Editorial: Canadian values in customer service

by Andru McCracken, Editor


The experience of temporary foreign workers in Valemount is un-Canadian.  A couple weeks ago, someone decided to ask a local cashier for ID because she looked foreign. Turns out she’s pre-Canadian (my phrase, not hers). She played along and said she was on the run, things escalated and the person supposedly called the police to report a dangerous illegal immigrant. That’s not illegal, by any means, but it is mean and stupid.

I’m totally confident the local chapter of the Yellow Vest movement would also find this discrimination odious.

Same too with rolling up to a drive through window and asking to be served by a white person.

For me, the best way to perpetuate Canadian values, is to do the opposite of this and be kind to people in the service industry regardless of race.

There is a tiny fringe group (with a few local active participants) that says it’s time to starting culling Canadians according to what they believe. It happens to be associated with the Yellow Vest movement. If I had to guess I would say it accounts for a handful of Yellow Vesters and less than 0.1% of Canadians.

What is happening is that someone rounds up the craziest things ever said in an ancient foreign text, paste them onto a picture  and uses them as a basis for spreading fear about other Canadians as far and wide as they can. They have started with the Qur’an but they’ll probably grab the Torah next, later it could be the Bible, I don’t know.

Or they take the actions of one crazy psychopath and purport that this is indicative of everyone else who shares a certain characteristic with them.

It’s not a new thing.

For some of the actors, their stated goal is to spread fear. They want to raise people’s awareness of a looming threat in order to raise a posse that will protect Canada.

How far will these people go? Is sharing memes and typing in capital letters the end of it? There are whispers and intimations of direct action and violence.

What is great about Canada is that we try (not always successfully) to hold people accountable for their actions.

Not their beliefs.

We don’t thumb through ancient texts to vet our citizens.

We don’t report people based on skin colour.

We don’t make a whole group of people accountable for the words and actions of a few.

Canadians don’t agree on much, but a 2013 study by Statistics Canada shows that 92% of us do agree that respect for the law is a Canadian value.

The way our law works, that means judging people by their actions, not their beliefs.

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