Is multicultural justice the next big thing?

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Pradip Rodrigues

Recently an Ontario Superior Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru declared that the time has come for the judiciary to consider the effects of systemic racism and discrimination when sentencing African Canadians.

The Justice Shaun Nakatsuru had earlier rejected an argument from lawyers for an African Nova Scotian man that the Gladue approach used in sentencing indigenous persons should also be applied to the sentencing of black offenders.

In Canada, judges can request “Gladue” reports for Indigenous offenders, which strongly encourages taking into account disadvantages and systemic racism when sentencing and consider other alternatives to jail.

Now just for argument sake, assume Canada becomes the first country in the world to multiculturalize its justice system, what will be the consequences? Will there be some version of Gladue reports that could guide judges when it came to sentencing individuals belonging to different ethnicities. After all, blacks and aboriginals aren’t the only two races that have a monopoly on pain and suffering. Other groups from around the world can also claim forms of discrimination that can seem even more horrific or atleast comparable to the suffering endured by blacks and aboriginals. World history is littered with such example of atrocities and guess what, so many individuals who have in living memory endured or heard about some of those horrors live among us and have chosen to put the past behind them as they chart a successful future.

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Any pop psychologist will insist that one’s life experience both negative and positive shapes the behavior of individuals.

If in the future black and aboriginal offenders get lighter sentences compared to other offenders there could either be a backlash or a clamor for more the Gladue report to include more ethnicities that have faced all kinds of horror mostly in their countries of origin.

After all it could be argued that many South Asian immigrants from lower castes have suffered plenty of discrimination for generations. Here in Canada I’ve met individuals who belong to lower castes who could also prove that their white collar crime and tax evasion is a result of deep insecurity and poverty experienced by their families for generations.

I really worry that if in the near future offenders who belong to ethnicities that have suffered discrimination and injustices in the past get lighter sentences compared to someone who has no such evident history, it could end up compromising the justice system and making a mockery all in the name of social justice.

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The new renters are old stock Canadians

These days renters in Mississauga seeking homes are not predominantly new immigrants or low-income individuals who can’t afford homes. They are increasingly young white families who’ve rented or locked up their homes in small communities elsewhere and have moved here because they work in the region.

Many of these renters own homes in small communities that are plagued by high unemployment and few opportunities. Relocating permanently is out of the question because buying real estate in the GTA is unaffordable for most young people, even those with good jobs.

Furthermore, young white millennials who are moving into the Peel Region and elsewhere can’t really see themselves living here long-term and neither do they expect to be employed at the same company for more than three or four years maximum.

The couple I met with a young baby had moved twice in five years because their jobs changed and they wanted short commute times. Because they rent and aren’t tied down to looking for jobs within a specific geographic area, they are open to relocating to another province if a really great opportunity comes their way.

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And if that elusive dream job happens in say Moncton, New Brunswick, they will gladly pack up and leave.

In today’s job market, it is really not advisable for young people to sink all their investments in a house or condo in the GTA unless they work for the government and have a clear pathway to the Sunshine List. Owning a home in a gig economy can cause stress that can cause some serious ailments or a stroke. The young couple I met have no such fears because if things go south for them, they will seek out new jobs anywhere and are so much more attractive to employers when they indicate they are willing to re-locate.

So the only ones really buying and driving GTA real estate are overwhelmingly ethnic buyers, new immigrants and foreign nationals who have children studying in Canada. Mainstream Canadians seem to be stepping back from the market because they simply can’t afford it and have resigned themselves to renting for the rest of their lives. – CINEWS

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