Every day MIREMS consultants are reading, watching and listening to Canada's multilingual and multicultural media. We bring you the day's must-read story.
Justin Trudeau was in Markham last week to participate in the opening of the Aaniin Community Centre & Library, named after the Ojibwe word for "welcome." Markham is one of Canada's most diverse cities, where as many residents speak Cantonese or Mandarin as a mother tongue as speak English.
Coverage of the day and Trudeau's visit was minimal in both mainstream and ethnic media, apart from many Chinese sources reporting on Mayor Frank Scarpitti's remarks regarding asylum seekers.
Markham mayor: let us help accept refugees - Chinese
Chinese online source yorkbbs reports:
"Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti posted on social media saying that he looks forward to discussing Markham and York Region priorities with the Prime Minister, including the city's offer to help provide shelter for asylum seekers. The author said that the so-called asylum seekers are refugee claimants who entered the country by crossing the border illegally. Scarpitti posted on Twitter saying the Aaniin means "hello", "welcome", everyone is welcome here in Markham. The author wanted to ask this mayor whether he had consulted with Markham residents on this decision. As of the end of June, more than 3,000 refugee claimants had entered Toronto, of which 85% were from Nigeria. Since the shelters were already overcrowded, some of them were placed temporarily in student dorms, including Centennial College and Humber College. However, the issue has yet to be resolved. Last week, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec were angry at Immigration Minister Hussen over refugee issues. Due to the influx of refugees, Canadian provinces have already spent a lot of money and social resources, but still can't solve the problem."
Markham mayor tells Trudeau: Let us help accept refugees! - Chinese
Si Yi wrote a commentary for 51.ca about Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's tweets about helping with asylum seekers.
There are many comments on this article. One of the comments states that most people choose to be politically correct when they don't need to pay out of pocket, and when their lives are not affected. This comment received 17 thumbs-up. Another comment states that the Toronto Sun proposed to house refugees in the community centres in constituencies where the Liberal MPs are—these are the MPs who fully supported Trudeau's policy of opening the border to accept refugees.
The issue of asylum seekers strikes a complicated chord among immigrant communities, whom often are empathetic toward the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, but whom also support—and navigated their own way though—strict, legitimate and often expensive immigration channels. This delicate balance plays out in the nuance that exists in Canada’s multilingual news sources expressing opinion in their mother tongue.