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Beware Northern Populism

According to a new Pew Research poll, Canadians are not impressed with Donald Trump. Only 22% of us have confidence in the Trump presidency. But Tim Harper reminds us that, before we get too smug, we should take a good hard look at ourselves:

We can dismiss the Mississauga racist rant in the health clinic, or the Alberta burning of a pride flag, or tiny anti-Muslim protests as isolated events that do not tell us who we are, but if you want to dismiss them, ignore them at your peril.
We should be looking at Indigenous complaints against the police in Thunder Bay or the disproportionate police interaction with Blacks and Indigenous youth in our cities.

We should study Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s words when he said, in the wake of the stabbing of a Michigan police officer by a Montreal man, “you cannot disconnect this type of event, terrorism, from Islam in general.’’

And we should give further thought to a Statistics Canada report on hate crimes released earlier this month which showed a 60 per Cent jump in police-reported hate crimes against Muslims in 2015. Hate crimes are underreported and those numbers are two years old and no one thinks it has gotten better since 2015.

Kellie Leitch's campaign for the Conservative leadership touched an uncomfortable nerve:

Yes, Kellie Leitch fell flat with her “values test” platform in the recent Conservative leadership race, but polling data showed support for her position after she announced it and Graves suggests her poor showing was more a product of a poor campaign. He reminds that Stephen Harper’s support actually grew for a period after he took a harder line on refugees following powerful photos of young Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body on a Turkish beach. 

Angus Reid Associates also released numbers this week that, at first glance, appeared to show this country embracing diversity. Respondents were asked whether they would vote for a Party Led by a woman, a gay man, a lesbian, a transgendered person, a Jew, a Black, an Indigenous Canadian and so on.
Only 58 per cent of Canadians would back a party led by a Muslim, only 45 per cent in Quebec.
A man wearing a religious head covering would be rejected by 42 per cent of Canadians.
A woman wearing a religious head covering would be rejected by 47 per cent of Canadians. In Quebec, the rejection rate jumps to 64 and 66 per cent respectively.

So let's be honest with ourselves: Northern populism is afoot in the Great White North. We must confront it -- and not deny its existence. 


This post first appeared on Northern Reflections, please read the originial post: here

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Beware Northern Populism


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