The above picture of Wilfred Laurier, a former Prime Minister of Canada and member of the Liberal Party of Canada, is currently making the rounds on the internet accompanied by his famous passage:
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes a Canadian and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet a Canadian, and nothing but a Canadian… There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is a Canadian, but something else also, isn’t a Canadian at all. We have room for but one flag, the Canadian flag… And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the Canadian people.
People that are spreading this and citing this passage about undivided loyalty with fervour are I’m sure thinking of immigrants from certain countries with value systems very different to ours. However, I wonder if they have actually considered the policy implication of the above passage – which is obviously whether Canada should ban its citizens from being dual (or triple) citizens?
What do you think? Should Brett Hull, Kaya Jones, John Aimers, Peter Jennings, Megan Follows, Brian Burke, Jim Carrey, etc. have to choose?
And, if you believe in what Mr. Laurier said, do we not have room in Canada for the above individuals?
As was recently pointed out to me, in attributing the above quote and picture to Wilfred Laurier I fell for a popular myth circulating in certain circles.
Mr. Laurier did not say the above. It was Theodore Roosevelt.