A new study shows that visible minorities are not getting their fair share of Canada’s economic pie.  The report shows non-whites in Canada earned 81 cents for every dollar made by Caucasians.

Visible minorites were also found to have a higher unemployment rate, of 8.6 per cent in 2006 compated with 6.2 per cent for white Canadians.

The figures show that equal access to opportunity eludes many racialized Canadians.

From 2000 to 2006 the income of white Canadians grew 2.7 per cent while racial minorities experienced a 0.2 per cent slide in average pay.

Sheila Block, an economist, says the prosperity gap betweeen white and non-whites in Canada is largely the result of racial disrimination.

Block says, “It’s an issue that’s in someways is inconsistent with how we perceive our society.  But it’s there, and it’s something that we have to address and have a public discussion.”

Is this Canada’s dirty little secret?  That we have a racism problem just like Americans have one?

Should we have a public debate about racism in Canada?

Is there  racial discrimination in Canada?

What do you think?



This morning Catharine and I are leaving for an 11-day cruise in the Carribean. I  am not sure how regularly I will be able to blog but I  will do my best.

Best wishes to all  our bloggers.  Neil


  1. 1

    I think there is racism. Why do orientals seem to do better than blacks? Why do we perceive them differently…or do we?
    Of course our personal experiences play into our prejudices…I think we all have them and it runs deeper than race: Gender, age, size, language, geographics.
    Maybe we need to re-label prejudice and accept that we all have preferences.
    This comment in no way is meant to diminish the problem of wage disparity and racial profiling.
    Yes, we do need a discussion.

  2. 2
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Neil, this sounds good, have a wonderful trip.

    I watched a show last night (8th Fire on CBC)and I am appalled at the conditions in native villages. There two villages have no school and the housing looks terrible. And I am also concerned about their escaping to drugs, gas sniffing, alcoholism and other addictions.
    I think that is where we have to start. I think it is an absolute shame that the natives are treated so badly. I know that in BC there are some exceptions. I think if Canada wants to be a world leader it has to clean up its act .
    Natives need a reason to live and a hope for the future which means also that their children get an education and do not drop our of school before finishing high school. It is important because jobs depend on education. We have money for all kind of things that are not urgent or sometimes useless. We have to invest in the future of native children. That would require decent housing and schools and jobs for the parents.

  3. 3

    Well said Heidi- With our native people in crisis, I wonder why we are constantly raising money for other countries in crisis. Charity begins at home and we have fallen far short!

  4. 4


    Our Natives don’t need more money – they need a new direction. The problems in the Native community go much further than just money…

  5. 5

    We have segregation in Quebec:the language of education provisions of Bill 101
    (click on my name and see chapters 2 and 5 for documentation)。

    Determining rights based upon who your parents are and what their classification is lies at basis of the now-defunct apartheid system of South Africa and Canada‘s Indian Act。Bill 101 uses the same procedure。

  6. 6

    Of course there is discrimination in Canada! And it’s not only racial, it’s ethnic, lingual, religious, cultural, and just about any other kind you can think of.

    The trick will be to stop carping about it and actually DO something about it!

  7. 7

    Joe, I do agree with you. The government has been throwing money at the native problems for years. Maybe Canadians could do better by providing money for that direction you refer to, and being very precise.
    We are responsible for the mess but only the natives themselves can get their way out of it.
    What a terrible meeting in Ottawa this week. Harper had to be embarassed into spending more time. I seem to remember a similar event in the mid-eighties. (I was in Ottawa at the time and the conference was full of lawyers). We don’t seem to have progressed and it’s one “Davis outlet” after another!

  8. 8

    PS: Correction “Davis Inlet” above. I think I need to get out…to a factory outlet! 🙂

  9. 9

    Interesting take on the Indian situation in the U.S. according to Libertarian John Stossel.

    Does it apply to Canada as well?

  10. 10

    I agree with Lady Janus.
    For the First Nations, a good start would scrapping the Indian Act and apply the U.N. Charter for Aboriginals that Canada has signed but never respected since the Harperites took over.
    We could get rid ofg 101 also, but there would be bloodshed; do we really want that?

  11. 11
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I find the following comment of Paul’s fascinating:

    “We could get rid of 101 also, but there would be bloodshed; do we really want that?”

    I must ask him: why would there be bloodshed? And if there would be bloodshed, why would that be less preferable than living with a law such as Bill 101?

    What does Paul’s prediction of bloodshed say about what he feels about the character of the glorious Quebec nation (used in the Harper House of Commons resolution sense)?

  12. 12
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    I watched your video and found it very interesting. I agree that throwing money at the problems that the natives have is not the answer. I also hope that there must be ways that can help the natives.
    When the white man came he brought the Indians progress as in alcohol and native schools. This messed up their lives. Before, when natives lived here alone they had a very good lifestyle, good for them. They hunted and fished and gathered and were pretty much part of the earth. They respected Mother Nature.
    I agree also that the natives need to take charge themselves to progress and find a new way of living.
    I heard that many natives do not own the land on the reserves. Can the not be trusted to take care of
    They now have been so used to being poor that many have not been able to get out of it.
    I have no idea why the natives do not own the land. If they did they might be proud of the property and take good care of it.
    I really admire the live style that the natives lived and still live. We all could learn from them how to take care of the environment. I hope they find ways to adapt to a new live style that will make them feel respected and part of the country.
    I wish I had a solution to the problems but I can only see where they are coming from. To think about it and talk about it is a good start because we very often forget about natives because they live segregated and far from us.

  13. 13


    Perhaps you watched that Public Service Ad from the 1960s and believed it…you know, the one where that Indian sees garbage floating down a river and the camera pans to a tear falling down his cheek (by the way, an Italian-American played the Indian).

    The image of the native American as a responsible steward of the environment is largely a myth:

  14. 14

    I still vivdly recall the F.L.Q. of the 60s and 70s. They were a fringe group without public support, but still, they killed 4 people and caused panicked governments to suspend civil rights and make massive arrests.
    We have, today, Les Chevaliers de l’Indépendance and les Jeunes Patriotes, both groups have been involved in minor violence under the sympathetic eye of our old hardliners and the benevolent neglect of our present authorities.
    The situation now, with the Separatist down on the ropes, is a time bomb that could explode anytime given the right provocation. Scrapping 101 would do just that.

  15. 15

    Paul writes:

    “The situation now, with the Separatist down on the ropes, is a time bomb that could explode anytime given the right provocation. Scrapping 101 would do just that.”

    。。。then bring it on!

    If what Paul writes is true (and I happen to agree with him),then why continue to live like this?Why do something — keep a horrible law on the books — out of fear?

    Sweeping the problem under the carpet will not only postone having to deal with the problem at some point,it will cause the problem to fester and become BIGGER。。。a veritable recipe for disaster。

    And,besides,who wants to continue to live under the cloud of blackmail?

  16. 16

    There are always fanatics in our midst. Certainly tampering with Bill 101 would draw them out. I prefer to see “nature take it’s course”. The BLOC is dead & Gilles Duceppe’s recovery not likely once he has been investigated and likely found guilty. Pauline is “laughing on the outside, crying on the inside” and the PQ will implode. CAC is treading on thin ice-a recent new member, spouting the usual rhetoric about separation and Quebecers aren’t as gullible as they used to be. They are starting to see that it’s not Anglos who are smothering them, but the fanatics. But hey! That old “class” will be 6ft. under soon…They are all 60-70+ and their hard living is catching up. (PS: I say hard-living, because we’ve been footing the bill for their excesses for years!)
    “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
    We have recently seen the demise of several dictators. People are seeing what Quebec would become if it’s left in the hands of the fanatics.
    Quebec City swung away from the PQ when they witnessed 1st hand the Parizeau’s (the pair) drunken debacle while they were in power there & living in the mansion.

  17. 17
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    The argument that to repeal bill 101 would cause bloodshed, and therefore should not be tampered with, reminds me of the argument that the implementation of equality in the south of the USA would be met with violence. As it was. But you would struggle to find anyone who thinks it wasn’t the right thing to do.

  18. 18

    I find it offensive to compare Bill 101 with the struggle for equality in the USA.
    It’s one horse, one rabbit.

  19. 19
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Littlepatti writes:

    “I find it offensive to compare Bill 101 with the struggle for equality in the USA. It’s one horse, one rabbit.”

    But it you yourself, littlepatti, who invoked the spector of “fanatics” and “dictators” into the discussion. And, earlier, Paul suggested violence if Bill 101 is tampered with.

    It seems to me entirely appropriate, therefore, to invoke historical precedents in our discussion.

    Although it is politically incorrect to do so, recall that it was acts of terrorism in Quebec IN THE MID ’80s (not the earlier ’60s and ’70s) that DIRECTLY caused the constitutional crisis of the early ’90s and the 1995 referendum in which the “YES” side only barely won.

  20. 20

    Tony, in 1995 the “yes” side lost by a slight margin but not “barely won”. As for comparing Québec to Mississippi and the segregationist states, I would agree with Littlepatti’ outrage.
    Terrorism in Québec in the 80’s? Do you consider hanging a banner on the Mountroyal cross an act of terrorism? The 90’s crisis, was long in the making…and is not over.
    However the old nationalists are slowly dying out and are replaced by more pragmatic and down to earth younger ones. But there will, as anywhere, forever be fringe maniacs.

  21. 21

    Thanks Paul. You are always the voice of reason.
    The Yes side may have won by a small margin, but we know that in some sectors there was a 30% spoiled rate, so we know there was vote tampering.
    Never mind…the question was asked and answered twice now. Even if they lost because of “money & the Ethnic vote”. at least they were not “trapped like Lobsters”.
    The PQ adopted a resolution this weekend to lower the voting age to 16! I don’t know about you but…that’s nuts. (and desperate).
    Good news…News this morning: only 25% would give their vote to the PQ. I suggest of that 25% a much smaller % would agree to separation. YEAH!
    The “Dominion of Canada” is safe once more… 🙂

  22. 22

    Littlepatti, don’t rejoice too fast. The P.Q. is at 25% but the “Option” still polls around 40%. The “Option” is more popular than the party promoting it, but then do not forget Québec Solidaire and two or three splinter parties promoting the same “option”. Should they coalesce, and I hope they will not, the picture could be different.
    And thanks for “the voice of reason”, all may not agree.

  23. 23
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Sorry, of course I meant the “no” side. Typo.

    No, I’m not referring to banners on Mount Royal. I’m referring to the firebombing at Zeller’s and other similar acts at the time which prompted Bourassa to renege on a campaign promise to bring back bilingual signs to maintain “social peace” which led to Bill 178 which led to the death of Meech which led to the referendum. Never talked about but very real.

    And if you don’t want comparisons with historical incidents of violence don’t bring violence into the conversation.

  24. 24

    I am sitting herein the Emerald Princess which is docked at St. Thomas. Costing me 75 cents a minute to send my greetings to all you guys aand girls. Will try to check back with you when I can.

  25. 26

    The link I posted, above, provides greater detail as to what I claim is the enabling by the Quebec Government (and, by extension, the Canadian government) of terrorism and violence to set the political and constitutional agenda of this country.

    This type of thing must stop and must stop now.

    It is a sad commentary to make but violence works. It has worked in Quebec and will continue to work unless we put a stop to it.

    We don’t like to discuss it in polite company but the threat of violence has hung over us and will continue to do so. It is there and is used not only by the hard separatists (ie, the PQ) but the soft separatists (ie, the Liberal Party of Quebec) as well.

    Unless and until we, as a society say “Stop! Enough!” the sceptre of violence will continue — silently and unsaid — to hang over us. Indeed, we are reluctant to even discuss it.

    But discuss it we must.

  26. 27

    Sorry, to belabour the point, but I’m on a roll (and you know me).

    Another case in point: Gerald Godin, the late member of the PQ and a minister in successive PQ governments, once said on film:

    “Only bombs, in fact, were the ideal communication process to convince the English we were after soming important”.

    Not only was Godin never taken to task for this comment or asked to retract it but the Quebec Government saw fit to name an institution of higher learning (a CEGEP in the West Island) after him in the very neighbourhood traditionally inhabited by the very people — anglophones — to whom he justified the use of terrorism against.

    An institutionof higher learning in which impressionable young minds are molded named after a person who apologised for and justified the use of terrorism. And not only won’t we take his shameful name off of that institution, we refuse to even discuss the issue.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

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