[D]iscrimination may be described as a distinction, whether intentional or not but based on grounds relating to personal characteristics of the individual or group, which has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations, or disadvantages on such individual or group not imposed upon others, or which withholds or limits access to opportunities, benefits, and advantages available to other members of society.
Distinctions based on personal characteristics attributed to an individual solely on the basis of association with a group will rarely escape the charge of discrimination, while those based on an individual's merits and capacities will rarely be so classed.
1. A core of about 12 to 16 percent of Canadians admit to extreme intolerance;
2. 70 percent of respondents to a 1988 U of T poll indicated that immigrants bring discrimination on themselves. Thirty-three percent said that laws that guarantee equal employment opportunities for minorities go too far;
3. An in-depth survey showed that 80 percent of corporate headhunters and all job agency recruiters received requests to discriminate by race. Ninety-four percent said they rejected job seekers on the basis of race.
Treatment of Jewish Canadians (Keegstra & Ross - educators of hatred)
Treatment of gays & lesbians (Till 1969, certain forms of homosexual activity were criminal offences. Even in 1993, WHO labeled homosexuality a psychiatric disorder.)
In 2002 an Ontario Catholic Board requested an injunction to prohibit a gay student from bringing his partner to his grad.
Racism in Canada: A Few Historical Examples 1. Asian workers were allowed to come to Canada to work as cheap labour, particularly on the Western sections of the Trans-Canada Railway. However, a federal “Head-tax” of $50 (1880 dollars) per Chinese immigrant was imposed. This increased to $500 by 1900 and continued in effect until 1923.
A series of legislative enactments effectively denied British Columbians of Chinese descent the right to vote in provincial or federal elections until 1947; those of Japanese descent were enfranchised in 1949.
In 1900, Tomey Homma, a naturalized Canadian of Japanese descent, challenged the B.C. voter legislation and won in the Supreme Court of B.C. This decision was appealed to the Privy Council in London, where, in 1902, it was overturned. The editor of the Victoria Colonist commented:
We are relieved from the possibility of having polling booths swamped by a horde of Asians who are totally unfitted either by custom or education to exercise the ballot, and whose voting would totally demoralize politics . . . . They have not the remotest idea of what a democratic and representative government is, and are quite incapable of taking part in it.
At the outbreak of W.W. II, Canadian citizens of Japanese descent (but not German and Italian Canadians) were assembled, their property was confiscated and they were interned in the interior of B.C., or “east of the Rockies” for the duration of the war and beyond. Following the war a concerted effort was made to deport these Canadian citizens, more than half of whom were born in Canada. Throughout this entire period, almost nothing was said or done in defense of the Japanese Canadians. No compensation was provided until the late 1980s.
Jewish persons were systematically excluded from Canada during the early period of the Third Reich, when opportunities for saving them were available. Many died in the holocaust as a direct result of having nowhere to go to escape.
1. Several studies have shown that Canadian textbooks contain biases and stereotyping of minority groups;
a. Outright Lies (e.g., Aboriginal peoples were warlike and treated settlers with great savagery),
b. Inaccuracies originating from the language of presentation (e.g., savage v. civilized),
c. Omission of facts (e.g., systematic genocide of the Beothuk)
2. There is a scarcity of teaching materials which reflect the history and literature of visible minorities;
3. While immigrants have as many or more years of education as non-immigrants, there is evidence that visible minority children are more likely to be inappropriately streamed into special education and basic level courses. Conversely, no Canadian Education Act recognizes language or cultural difference as a criteria for legitimate special education provision.
Multiculturalism: What Do We Want? P L U R A L I S M N A T I O NA L I D E N T I T Y Ethnocentric Assimilationism, or At best The “Melting-pot” Structural or Corporate Pluralism The “Mosaic” What is the best way to accommodate cultural and linguistic diversity? What is FAIR?