Editorials - Oct. 27, 2023
A changing landscape
A recent analysis of Canada’s 2021 census data by online learning platform, Preply, has revealed an interesting trend in population growth. The goal of the study was to understand which cities in Canada had the most diversity (by language and cultural background).
Not only did Toronto (known internationally for its cultural diversity) not take top spot, but it didn’t even make the top 10. In fact, only two of Canada’s 10 largest cities made the top 10.
The most diverse city in Canada is now Kitchener, with London and Guelph also ranking in the top five. Canada’s population grew by more than five per cent in the five years before the census and many of those immigrants found opportunity outside Toronto and the GTA.
The study describes the top five diverse cities using words like “inclusive” and “welcoming” while also highlighting the economic benefits that increased immigration is bringing to them.
Canada’s cultural mosaic is not only alive and well, but thriving and spreading to smaller centres. Huron County is starting to reap some of the benefits of newcomers to the area, thanks to concentrated efforts to welcome them and make them feel at home. – DS
You oughta know
On Oct. 18, imaginations in Huron County were running wild with reports of what was being called by some on social media as an active shooter in Clinton. According to statements from both the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), OPP officers interacted with two people in Seaforth at around 10:30 a.m. and shots were fired. The pair then made a break for Clinton where a 35-year-old man, who had suffered serious injuries, was left at the Clinton hospital and a woman then crashed a stolen car into another vehicle before fleeing on foot (she is still missing).
In the late morning, residents on social media were left in the dark, asking about the increased police presence in both Seaforth and Clinton as posts suggesting a criminal with a gun was stalking the streets of Clinton and hold and secure measures were invoked for local hospitals, schools and daycares. Not until nearly 4 p.m. did we hear from police.
Granted, it sounds like a complicated affair, in which police had to use their guns, but, for hours, residents were left in the dark, gobbling up scraps from Facebook, unable to discern fact from fiction.
Any information regarding threats to the public or a statement of the facts would have been more helpful than nothing. The lack of official word left a void that allowed misinformation to flourish.
Police need the time and space to work, but in this day and age, a statement made hours after people have drawn their own conclusions through a mélange of word-of-mouth, unverified social media chatter and scraps from the media reports doesn’t cut it. During an active investigation, people need to know if they’re safe in their homes; they shouldn’t be left to draw their own conclusions based on a Facebook post from someone whose friend definitely saw the whole thing. – SL
Comme on fait son lit, on se couche
Political leaders in “La Belle Province” are fearful that their favoured language of the nation’s two official tongues, French, is declining in Quebec. Premier Francois Legault and his ministers are laying ‘le’ blame for ‘la’ languishing language issue on outsider, Anglophone students from across Canada and beyond, who they claim don’t significantly contribute to Quebecois culture and oftentimes, allegedly, will leave Quebec immediately upon completion of their degrees. Obviously it’s a mystery for Monsieur Legault as to why anyone would want to leave a place where the government goes to such extraordinary efforts to make them feel welcomed, valued and included. C’est tres ungrateful!
Legault’s solution to this existential heritage crisis of provincial proportions is, of course, to gouge non-Quebecers. His government proposed, without first consulting with the province’s three English-language universities, that starting in autumn 2024, tuition for out-of-province students attending post-secondary institutions in Quebec will nearly double to $17,000 per year. Legault is probably correct in the assumption that the majority of folks, except for the richest and most ignorant among us, will be unwilling to pay that price simply to further degrade the French language and cultural heritage of Quebec. However, many prospective students will also be thinking twice about studying at McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s Universities, when they could find an equivalent education elsewhere in the country for a lower cost, bringing a vast array of associated economic benefits with them. Montreal’s loss is Kingston’s gain, Toronto’s gain, Halifax’s gain, and so on.
Reducing access and exposure to a culture from outsiders is counterintuitive to its promotion, stability and growth. Quebec gets to decide how much it will cost for other Canadians to attend its schools, but the province’s decision-makers shouldn’t be surprised when Canadians decide to go somewhere else instead. C’est la vie. – SBS