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New immigrants guide glosses over gays

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New immigrants guide glosses over gays

SMALL MENTION. The only mention of queer people in the new Discover Canada guide is a reference to gay athlete Mark Tewksbury. IMAGE 1 OF 1
Opposition MPs worry over slight to sexual minorities
A recently released guidebook for new immigrants, Discover Canada, is a mixed bag of trivia and ideology.

The handbook has an explicit section on gender equality, where it condemns the "barbaric cultural practices" of spousal abuse, honour killings and female genital mutilation.

There is a section on diversity that gives a shout out to atheism but leaves out gays or lesbians. Queer people are relegated to a sidebar next to a photo of Mark Tewksbury, in the section devoted to sports, arts and culture.

And that has MPs shaking their heads.

"I always worried that it was more of a political, ideological message more than anything else," says lesbian NDP MP Libby Davies of the guide. "I think it's pretty concerning that lesbian, gay, bi and trans issues would be put in a sidebar or not really dealt with, because I think it's a really important issue for immigrants or people coming to Canada to understand that this is part of the Canadian fabric."

MP Bill Siksay agrees.

"I'm disappointed that there isn't a mention of the Canadian value of recognition of the equality of gay and lesbian people."



Gay Liberal MP Scott Brison, sees more than just the effacement of queers in the guide.

"There was actually a diminution in the role of rights in this guide compared to the previous guide," Brison says. "There are some elements of the guide that I think are positive, but I find that the tone and direction away from Canada's strength as a defender of fundamental human rights is really troubling, because it's very clear the Conservatives do not understand or appreciate the importance of these rights and the need to continually reaffirm them at every turn."

The Conservatives — and immigration minister Jason Kenney in particular — have long tried to court what they believe to be socially conservative immigrant communities.

"It makes me very worried," Davies says. "Especially when I know it's coming from Jason Kenney and everything about this man - what he does and what his modus operandi is."

Brison feels that Kenney's attempt to court votes in this manner is flawed.

"This is a case of a government with a choice of either appealing to people's openness or to their narrow side, and I think where we need leadership is toward openness."

The NDP's immigration critic, Olivia Chow, also feels that the aims of this guide go beyond trying to court these immigrant voters.

"I think it's not who they court — it's in their DNA," Chow says. "They don't support gay marriage. They weren't in government when it passed and the majority of the Conservative MPs didn't support that. They were in the minority — thank goodness. However, we know what we're proud of."

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Comments

social conservatives
The current formation of the Conservative party is really not much different than the Alliance party at all, except they convinced the PCs to join them and then took over there name to try and make them seem more moderate than they really are. The reason there isn't anything about the legal equality of gays and lesbians in Canada in the new brochure is because they don't support the legal equality of gays and lesbians in Canada, they may say they do, though I don't think they have but regardless actions speak louder than words, remember the fallout from Toronto Pride being funded by the Marquee Events program? Pride was a perfect fit to get funding, it more than met all the criteria yet a minister lost her job for approving the funding and no other gay events, no matter how well they fit the criteria got any funding from the feds after that and I'm sure Toronto Pride won't see another dime from them next year. If they supported queer equality then any festival that met the criteria would've received funding regardless if it was mostly gay or hetero in nature, all the hetero festivals that met the criteria received funding, just the gay ones were denied. They aren't just conservatives but rather are social conservatives, there's a big difference between the two, one focused on financial issues, the other on social issues that reinforce the dominant position of white, hetero, christian, males born in this country. How any gay person could support the social conservatives is beyond me since they certainly don't support gays or lesbians or even women for that matter and god help you if you're an immigrant since the current government sure isn't going to. Canada is just one of a handful of countries in the world where gays and lesbians have legal equality and that was just recently won so yes new immigrants need to know about that since it isn't common in most parts of the world.
A footnote is a footnote is a footnote
Ron in Vancouver;

Yes, I would say that I'm center-left in my general attitude; always have been. What wrong with that?

Yea, I complain about homophobia whenever I see it, and you've got every right to call it left wing whining just like I've got every right to call you a fundamentalist who will only realize what sharia law is when it's too late.

People like you should be convicted of inciting violence against a minority group; that's what should be emphasized in the New Immigrants Guide.

"A tory is a tory is a tory" indeed; just have a good look at the UK's BNP to get an idea of what Canada would become if it weren't for people like Scott Brisson, Libby Davies and Olivia Chow.

It's just a question of time when the New Alliance Party...I mean the Conservatives, will be relegated to a footnote in Canadian history.

But I ain't bitter.
Beware of Tories bearing gifts!!
Just because the Tories included a sidebar in their new immigration manjual about gay olympian Mark Tewksbury, doesn't mean they are supportive of gay rights. While I laud the fact that spousal abuse, female mutilation and other un-Canadian practices are condemned in the manual, I reserve judgement on whether or not the Tories are in our corner. I didn't see any condemnation of fundamentalism in the manual. Remember: A Tory is a Tory is a Tory.
I'm one!
I'm one of those left-wing douchebags! Actually, I'm proud of the ways in which I and my other douchey friends have 'ruined' Canada by making it the generous, accommodating state that it has become.

I probably share some of your concerns about 'multiculturalism' too, Ron, especially our overly eager accommodation of religious fundamentalism - but can't we find a better way forward than this name-calling? Tolerance of different cultures is exactly the Canadian value that has made possible our own progress as a community. Let's not forget that. Most immigrants make a contribution to this country, as do most glbt persons.
That much anger is toxic. I hope you find a way through it.
Welcome Card to Canada?
Joey..your pot dealer is putting crack in your bud if you think this document is a welcome card. They are the RULES to follow or else these arrivals from INFERIOR anti-gay cultures will be sent packing. Canada is NOT the doormat of the world any longer..despite the best efforts of leftists. You left-wing douche bags nearly destroyed this country over the last 30 years. We are fixing things now and in the process will produce a stronger more united country. Canadian values ...YES. Multiculturalism...NO.
West coast support for Ryan
Thank you Ryan for being an adult, and putting out the fires of Ron's hatred. And I say hatred because name calling and belittling over an article about a document used as a welcome to Canada card for immagrents, is obviously inspired from some outside opinion and dislike for the quest for diversity. Ron please see that it is not an agenda that is being
protected but a pursuit to unite a diverse nation as leaders in humanitarianism.
Who is whining?
Ron in Vancouver, first off namecalling is childish, and when Libby Davies says that a better understanding of queer folks in Canada is important for immigrants, she is voicing a very legitimate concern, it's not lunacy. I agree with you that the citizenship guide is a step in the right direction, but so is wanting to make a guide that is more reflective of Canadian culture (which includes sexual diversity). There are alot of things we could do to help newcomers integrate into Canadian society better, while at the same time making sure that some of their specifically anti-gay attitudes are left at the door.
More lunatic left whining...
All you loony left idiots can do is cry and whine. A photo of a prominent gay man is not enough for you jerks? Can't you ever find anyone else to quote except the tiresome far left extremists Davies, Sicksay, and Chow? I think the new citizenship guide is a step in the right direction. How much mention of gays were in the previous Liberal written guide...oh that's right NONE. Fucking leftists...no wonder Canada has had enough of you poisonous snakes and is turning more conservative.. Oh by the way ...is Olivia Chow still living in Toronto social housing with her comrade Jack Layton? Or did they finally move in shame so a homeless person could get a roof over their head.
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