Thursday, April 28, 2005

You've got the wrong man, lady

The National Post has a nicely detailed expansion on precisely why former premier Bob Rae is an inappropriate choice to be holding any kind of investigation into the Air India bombing: On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan appointed Bob Rae as the man who will advise the Canadian government on the merits of a public inquiry into the 1985 Air India bombing. The former Ontario premier is the wrong man for the job: Like many Canadian leaders, Mr. Rae has consistently looked the other way when confronted with violence and militancy within our minority communities. The roots of the Air India tragedy lie in our nation's willingness to provide refuge to Sikh militants who sought to pursue their campaign for Punjab independence from Canadian soil. Sikh moderates tried in vain to warn the government that many of those being admitted in the years prior to the bombing were dangerous. Ironically, it was precisely the newcomers' claim of membership in the extremist Sikh organization Babbar Khalsa that was offered as the pretext for granting asylum. [...] If Canadian leaders are to explain what went wrong to the relatives of those killed in the Air India tragedy, they will have to acknowledge that the source of the tragedy lies in muddled multicultural and immigration policies. But there is little evidence any of them will face up to this fact. Indeed, even now, there is a rising tide of gun violence in Toronto's growing Jamaican community, something no one dares speak of for fear of being branded insensitive. This, too, bears Mr. Rae's imprint. While premier, he responded to the problem of black-on-black violence by defining the problem as one of discriminatory law enforcement, setting up the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System. As the name suggests, the commission had the advantage of reaching a conclusion before it even started its investigation. Why do I increasingly have the feeling that Rae is going to similarly come to some conclusion here along the lines of "We deserved it, for not being more accommodating?"


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