One of the issues that Mansur says Harper is trying to avoid is immigration reform. It has not escaped the average Canadian’s notice that Omar Khadr’s parents were immigrants, as were members of the Toronto 18 terrorist group and leaders of the lawfare campaigns targeting Levant and Steyn. Stories about Toronto’s “welfare harems” and Quebec’s proposed burqa ban also have been widely reported.
Yet bizarrely, just as voters and even the media have begun openly discussing this “third rail” of Canadian politics, the Conservative Party seems determined to ignore immigration reform.
One exception did come late last year, when the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration unveiled a new guidebook for immigrants. At least in theory, all newcomers are required to read Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which advises them that “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honor killings,’ female genital mutilation, or other gender-based violence.”
However, the ministry took some heat for appearing to tone down references to gay rights in the guide, presumably to avoid offending the same constituency being warned about honor killings.