Musings —09.07.2011 04:05 PM—
New immigrants to Ontario must wonder how they suddenly went from being valued Canadians, whose skills our economy needs, to being publicly derided as “foreigners.” On day one of a provincial election campaign, no less…
Hoping for political gain, Hudak is happily stirring up tensions by claiming that unemployed Ontarians will be left behind. His party even rushed out a new campaign ad saying that “Ontarians need not apply” under the Liberal plan…
But the controversy that Hudak is stirring up is not about the substance of particular policies. It’s about wedge politics. On Tuesday he claimed that the tax breaks offered by the Liberals would help companies hire “anybody but you.”
That kind of language divides Ontarians into an “us” and a “them.” Creating divisions between struggling, unemployed workers and newer immigrants is dangerous to our long-term social cohesion. In Toronto, half of us were born outside Canada. There is no us versus them. Theyare us. And the faster we get newcomers into good jobs in the workforce and paying higher taxes the better for us all.
There’s a lot on the line during an election and parties often go a bit overboard to score points on their opponents. Hudak’s rhetoric and the PC party’s “Ontarians need not apply” ad go too far. It amounts to a thinly veiled attack on immigrants.
There may be political advantage to be had in this approach; we’ll find out on Oct. 6. But regardless of the outcome, this is the politics of division. It is angry. It is ugly. And it’s not what Ontarians are about.