Year-end rants from a lifelong ranter

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Pradip Rodrigues

The UN Migration Pact was signed this week by 150 countries with some notable exceptions and signs of trouble ahead for some countries that signed on. The US needless to say wants nothing to do with this Migration Pact. Chile pulled out and Belgium faces political turmoil. It’s Prime Minister Charles Michel found the biggest party in his coalition quit in a dispute over the accord. China apparently signed on so did Saudi Arabia, India, Bangladesh and many countries that aren’t on the preferred list of destinations for refugees.

In November, Austria’s right-wing government, which holds the EU presidency, said it would also withdraw, saying the accord would blur the line between legal and illegal migration.

Australia also said in November it would not sign up to the migration agreement because it would compromise its hardline immigration policy and endanger national security.

Here at home the Conservatives are amping up their attacks on the Trudeau led Liberals and this issue threatens to be a wedge issue that could bring rich political dividends for right-wing parties in the western world. It also threatens to tear apart stable countries and divide societies.

Recently news reports pegged the cost of managing the so-called irregular border crossers or illegal migrants seeking asylum in Canada at about $1 billion over the course of three years.

The cost per asylum seeker varies from about $10,000 for a simple case — where the claim is accepted — to about $34,000 for a more complex case ending in the claimant exhausting all appeals and being deported. Millions of Canadians and new PR residents rightly feel short-changed when they realize the amount being spent on ‘irregular’ border crossers.

There are currently more people displaced than there were at the end of World War 2. And clearly this is not sustainable.

Corporate life after #MeToo

A trending news report on Wall Street avoiding women at all cost following the #MeToo era will make it that much harder for women to break into the higher echelons in the corporate world.

Top executives are now avoiding having to mentor or coach female employees for fear of it one day being a career limiting move. Companies are re-writing their codes of conduct and anything that could be construed as sexual harassment in the workplace can lead to immediate dismissal of the employee. No corporation wants to be on the hook for millions of dollars or risk its reputation for tolerating workplace harassment of women. The victims as a result will once again be women. Worse still companies will be wary of employing more women than necessary given the perceived threat they represent.

This sort of self-policing and codes of conduct may remind many new immigrants of those socially and culturally stifling moral codes that were enforced back in the old countries.

Long live cricket, goodbye ice hockey, baseball…

It is no coincidence that Ice Hockey is dying in new immigrant dominated cities in Canada. Baseball diamonds are hardly used, and it is likely that in the future cricket pitches will be planned in places where South Asians are the majority.

In the case of Brampton, nothing short of a world-class stadium is in order. There will be more and more cricket pitches and stadiums popping up in South Asian enclaves.

In India, cities like Brampton and Surrey are considered as Indian outposts. Mississauga too is well-known in the sub-continent. A newspaper report dubbed Brampton an ‘Indian City’.

Canada is changing and one of the consequences of such large numbers of one particular ethnicity in one region ends up alienating other ethnic groups and mainstream Canadians who find that they have no voice or say in the decisions that are made.

OHRC report hits Toronto police hard

No one denies there is racism out there. Plenty of it. In corporate boardrooms and in hiring practices, hiring managers play out their biases subtly and in ways that are often hard to detect. Police on the other hand can be caught in the act because their actions are dramatic and is often now caught on camera.

The damning report says that blacks are over-represented in violent police interactions. No one disputes that, but then again, the question is are the individuals or victims that the police violently takedown innocent bystanders just going about their business. Were they carrying a shopping bag filled with groceries? Did they run from police, flash a carrot at them?

The report also said that whites threaten police more often than blacks. Perhaps the next time media reports on a police bust or chase that involves a person of color, there should also be a background on what that person was doing that prompted the police to do what they did. -CINEWS

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