Our headlines this week: president of the Phillipines to visit Canada + debunking the 'ethnic vote' myth + a black chief of police for Toronto + Canada sends delegations to Armenia and Turkey + discussing race in the classroom + honouring Charlie Hebdo + 'root causes' of terrorism + much more
“Baltimore is burning. Surprised? Nah. (See Baltimore Riots of 1968),” author Dalton Higgins posted on Facebook this week.
“For those who have never actually been in a riot scene, it must be really hard to understand. Having walked down Toronto’s Yonge Street in 1992 as a young man; of shootings of Black men by Toronto Police,” Higgins wrote.
The Associated Press reported that “rioters plunged part of Baltimore into chaos Monday, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at police hours after thousands mourned the man (Freddie Gray) who died from a severe injury he suffered in police custody.”
The Caribbean Camera
Toronto: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a warm welcome during the Toronto leg of his cross-Canada tour, where upon his arrival he was welcomed by hundreds of enthusiastic supporters waving Canadian and Indian flags on the tarmac of Pearson International Airport. Prime Minister Modi was joined by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister Jason […]
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The Weekly Voice
By Gerald V. Paul Toronto’s Police Chief-designate Mark Saunders is a potential agent of change – but he’s the first to tell you, he’s no miracle worker. However, the 32-year…
The Caribbean Camera
by Janice Dickson (@janicedickson) in Ottawa
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent time in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver this week — which led to a ton of photo-ops with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and some with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
But Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair was mum on Modi. He is the only major federal political figure who hasn’t publicly acknowledged Modi’s visit — and unlike Harper and Trudeau, he didn’t have his picture taken with the Indian PM as a pre-campaign gesture to the large and politically active Indo-Canadian community.
Despite the rapturous reception Modi received in many quarters during his visit, he remains a controversial figure in Indian politics. Before he was elected prime minister in 2014, Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, a state in India with a population of more than 60 million. In 2002, Gujarat was ripped apart by religious riots in which nearly 1,000 people – mostly Muslims – died.
The Supreme Court of India later absolved Modi of any blame for the riots, but lingering allegations about his actions at the time have undermined his relationship with many countries. In fact, Modi was denied a visa to Canada during a 12-year period when he was suspected of these human rights abuses.
Mulcair spokesman George Smith told iPolitics the NDP leader didn’t meet with Modi due to a scheduling conflict. Asked for a comment on Modi’s visit, NDP critic for multiculturalism, Andrew Cash, gave iPolitics the following statement — which doesn’t mention Modi by name, or reference his visit:
“Canada has important trade, economic and cultural ties with India, and this is a chance to celebrate and strengthen these links. India is the world’s largest democracy; ensuring that Canada has a strong relationship with it will be critical in the years to come. An NDP government would continue to strengthen Canada’s relationship with our allies, like India.”
Anita Singh, research fellow at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University, said she can understand why Mulcair may want to keep his distance from Modi.
“I can see why Mulcair hasn’t changed his position on Modi or why he’s not interested in being flexible on his division with Modi. His party is one that speaks to an idea of human rights and humanitarianism,” said Singh. “To flip-flop would cause him more damage.”
Despite multiple requests, iPolitics did not receive Mulcair’s official position on Prime Minister Modi.
Singh said that Mulcair’s predecessor, Jack Layton, “stood very strongly against Modi and other human rights issues that happened in India … and the aftermath of the Air India bombing – and those are all things that play into NDP rhetoric.”
But supporting Modi is not a complicated matter for either Harper or Trudeau.
Harper has been pushing out tons of photos of himself and Modi together; the Conservatives even used one photo to anchor a fundraising pitch on conservative.ca:
Harper and his ministers have tweeted their way through Modi’s visit. And Modi has reciprocated; he even changed the header image on his Facebook page to one of himself with Harper.
Trudeau also was eager to meet with Modi. In fact, he rescheduled a planned event in Nova Scotia in order to meet him in Toronto.
Singh said she wouldn’t attribute Harper and Trudeau’s eagerness to have their photos taken with Modi to the quest for votes in Indo-Canadian communities. The math wouldn’t make sense, the NDP hold the two ridings with the highest number of Indo-Canadians — Surrey-Newton has over 52,000 East Indian residents and Brampton East has nearly 48,000 East Indian residents.
“I think the electoral argument is an easy one to make and because it’s intuitive people fall back on it a lot,” Singh said. “It’s to say that ethnic communities are only voting on the basis of foreign policy – you have to make the assumption that there are no outstanding issues. There’s no evidence to show that people vote on the basis of whether Harper is nice to Modi, or not, or whether Mulcair supports Modi.”
Re-published in partnership with iPolitics.ca
Toronto (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited the memorial here for the victims of Air India Flight 182 that was bombed in 1985. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen accompanied Modi to pay their respects to the Air India and Narita Airport victims. They participated in the wreath-laying ceremony. Air India Flight […]
ON Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a business roundtable with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto earlier in the morning. Modi will later visit the Air India Memorial in Etobicoke.
At 2:25 p.m. Harper will greet Modi in Vancouver at Richmond’s Marriott […]
INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday and was received by Defence Minister Jason Kenney and other prominent Conservative MPs, will receive a welcome ceremony with military honours at 9:40 a.m. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in the event. At 10 a.m. Harper will participate in a tete-a-tete meeting with […]
-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit