is m.p. lizon a bigot or just plain ignorant? you make the call

A few weeks ago, I learned that my new Conservative MP, Wladyslaw Lizon, brought to the attention of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney the shock and horror of a woman wearing a veil during a citizenship ceremony.

Mr. Kenney, equally horrified (and similarly Islamophobic), issued a directive that forces women to choose between their personal comfort and becoming Canadian citizens. (My response is here; scroll down.)

Now the Member of Parliament for Mississauga-East Cooksville again displays how much he understands and respects the people in his culturally diverse riding. He sent out a survey asking, among other things, about the languages spoken in constituents' households. Choices included English, Polish, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Greek - and Indian. Indian? What language would that be?

This letter to the Mississauga News pinpoints the problem.
I’m keenly interested to know who in Mississauga East-Cooksville MP Wladyslaw Lizon’s office is responsible for the questionnaire regarding which primary language is used within a household.

I’m puzzled, confused, bewildered and seriously concerned about some major mistakes.

The questionnaire asks if people in some households speak Indian as their primary language? What does that mean?

India is a country, a recognized geographical state with 18 official languages. Hindu, Punjabi, Gujarati and Urdu represent the most commonly spoken languages among city residents who came from India.

Perhaps this question was not directed to people from India at all, but rather, referred to Native Indians? Here again, the most common languages spoken among members of this community would be Cree, Ojibwe, Cherokee or Tsalagi, which is an Iroquoian language.

Maybe Lizon’s office was referring to languages spoken by people of the West Indies?

Citizens expect and deserve greater respect and more knowledgeable representatives in government.

Oleh Michael Romaniuk, Mississauga
Mr Romaniuk: good job! Mr Lizon: you don't deserve to represent this beautiful riding. And by the way, I'm still waiting for a response to my last letter.


laura k said...

Article in South Asian Focus on both issues.

laura k said...

The article also refers to "an incident in 2004 when Stephen Harper sent a letter wishing a happy India Republic Day to the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres — an aboriginal organization."

allan said...

is m.p. lizon a bigot or just plain ignorant?


Kev said...

Hi, Don't hold your breath waiting for a reply to your letter the cons don't do that.I and many others have written to their con MPs on several occasions all without reply.

Yesterday on Twitter I asked Tony Clement If any of the G8 projects he "recommended" failed to be approved. His reply was to block me just as he has done to many others. The conservatives have no interest in governing nor representing their constituents.

laura k said...

Hi Kev, I'm not known to hold my breath for Conservatives.

To be fair, my Liberal MP was no better. The only time I heard from her was during an election campaign (2008), when we complained about Liberal volunteers putting a lawn sign in front of our house without asking. We complained and she personally called to apologize. But letters about her votes? No reply.

Kev said...

That's fair my previous MP a liberal never replied either Of course being leader he was busy but his staff could have responded Then again I was asking about the Afghan detainee docs and I can see why a liberal wouldn't want to touch that file.

laura k said...

Heh, Ignatieff's office never replied to anything, did they. I don't expect anything from Lizon but he is sure going to hear from me. Maybe in the form of a petition.

Kev said...

Whether they reply or not tis always worth the effort to let them know your views

laura k said...

Agree 100%. I would like to be a thorn in this guy's side.

impudent strumpet said...

There are two more weird things in here, which no one has really paid attention to because the "Indian" thing is even weirder.

1. The list of languages doesn't include French. I'm certainly not under the impression there's a very large Francophone population in Mississauga, but it's rather unnecessarily marginalizing not to include it.

2. Check out The Globe and Mail's scan of the survey. I wonder what kinds of things they expect people to put for "Other" in question #2.

laura k said...

"Other" doesn't strike me as strange, but the omission of French is messed up!

I wonder why we haven't received this survey. Hmm.

John F said...

I found the first draft of the survey in the trash! It reads:

"What is the primary language spoken in your household? __White __Other"

laura k said...

I found the first draft of the survey in the trash!

Hee hee. Too right.