Monday, 20 August 2012

Who belongs on the $100 bill

The Royal Canadian Mint has buckled into pressure from some very concerned Canadian citizens that the new $100 bill has a lady on the back of it who has some distinctly "Asian" features. My guess is that these concerned citizens think that only "Canadian" citizens should be allowed on "our" bills. Before I get into who should or should not be considered Canadian, let me ask this.

Why is this such a big issue? Do you really spend so much time examining $100 bills that you can pick out each and every little nuance of shading? Do you have one framed in your house, showing everyone just what a Canadian looks like? I don't know about you, but it has been a long time since I had a $100 in my wallet. I know it is a brown colour, there is a clear band on the right side of it and it has $100 written all over it. When I get one, I usually have something that I need to exchange it for. I don't have so many of them that I spend hours and hours looking at one to see if something is not Canadian.

Now, for the real reason of this post - Who is a Canadian? Someone who was born here, whose family has lived here for x generations? For those who have forgotten, unless you are a North American Indian, at some point in history, your family were immigrants. Caucasian  people have only been on this part of the earth for about 500 years. Where is the cut off line of when you are considered a Canadian?

Here on the west coast of Canada, the two largest non caucasian communities are Chinese and East Indian with a growing Arabic community. I enjoy seeing the all of the different worlds come together. There is something to be said for good old steak and potatoes but damn, a good humus is hard to beat. We all have so much to share with each other, it is a shame not to welcome others into your backyard.

The problems arises when people coming here bring their garbage here with them. "Honor" killings that are still happening in our Indian community. Some of the Arabic groups who are still teaching their children hatred towards the infidel. How many people have wandered into china town and felt like they were not welcome to be there. So many people coming here, insisting that Canada change to suit them. Canada can't change to fit everyone, everyone needs to fit to what is already here. Have your culture, have your language, have your customs but leave the hate, violence and xenophobia behind.


  1. Just a small note, every human being on the North American continent is an "immigrant". So when you say "unless you are a North American Indian, at some point in history, your family were immigrants" it is not true. There were two distinct waves of immigration to North America prior to 1000 CE (arrival of the vikings) which resulted in the establishment of the "First Nations". A member of the Haida nation is no less the descendant of immigrants to British Columbia than I am.

  2. Oh sure Ted, bring the original immigrants into the discussion