TORONTO, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation today decried the use of a misleading photograph in a flyer to stoke fears of immigration and to make discussion of important issues more difficult.
The flyer, prepared by Immigration Watch and distributed in Brampton, Ontario uses an image of Sikhs taken in India at a rally for Sikh rights in that country, while implying it is representative of Brampton.
According to Rubin Friedman, Spokesperson for the Foundation, "Legitimate debates on immigration levels for Canada should be based on facts. Misrepresenting non-Canadian images to appeal to prejudices and fear of other cultures can lead to the deformation of public discourse, which can often devolve into racism and hatred.
"These scare tactics can mask key questions on the framework Canadians want to set for the integration of newcomers to this country. It unnecessarily elicits fear reactions for political purposes – dangerous and divisive measures on any matter of public interest."
Albert Lo, Chairperson of the Foundation concluded, "As our own recent Interfaith and Belonging dialogues across the country have demonstrated, there is a hunger for such a framework that clearly sets out the standards and expectations we have for all Canadians and thus for newcomers as well. Such standards and associated values can form the foundation for a Canadian identity that will continue to be based on equality and mutual respect and not on fear and suspicion."
In cooperation with the Association For Canadian Studies, the Foundation released a survey on Religious Diversity, Racism and Intergroup Relations that showed that, compared to other forms of prejudice, Canadians had the highest levels of concern about increased levels of racism in general (62%)and anti-immigrant sentiment in particular (49%). See Survey Report at http://bit.ly/R1QIU6.
SOURCE: Canadian Race Relations Foundation
For further information: Rubin Friedman, CRRF Board Member and Spokesperson 647-403-8526