Historians like to engage in thought experiments with dates. One way to measure the change in racism in Canada over the past forty years is to put the question in the context of the previous forty-year period. If one was asked the same question in 1963, Canada would probably not have looked all that different from the Canada of 1923. In 1963, as in 1923, Canada was still a country in which nearly all citizens (with the exception of Aboriginal people) could either directly or indirectly trace their ancestry to Europe. Within government policy and many organizations, non-white immigrants and Aboriginal peoples were still regarded as groups who posed “racial” problems for the processes of nation building and state formation.
I doubt whether we can say that there is a similar continuity to the 1963-2003 comparison. Canada today is considerably different from the Canada that existed four decades ago
When Toronto began issuing gay-marriage licenses on June 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily quoted Toronto attorney Michael Lershner as saying “The argument’s over. No more political discussion, we’ve won, the Charter won, it’s a great day for Canada.” Lershner had good reason to celebrate. Justices in three provinces had just redefined marriage as being between “two persons” instead of ” a man and a woman,” giving gay and lesbian couples across the country (and visiting citizens of the United States and elsewhere) legal grounds to apply for marriage licenses.
However, hindsight shows Lershner’s proclamation that the political discussion is over to be a bit premature.
In post-9/11 Canada, even minor immigration irregularities can quickly become the basis of suspicions of terrorist activities, depending on your religion and country of origin. The terrible consequences for immigrants of this new arrangement are obvious with the seven-month-long Project Thread investigation by the RCMP’s Public Security and Anti-Terrorism unit (PSAT) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
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