Wilfred Laurier on Immigration [Updated – Correction]

14th Apr 2012 Comments Off on Wilfred Laurier on Immigration [Updated – Correction]

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?

[UPDATE]

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.

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Does Party Affiliation Affect Views on Immigration?

7th Jul 2010 Comments Off on Does Party Affiliation Affect Views on Immigration?

Recently, the Conference Board of Canada published a series of articles relating to immigration. One of them, written by Nick Nanos, talks about extensive polling on Canadian opinions regarding immigration. It has been widely quoted in the media that while Canadians approve of immigration, they generally want the numbers to stay the same.

I made summaries of four of the seven questions that Mr. Nanos asked respondents. In making the following tables, I merged “% agree” and “% somewhat agree” into one category. I did the same for disagree.

The results are as follows:

Question 1. Immigration is a key positive feature of Canada as a country?

Voter Profile
% Agree
% Disagree

Liberal
87.8
10.5

Conservative
79.6
18.4

NDP
86.9
10.0

Bloc
77.1
22.9

Green
90.5
9.5

Undecided
73.9
21.1

Question 2. In 2008, Canada admitted 247,202 permanent immigrants. Do you think Canada should increase, decrease, or keep the same number of new permanent immigrants each year?

Voter Profile
% Increase Numbers
% Keep Same
% Decrease

Liberal
21.7
40.0
31.6

Conservative
19.1
38.4
36.3

NDP
29.5
41.4
23.5

Bloc
17.3
47.8
31.1

Green
29.3
45.3
23.5

Undecided
18.6
33.2
36.1

What these two tables indicate is that Liberals and NDP voters are 10% more likely than Conservative voters to support immigration, and are also more likely to support increasing the level of immigrants admitted to Canada. However, the difference does not appear to be great enough to say that this is a key difference between supporters of the three parties. As well, it is worth noting that the “Undecided Vote” seems to be much less enthusiastic about immigration than any of the parties’ supporters.

Question 7. A Canadian citizen should be allowed to have another citizenship

Voter Profile
% Agree
% Disagree

Liberal
72.5
24

Conservative
65.4
28.2

NDP
74.7
24.8

Bloc
66.7
32.3

Green
77.8
20.8

Undecided
72.4
22

The issue of multiple citizenship is a topic that is dear to many immigrants who do not wish to lose their original citizenship. 

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