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Trudeau’s budget fuels racism

The Liberals will always have money for war

April 18, 2019

The killing of 50 Muslim worshipers in New Zealand resulted in an immediate spike in Islamophobic incidents worldwide. 


In Toronto, the hate group Pegida organized a rally just one week later. But they were stopped from marching and humiliated by a much larger anti-racism protest.


As was the case in hundreds of cities and towns, the outpouring of solidarity against racism was massive. 


Peace circles protected mosques from Birmingham to Burnaby with different faith leaders and activists surrounding the prayer sites, providing a physical and psychological barrier to the haters. 


Once again, the divisions which have been so strenuously entrenched by media and politicians were countered by the solidarity of regular people standing with their neighbours. 


But our politicians have no intention of stopping their drive to divide us. 


Conservative leader Andrew Scheer sent “thoughts and prayers” but refused to even mention that the victims in New Zealand were Muslims. He knows full well that an active section of the Conservative party base is violently Islamophobic.


Maxime Bernier, leader of the far-right People’s Party, didn’t even mention the attack. 


And how did Trudeau respond? By putting millions of dollars in the federal budget into policing borders, pandering to the racists he hopes will vote for him in what is a very close race to form the next government.

Budget


There is no border crisis in Canada. There is no crisis of “Canadian values” being eroded or watered down by immigration. These are dog whistles to the racists, and it appears Trudeau wants to win their votes. 


The Liberals also put $1.4 billion into continuing the disastrous war in Iraq which has fuelled Islamophobia and contributed to forced migration for almost two decades. 


There was $25 million in the budget to address systemic racism in Canada. This is great, but unfortunately it is no match for the extra $1.2 billion for border security and policing, which is always used disproportionately against people of colour and immigrants.

Worse still is the new Liberal plan to change the refugee protection system. Buried in the budget omnibus bill is a new scheme to replace independent tribunals for refugee claimants. In the new system, people can have their claim rejected by one individual border agent if they have ever tried to enter any country that Canada shares claimant information with. This includes, the US , UK and Australia.

All of those countries have terribly unfair assessment procedures as well. Canada is now bowing to the lowest common denominator and people fleeing persecution or war to come here will suffer.

This loss of an independent hearing will make it much tougher on refugees and stop them from being given a fair hearing.

The Liberals are simultaneously funding the wars which create refugees and taking steps to keep refugees out of Canada.

Contempt


In typical fashion, the Liberals have pledged a penny to progress and a dollar to push back that same progress. On balance, this budget will further fuel racism. 


And Trudeau wasn’t done there. His contempt for anyone that challenges him has become a feature of the current Liberal party meltdown. 


When members of Free Grassy Narrows advocacy group interrupted Trudeau’s funding pitch in Toronto, his callous response of “Thank you for your donation” showed his contempt for Indigenous people. They are protesting mercury contamination of their land that has not been cleaned up after decades of promises by different levels of government. 


This is environmental racism plain and simple, as are all the pipeline projects which are being pushed through Indigenous land without approval. 


After the Christchurch attack, we learned that the shooter had connections to the far-right Rebel Media, had donated to Faith Goldy in Toronto and was inspired by the Quebec City Mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. 


Indeed, these people are making Canada a leading exporter of hate and division. Certain party leaders have been helping them out. But we can stop them if our unity can overtake their hate.

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