The poppy is going extinct in parts of Peel Region

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Pradip Rodrigues

A few weeks ago, I was talking with the son of an acquaintance who had spent a recent weekend selling poppies outside a large department store in the Dundas-Dixie area. He told me sales were very low and disappointing. Most of the customers were new immigrants or people of color who didn’t even glance at the poppies and the only people who bought poppies from him were ‘mostly old white people,’ he observed.

This year in particular, I have been looking around and find that even fewer people in Mississauga bother to wear the poppy. So, when the uproar over Hockey legend Don Cherry’s comments about new immigrants not wearing the poppy made national headlines, I was glad that at least one white old man had the courage to point it out.

Don Cherry who lives in Mississauga claimed “very few people” wear poppies there during his weekly Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry complained that he’s less frequently seeing people wearing poppies to honour fallen Canadian soldiers. He is absolutely right. Very few immigrants bother to wear the poppy unless they happen to be public sector workers or politicians.

Cherry was not done. “You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Ouch, that hurt, but when has the truth not hurt? Perhaps our own politicians should have been encouraging new immigrants to stand in solidarity with the rest of the country and support veterans by buying a poppy.

Mississauga’s mayor Bonnie Crombie was quick to denounce the supposedly hurtful comments, pointed out that diversity was a strength and urged Cherry to apologize.

It is not just Crombie out to get Cherry to take back his comments but a whole slew of stakeholders with a vested interest in pandering to new immigrants.

It doesn’t matter whether what Don Cherry said was right or wrong, that is simply not the point these days. Pointing out something painfully obvious that appears to paint new immigrants and refugees unflatteringly is just not permitted by the politically correct elite.

Perhaps at 85, Don Cherry has little to lose and speaking his mind. He is simply echoing what a lot of people are thinking.

Few immigrants bother with the poppy.

All this is not to say that all non-European immigrants eschew the poppy, there are plenty of immigrants who understand the importance and significance of Remembrance Day and wear a poppy in solidarity with the men and women who fought for our freedom.

Unfortunately, a large and growing number of white Canadians are choosing not to wear the poppy because they simply don’t care. -CINEWS

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