Saturday, September 19, 2015

Old stock???

For so many years, we in Canada have been trying to get away from the whole "we versus they" mentality. That one group of Canadians are better than another - that we are all in it together. The other night, Stephen Harper made a comment about so-called "old stock" Canadians.

What does he mean by that? To me, it suggests that true Canadians can only be those who can claim on both sides of their family an ancestry going back to les Habitants, the United Empire Loyalists or  the Patriots of the 1837 rebellions. Think pur laine or de souche, in reference to "true Quebecers", both terms of which are still used by the federalist paper La Presse.

I don't know what Harper's driving at. But for a guy who has staked his reputation and his career trying to make inroads in the immigrant community, something that used to be almost the exclusive preserve of the Liberal Party, I am not impressed.

We have a real three way race here for the first time - well, ever. No party is near the magic number of 170, in fact they are all in the range of 109 to 114 seats. We don't need distractions like this. We need to talk about the issues, and to suggest that this isn't that is, well, bizarre at the minimum.

I can only hope that Harper misspoke. This may not be a "money and the ethnic vote" moment, but as a second generation Canadian I have to say I'm spooked. Certainly, he isn't getting my vote. He wasn't anyway, but he certainly wouldn't now regardless. If Harper has had a hidden agenda all this time, he may finally tipped his hand.

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