Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dean Del Mastro Plays the Race Card From an Incomplete Deck

When Dalton McGuinty released his party platform, one item had Federal Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro in a flap.

The $10,000 incentive to employers who hire immigrants.

For Del Mastro it brought back chilling reminders of Bob Rae and affirmative action, that made it difficult for him as a "young white male".

Mind you, according to Del Mastro it did not mean that he couldn't find work, only that it restricted his opportunities. He should have tried living as a non-white male, or a female of any shade, when doors were permanently closed. For many there were no opportunities at all.

To me this Peterborough MP is a "chilling reminder" of the racism of his Reform-Alliance-Conservative Party. They were singled out in the 1995 book The Colour of Democracy, as bending toward "white supremacy".
This way of thinking characterizes the ideology and behaviour of right-wing Supremacist groups such as the Heritage Front. While such groups can, to a certain extent, be ignored because of their small numbers, such thinking is also evident in the doctrines of the Reform Party [those doctrines written by their policy chief Stephen Harper], who won a substantial number of votes in the federal election of 1993 and who hold 52 seats in Parliament.(1)
Reform members were notorious for racial slurs.

Tim Hudak is going to have enough trouble removing the shadow of Mike Harris, without having to contend with the wider shadow of the Reform Party.

Hudak himself weighed in, suggesting that it was an insult to immigrants to be singled out. Rich coming from the man who sought Jason Kenney's advice on how to mine votes by exploiting immigrants.

I found that offensive.

The fact of the matter is that immigrants remain among the poorest of Canadians. They are also more likely to be exploited in the workplace (2).

Del Mastro's colleague, Lee Richardson, once suggested that most crime is committed by immigrants, not those you lived next door to. He was wrong of course, but it didn't matter. They were convenient scapegoats.

I look forward to the day when hiring incentives are not needed, but unfortunately, today is not that day.

I think that this was not only a smart political move, since it challenges Hudak to remove the "hand up" to those he's hoping to court, but it is the right thing to do.


1. The Colour of Democracy, Racism in Canadian Society, By Frances Henry, Carol Tator, Winston Mattis, and Tim Rees, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995, ISBN: 0-7747-3255-5, Pg. 24

2. Persistent Poverty: Voices From the Margins, by Jamie Swift, Brice Balmer and Mira Dineen, Between the Lines Toronto, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-897071-73-1


  1. Thank you for this post! True CON clours are showing. Expect even more immigrant bashing to come. We can not afford a Hudak govt.

  2. What about our First Nations who suffer real poverty and hopelessness. Why are they being left out , not I am not first nations but what a shame !

  3. In a recent column in the Toronto Star, Angelo Persichilli wrote this: "unless oppositions try to reinvent themselves by putting real alternatives on the table or the governments have serious deficiencies, I always support the governments."

    Now Persichilli's notions of serious deficiencies and real alternatives are not well-defined. Yet, I’m taken with his suggestion that we put opposition parties on notice by stating our intention to be guided by what amounts to a law of electoral inertia: We ain’t gonna’ vote for change unless change is needed AND our vote for you is likely to bring it about.

    By this test, any Liberal defense is moot, because the PCs themselves haven't put forward any proposal for change. It was the Liberals who did that!