Ottawa unveils anti-racism strategy, which includes definition of Islamophobia

Arwen~ The writing was on the wall where M-103 would lead…it is here. Please watch the video, ” Canadians from Iran, Pakistan don’t support “Islamophobia” motion ” below article, from Feb 16, 2017 .

The three-year strategy fulfils key recommendations from a parliamentary committee study that arose from a controversial anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103

Federal Heritage Minister Pablo RodriguezJustin Tang/The Canadian Press/File

Maura Forrest

June 25, 2019

OTTAWA — The federal government has released a new anti-racism strategy that promises $45 million to fight systemic discrimination through community programs, public education campaigns and combating online hate.

The three-year strategy, unveiled in Toronto on Tuesday by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, fulfils key recommendations from a parliamentary committee study that arose from a controversial anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, which concluded last year.

The new plan, first announced in Budget 2019, includes a definition of Islamophobia taken from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, but otherwise seldom names individual minority groups that are frequent targets of discrimination, instead referring more broadly to “racialized communities” and “religious minorities.”

“While we take pride in being a welcoming and inclusive country, we know that racism and discrimination are still a reality for many Canadians across the country,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “This national anti-racism strategy is an essential first step in building a more inclusive country, where all Canadians can participate equally.”

The strategy promises $4.6 million to establish an anti-racism secretariat within the federal Heritage department that would “lead a whole-of-government approach in addressing racism” and would report publicly on its results.

It commits another $30 million to community-based projects focused on reducing barriers to employment and participation in sport, arts and culture. It promises further investments in a national awareness campaign and to improve data collection regarding racism and discrimination.

The government is also pledging $5 million for civic literacy programs that “address online disinformation and hate speech.” The document points out that Canada joined the Christchurch Call to Action, a pledge to fight violent extremism online, following the March shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The government’s anti-racism strategy comes more than a year after the House of Commons heritage committee released the results of its study of systemic racism and religious discrimination, born of the Liberals’ controversial anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, which called on the government to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of racism. Though M-103 did not entail any new legislation, it ignited a political firestorm, with Conservatives arguing it would stifle free speech as, they said, the term Islamophobia was poorly defined.

Ultimately, the heritage committee recommended the government update its national action plan against racism and create a directorate to implement the plan — recommendations Ottawa has now fulfilled.

This national anti-racism strategy is an essential first step in building a more inclusive country 

The federal government has also chosen a definition of Islamophobia, taken from the Ontario Human Rights Commission. It defines Islamophobia as “Includ(ing) racism, stereotypes, prejudice, fear or acts of hostility directed towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia can lead to viewing and treating Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level.”

The definition is the same as the one used by the Ontario government in its own anti-racism plan, released in 2017 by the former Liberal government. But while the Ontario plan includes a section on the “urgent” need to target Islamophobia, with specific commitments, the federal plan takes a broader approach, rarely making explicit reference to Islamophobia.

The federal government’s definition of anti-Semitism is taken from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which defines it as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The anti-racism strategy was developed following 22 consultation sessions between October 2018 and March 2019, where the government heard from about 600 people.

Canadians from Iran, Pakistan don’t support “Islamophobia” motion://

Afghan war memorial to be rededicated — this time with soldiers’ families present

Families of slain soldiers were outraged when the former Kandahar memorial was unveiled quietly

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Jun 25, 2019

Josee Belisle, mother of Cpl. Yannick Scherrer, sobs at the sight of her son’s remembrance plaque on the cenotaph to fallen Canadians at Kandahar Airfield, on Tuesday May 24, 2011. She is comforted by Maj. Grahame Thompson, the senior Canadian task force padre and an unidentified friend of her son. (Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press)

Arwen~ Mark Steyn’s response as to why this happened in the first place, from “Mark’s Mailbox: The Dishonored Dead“:

” ..Canada has taken in so many Afghan refugees and so many excitable young men of a particular confessional persuasion, that if you were to put an Afghan memorial next to say the cenotaph near the War Memorial in Ottawa, which has already been attacked, then you would be in effect, opening a target for excitable young men of a particular religious persuasion to blow up…”

Arwen~ Recommend watching Mark Steyn’s entire posted below article, starts at 17 min mark. I will add…and our Liberal gov’t, ever the appeasers, and in fact, in bed with Islamists, would not dare offend their allies/partners.

A battlefield cenotaph that became a focus of hurt and outrage for families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan will be rededicated in a public ceremony this summer, CBC News has learned.

The rebuilt memorial, which stood outside the Canadian headquarters in Kandahar throughout the war, was unveiled initially in a private service west of downtown Ottawa — one that was attended only by federal officials and senior brass.

Families of the slain soldiers whose faces are immortalized on the monument’s black granite plaques were not invited to the May 13 unveiling. The event was kept a secret for three days, until social media posts appeared later in the week.

Several families, interviewed by CBC News at the time, described their treatment as insulting — something for which the country’s top military commander apologized in a public statement.

Email messages inviting families to attend the re-dedication on Aug. 17 started going out Monday night. The federal government says it will cover expenses — transportation and one night’s accommodation — for family members who live more than 100 kilometres outside of Ottawa.

“Together we will pay respects to the accomplishments and sacrifices of the Fallen, wounded, veterans, and families who contributed to the Afghanistan War 2001-2014,” says the invitation, sent on behalf of Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and obtained by CBC News.

Vance himself was the driving force behind the new event, according to several confidential sources who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

‘I am truly sorry’

In his statement of apology to the families on May 24, Vance said it was wrong to exclude them from such an important event. “I am truly sorry for our insensitivity and the pain, anger and frustration that this decision caused you,” he said.

Vance promised family members that they could visit the special building housing the memorial — constructed behind the security cordon at the new Department of National Defence headquarters in Kanata — whenever they want.

Anne Synder, whose son Capt. Jon Synder died in 2008, said she was pleased to be invited this time.

“I would really like to go,” she said. “I think this is their way of making up. I know Gen. Vance took all of the blame for not telling us about the earlier one.”

While they say they’re also happy about the rededication ceremony, other family members still question why DND put the cenotaph in a location not accessible to the general public.

“Sure, I’m going to go. I never miss one of those [events] and I’m going to ask them why they did that,” said Raynald Bouthillier, whose son Trooper Jack Bouthillier was killed by a roadside bomb in 2009.

The memorial, which started as a few plaques hanging on a large rock, eventually grew to 191 plaques honouring Canadian soldiers and civilians, as well as American troops who served under Canadian command.

In Kandahar, the memorial was a gathering point for soldiers grieving lost comrades, and for family members brought over to the war zone on military-escorted trips.

Then-Defence minister Peter MacKay and Lt. Gen. Stuart Beare unveil the travelling Afghanistan Memorial Vigil on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 9, 2013. (The Canadian Press)

After it was disassembled and brought back to Canada in 2011, federal officials struggled for years to find a permanent home for the memorial, eventually choosing to place it at the defence headquarters.

Part of the reason veterans and military families were hurt and angry by the military’s handling of the monument’s return was its decision to place it within the security zone surrounding DND headquarters, cutting off public access.

Right now, there is no national war monument in Canada specifically dedicated to the Afghan conflict and open to the public.

The former Conservative government announced plans in 2015 to build a separate, larger, permanent national Afghan War memorial in downtown Ottawa, but it was mired in disagreements over location.

The National Capital Commission’s board of directors quietly announced through a news release, in conjunction with Veterans Affairs Canada, that a site had been chosen at Lebreton Flats, near the Canadian War Museum.

“The site location will give all visitors an opportunity to recognize the commitment and sacrifice of Canadians who served in Afghanistan, and the support provided to them by Canadians at home,” said NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum in a statement last week.

Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay described the site selection for the permanent national monument as a crucial step forward.

The monument will not be built until the early to mid-2020s, at the earliest.

Murray Brewster

Defence and security

Murray Brewster is senior defence writer for CBC News, based in Ottawa. He has covered the Canadian military and foreign policy from Parliament Hill for over a decade. Among other assignments, he spent a total of 15 months on the ground covering the Afghan war for The Canadian Press. Prior to that, he covered defence issues and politics for CP in Nova Scotia for 11 years and was bureau chief for Standard Broadcast News in Ottawa.

No, Brexit is not a ‘fascist coup’

Remainiacs are becoming increasingly unhinged in their condemnations of Brexit.

No, Brexit is not a ‘fascist coup’

The recycling of the same tired rhetoric. According to metropolitan media sophisticates, who revel in their London-centric Remainia bliss, Brexit symbolises the rise of the ‘Little Englander’. It is a provincial English enterprise driven by little more than nostalgic sentiment and jingoism.

We have had the ultra-woke identitarian MP David Lammy compare the pro-Leave ERG faction of the Conservative Party to the Nazis and those who were complicit in the enforcement of Apartheid in South Africa. For a man of black Caribbean origin to exploit the atrocities that occurred under Nazism and the racially motivated brutalisation under Apartheid in order to score cheap points over Brexit is shameful.

More recently, Julia Ward, a Labour MEP for the North West region of England, labelled Brexit a ‘fascist, right-wing coup’. This is grossly offensive as well as being deeply inaccurate. When one considers the longstanding tradition of Eurosceptic left politics, embodied by historical Labour Party figures such as Tony Benn and Peter Shore, it is clear that this shameless caricature of Brexit is a fundamental misrepresentation.

There are many figures who continue to provide compelling arguments from the left in favour of Brexit. This includes my good friend Paul Embery. This is a man who has spent two decades fighting for better pay and working conditions for our firefighters and yet he was disgracefully kicked off the national executive of the Fire Brigades Union for delivering a personal speech at the Leave Means Leave rally earlier this year.

The late Bob Crow was an absolute stalwart of the trade-union movement and about as anti-racist as it gets. Yet he, too, had serious reservations over the impact of EU freedom of movement on the wages and security of British workers – irrespective of their racial, ethnic or religious background. He felt that freedom of movement was a dream for the exploitative transnational capitalist class, a fundamental pillar of a European neoliberal project.

And we mustn’t forget that the current crop of Brexit Party MEPs includes Claire Fox. Fox – a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party – is a figure firmly positioned on the left of the conventional political spectrum. This is another inconvenient truth for those who desperately seek to depict Brexit as some sort of fascistic endeavour, as an extreme right-wing project.

To call Brexit a fascist, right-wing coup is beyond ridiculous, on two main counts.

Perhaps if the likes of Julie Ward had lived under the fascist authoritarian dictatorships of Franco and Pinochet, she would be more careful with her words. The same goes for David Lammy: if he had the misfortune of being a black man living under the Apartheid regime, he perhaps wouldn’t exploit the memory of that era as part of his campaign against Brexit. By making such outrageous comparisons, these people trivialise the experiences of those who endured untold forms of human misery and suffering in the past.

Secondly, portraying Brexit as a fascist enterprise is crude misrepresentation. It completely fails to acknowledge the fact that Britain has an established Eurosceptic left, one which has a vision of an economically social-democratic, socially cohesive, self-governing nation state. A vision of a country where the government is free from EU state-aid rules and is therefore better able to protect and support industries as it sees fit. A vision of a sovereign nation state that has greater control over its immigration system. 

The real story from all of this is how the current Labour Party – packed to the rafters with metropolitan chattering-class leftists – holds its own Eurosceptic voters in such contempt. As well as the egregious language used by the likes of Lammy and Ward, the standing of ‘Remain ultra’ MEP candidates, such as the ever-pretentious Lord Adonis, very much feeds into a widespread perception that Labour has little intention of representing the views of its traditional working-class voters across the industrial north, the provincial Midlands and Leave-voting Wales.

Brexit is not a fascist, right-wing coup. Rather, it is a broad social movement which is richly diverse in terms of political ideology, ethnic background, socioeconomic status and geographical location. It is a diverse movement ultimately bonded by a collective desire for a self-governing British nation state that is free from the overreaches of supranational governance.

Quite ironically, if there has been anything which is ‘coup-like’, it is the cabal of anti-democratic metropolitan elitists who unashamedly seek to overturn the result of the referendum and block Brexit.

Dr Rakib Ehsan is a spiked columnist and a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. Follow him on twitter: @rakibehsan