It’s a rather hopeful time here in Canada for anyone who is a member of pretty much any sort of minority. Stephen Harper’s reign of terror(ism fear-mongering) is at an end, and the delightful Justin Trudeau has built a cabinet that includes people who are Muslim, Sikh, Native, quadriplegic, blind, atheist, homosexual, and even – gasp – female (exactly 50% of them, to be precise).
Now that the Dark Ages are (hopefully) behind us, I want to ask you about something that I heard a lot of Harper supporters going on about in the lead-up to the election: the idea of ‘old-stock’ Canadians.
As I understand it, people using this phrase were arguing that new Canadians should stop trying to ‘change’ Canada to suit their particular religious and/or cultural needs. If these newbies aren’t willing to conform to the standards of ‘old-stock’ Canadians, they should ‘go back where they came from’.
Do they really not see the logical fallacy in this?
For one thing, Canada as we know it was built on newcomers forcing their ways on the people who were here first. Hello?? Residential schools, anyone???
For another, what is an old-stock Canadian, really? How long do you have to have lived here to qualify? And what if one side of your family is old-stock, but your grandparents on the other side were immigrants?
And let’s say you’re an old-stock Canadian whose family on both sides has been here since the early 1800’s. You decide that the niqab should be banned because it doesn’t jive with your Canadian values. Anyone who wants to wear one should ‘go back where they came from’. But then I come along. My family on both sides has been in Canada since the 1700’s, well before it was even called Canada. Your bigotry doesn’t jive with my Canadian values. Since I’m OLDER old-stock, by your logic I should get to send you back where you came from!
Anyway, I haven’t heard any of that crap since the election, so yeah…. hopeful times.