiceonline.com/young-male-shot-dead-in-suv-in-west-abbotsford/

OTTAWA: Gloucester-Southgate candidate Meladul Haq Ahmadzai wants to implement Islamic rules at city hall

Candidates have some wacky notions 

ron-corbettBY , OTTAWA SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

If Mike Maguire can sit down yet — after the thorough spanking he received this week over his transit plan — I want him to know the worst is probably behind him.

And for what it’s worth, when Election Day comes around, I don’t think his transit plan will be seen as the worst idea of the campaign.

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Why just this week a candidate in Gloucester-Southgate sent out a press release saying he would adopt sharia law at city hall if he were elected.

Meladul Haq Ahmadzai says sharia law would “restore transparency and accountability at city hall.”

Not a lot of reporters attended his sharia law press conference, nor has Ahmadzai been interviewed all that often, despite his press releases always ending with the cheerful reminder that “the media is welcome to ask questions.” Continue reading

Monkland Village, MONTREAL: Alleged hate crime targeting Jewish, Chinese and Vietnamese businesses

Posted on 10/1/2014 11:53:00 AM by Patrick Lejtenyi

Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

Merchants in the Monkland Village are wondering if they’ve been the target of a possible hate crime.

Following an early morning fire on Friday, the Jewish owner of dog grooming salon discovered three swastikas and a pentagram spray painted in the hallway connecting his store to those of his neighbours — one of the owners is Chinese, the other Vietnamese.

Kobi Ben-Jacob says he only discovered the swastikas on Monday morning after he dealt with the smoke and water damage from the fire on Friday — the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

He still doesn’t know if the fire and graffiti are connected, or even if the spray-painted symbols should be constitute an actual hate crime.

“Obviously it’s upsetting, but it’s very hard to determine whether it was done by a bunch of kids who were playing around and be foolish, or whether it was done as a hate crime,” he says. “It shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s hard to say whether it’s a hate crime or a crime of opportunity.”

He says the Monkland Village is a safe, multi-cultural family neighbourhood, and that he has never experienced any hate crimes there before.

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