There was a rather interesting story out of Cornwall recently, involving Conservative MP Guy Lauzon.
He has been promoting the fact that the town would be getting a government call centre that would provide 177 much needed jobs to the community.
However, the local media has reported that there is a glitch. Many of the jobs will be given to existing civil servants and for the rest, you have to be bi-lingual.
This isn't really a unique story and the call centre itself will no doubt help to stimulate the local economy, but what I found upsetting was Mr. Lauzon's response to the local media.
When questioned on the bi-lingual qualification he stated that "...Anglos would get their chance to apply for a handful of those 177 jobs, but he didn't know when."
Anglos? Will that be a stipulation? Not Francos, Indos, etc.? Even if the reference was to uni-lingual English speaking, then why not uni-lingual French speaking?
This is not simply a case of being politically incorrect, but speaks to a broader sentiment within this party. From it's earliest inception these Reformers (later Alliance and then Conservative) clearly promoted an Anglo dominated country.
Harper's inspiration when he was cutting his political teeth, was Peter Brimelow, who calls himself a 'white nationalist', but most of the founding members of Reform shared those views. Look at the people who surrounded Stephen Harper in the Northern Foundation, a group formed in part to protest the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Several members were from APEC, (Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), a pro-active French hate group. These roots run deep.
In 2003, when members of then the Alliance Party, began rallying for the group 'Canadians for George Bush', Jason Kenney and several others referred to it as supporting 'Anglo' sphere wars. And more recently, Conservative Vic Toews went nuts in the house.
As Globe and Mail columnist, Lawrence Martin, wrote: "The truculent Mr. Toews is responsible for language policy in the federal public service. He blew his anglophone gasket - Quebeckers will not be overjoyed - in a committee hearing on the Official Languages Act when Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez had the audacity to ask whether, given his duties, the minister should be bilingual."
I know that Mr. Lauzon is bi-lingual, but the insinuation that there will be jobs down the road for Anglos is an insult, and speaks to a broader problem. Canada is a multi-cultural country, and these guys have to accept that, because their attitudes could be breeding racism.
Maybe a little sensitivity training is in order, but don't expect that to happen. Old habits die hard.
Back to - The Guy Lauzon Story: I'll Sit This One Out