It’s all about values

There is a “good news” story about a Syrian refugee family in Nova Scotia on the CBC News website. “The Hadhads,” the story explains, “are so successful they now employ 10 people at their small chocolate shop … [but] … The Hadhads had never been on a plane before they made their journey to Nova Scotia …. [and] … They landed with no belongings but a few bags of clothing, tired and nervous about what was to come.

What was to come was that they rolled up their sleeves, looked for and found an niche that they could fill, and, with a bit of community support, made a success of things in their new home. “Their one asset,” the CBC News storey goes on to explain “was their ability to make chocolate, their former family business. It didn’t require any translation … [and] … The community embraced the Hadhads and their sweets. In a matter of months, they were selling at farmers markets in Nova Scotia … [and] … Volunteers in Antigonish helped build the tiny shed-turned-factory. Tour buses started dropping by and news agencies around the world started calling.

This is not a unique story … it has played out for over 200 years in communities across Canada, as poor people, often with nothing, arrive from the “old country,” willing to work very hard, often at the jobs that, even 125 years ago, few native born Canadians or European immigrants wanted to do,  and wiling to take some risks …

… they often huddled together in ghettos because of a combination of poverty, language and racism or religious prejudice …


… but they persevered, succeeded and, now, their grandchildren lead our country …

… and most of us, hopefully, don’t even notice their race, creed or gender very much. So, well done the Hadhad family, for having the Canadian values that we all hold dear and that we want to inculcate into all Canadians, not just newcomers, and well done, too, to the people of Antigonish, NS for chipping into help some newcomers adjust and become self sufficient .. that, good neighbourliness, is also a Canadian value.

John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, suggests that “The Conservative leadership campaign has become a debate over immigration. Resolving that debate could determine the party’s future. Because immigrants decide elections … [because] … In every campaign since 1968, with the single exception of 2006, the party that dominated the broad band of suburban ridings surrounding Toronto formed the government. Most of those ridings have large concentrations of immigrants … [but] … strategists report that the typical Conservative Party member is white, male and over 60. Some of them are sympathetic to the nativist arguments that vaulted Donald Trump into the American presidency.” The importance of those suburban ridings ~ not just the Toronto one ~ is something about which I have been harping for a long time. I keep saying that we, the Conservative Part of Canada, need to be a “big tent” with leaders and polices that most Canadians can support. We need to be able to look past race and religion and see the real face of Canada:

It, the real face of Canada, doesn’t look like me, and I am John Ibbitson’s “typical Conservative Party member:” I am “white, male and over 60” but I have no sympathy at all for the “nativist arguments” and I have no time for those who try to make them.

John Ibbitson focuses on Dr Kellie Leitch’s plan to screen immigrants. I have criticized it because I don’t think immigrants are the only or even the biggest problem when we consider values. I contend that we need to propagate what I called a Conservative canon that explains our core Canadian values to all Canadians , not just to immigrants. Most of the people ~ 90+% I would guess of the “immigrant” voters who live in those suburbs around Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax ~ came to Canada because they share some, often  most of those core values … most of those folk, ~ likely 95+% ~ do not condone the “barbaric cultural practices” that causes us so much grief in 2015 … even though, out of deference to their parents and grandparents they may not say much about them. “New Canadians,” John Ibbitson says, “will support the Conservatives, but only if they believe that Conservatives support them.” Prime Minister Harper proved that in 2011. We, Conservatives, need to win back the “new Canadian” vote by not trying to slice 0d7aaef3f693cdb64c3a541c85b9774dand dice them into narrow interest groups but, rather, by recognizing that almost all “new Canadians” are potential Conservative voters, frequently because of “values” … even those wearing hijabs, kippahs and turbans, unless you think there is something especially “barbaric” about a veil.

2 thoughts on “It’s all about values”

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