What’s Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander
This old English idiom stands for the principle that in a similar situation one should not have one set of rules for one party (usually yourself) and another set of rules for another party (usually someone else).
Amid all the excitement and distraction of the Vancouver Olympics, many Canadians are still finding time to express outrage at what is happening in Kahnawake, a Native American (Mohawk) reserve, situated just south of Montreal. The local band council has sent eviction notices to the 26 non-Mohawks living on the reserve, giving them 10 days to pack up and move off of the Indian Territory. Some Canadian commentators are referring to the manoeuvre as a form of ethnic cleansing and racism and we hear indignant declarations that there should be no place for this type of behaviour in Canada.
Until now at least, the Mohawk Council has shown no intention of changing course. According to Mike Bush, a chief and one of the band council members, “this is not a raced-based policy”. He points out that the Canadian federal and provincial governments are entitled to set immigration policy, quotas and criteria, and he said “nobody calls them racist”. According to Bush, Kahnawake is simply exercising its right to determine who can reside in the community.
Well, you know what? The Mohawks have a valid argument. Make no mistake about it, the Powers That Be in Canada determine who gets to reside in our Canadian community and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is mandated to act as gatekeeper and to ensure that there is order to the process. Of course, you’ll never hear the words “quota” and “race” uttered by anyone remotely connected to CIC. Instead, they speak euphemistically of “annual targets for the number of visas that can be issued by each immigration office”. And because CIC has been directed to strictly limit where applicants can apply from, based on their country of citizenship or residence, the end result is a Canadian immigration policy that is race-based. What’s worse, in my opinion, is that there is no transparency in how the quota are set. I mean, who decided that 21,280 (target for 2010) is the right number visas to be issued to applicants, who apply from India? Why not more? Why not less?
The fact of the matter is that the only way to remove race and quota from Canadian immigration policy is by making a single line of applicants in each immigration category and handing out visas on a first-come first-served basis to each qualified applicant. The only reason this doesn’t happen is because we as Canadians, through our elected representatives, fear for the direction of Canadian culture as we know it.
So tell me, why is our Canadian nation so worked up about the actions of the Mohawk nation?