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By: Clement Nocos

Making big waves amongst the Canadian political pundit class is a new book by Globe and Mail political correspondent John Ibbitson and Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker titled The Big Shift:The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture, and What it Means for Our Future. The authors point to census and polling data along with the booming influx of immigrants over the past few decades as the driver of the federal Conservative Party’s recent wins. They make the case that due to these demographic trends, the Tories are set to dominate the 21st century much like the Liberal Party of the 20th century.

burbs

It is the ethnic suburbanites of Southern Ontario engineered by decades of Liberal government immigration policies that have served as the inroads to Conservative dominance, afar from the party’s Western base. Ibbitson and Bricker foresee the accelerated growth of Pacific-oriented immigrants as evidence that Conservative hegemony will likely continue for the next couple of decades. To them, immigrants apparently share the conservative, everyman values that the CPC tout as Canadian values. The immigrant class find it hard to relate to the old “Laurentian Consensus” of the Liberal Party elite and have thus strayed. There is an apparent big, rightward shift in Canadian political culture and it’s driven by newcomers.

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By: Clement Nocos

Last week, Statistics Canada released somewhat newsworthy data regarding the languages spoken today across Canada’s multicultural mosaic and surprising the commentators was the rise in Tagalog, spoken as the mother tongue by over 384 000 Filipino-Canadians; an increase of 64% since 2006. This newcomer community has grown to be huge in Canada, surpassing China and India as the largest source of migrants in the past few years, though it remains “under-the-radar” of Canadian society.

This release was somewhat conveniently timed. That same week I got in the mail Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibilty (2012, University of Toronto Press); released just last month, this book is a collection of articles on the place of the Filipino community in Canada that highlights their ‘invisibility’:

Missing in Canadian historical and educational discourse are the Filipina/os whose labour as caregivers has become the solution to problems of family health, safety, and well-being, and has become a major support for work and life balance. Through their labour in Canadian homes, they enable the development of professional careers and the accumulation of capital in upper- and middle-class families. Yet the significant role that Filipina/os play in Canada’s welfare and prosperity remains absent in mainstream narrations. (Filipinos in Canada, 284).

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