Ethnic patterns are still shifting
Minorities seem set to become our majority
Ken Herar, The TimesPublished: Friday, March 26, 2010
My mother said something interesting to me the other day: "When you guys were kids growing up you had all kinds of friends come over for visits and birthday parties." What she was referring to was the majority of our childhood friends were not strictly from our own race. This stemmed from an earlier discussion we had about some of the issues surrounding integration in our communities. Sure, that was 20 years ago and times are definitely different today, with a much more diverse population - but that is no excuse for us to become lazy as Canadians and to not make friends outside of our ethnic boundaries.
I find large ethnic clusters are forming, which can be very intimidating. I understand that people like to bond together with members from their own community and that is totally fine.
The concern I have with this scenario is many of the visible minority communities will be majorities in Metro Vancouver by 2031 - according to Statistics Canada - with the Vancouver region becoming home to two million non-Caucasians in 20 years.
For some this might present for an unpleasant environment. But, as much as I would like to believe that we live in a discrimination-free and color-blind society, important steps need to be in place to ensure that this diverse transition does not spark racial tensions. Can we look beyond these external differences?
Yes we can.
First of all, community leaders from all existing ethnic communities need to rise up to the occasion and to speak to their own members that integration is an important part of celebrating diversity in Canada if we are to survive as a nation in the future. Canada is not the only country that will experience a dramatic shift in its demographics in the decades to come. The bottom line is we all have a responsibility to become better Canadians and to teach newcomers what it means to live in our great nation.I just recently got back from a short trip to Los Angles and Chicago. Speaking with Americans, many expressed an interest in visiting and relocating to Canada. I am not the slightest bit surprised. Canada is the world's greatest secret.
But, on a sad note, I was disturbed to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government are once again endorsing the seal 'slaughter' hunt currently underway.
Ottawa authorizes the killing of 338,000 seals annually. I watched his Q & A on YouTube. He defended the hunt by commenting: "[It is] one of the most humane cases of animal husbandry in the world." C'mon, he calls this hunt humane. Hasn't he watched any video footage? In 2009, the European Union adopted a ban on seal products marketed in their countries. This is clearly an outdated Northern Canadian tradition and needs to be stopped immediately.
- Ken Herar is a columnist for the Abbotsford & Mission Times. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.© Abbotsford Times 2010