The city of Gatineau is bowing to public pressure and repealing a controversial immigrant guide that told newcomers not to cook smelly foods or to abuse children.
The “statement of values” was introduced last November in an attempt to help immigrants learn some “essential” Canadian and Quebec values. However, public outrage grew in response to some of the pointers, including the note that honour killings are not advised.
The guide, partially funded by the government of Quebec, warns of violence not being tolerated, particularly with regards to “preserving honour.” It also includes sections on how to treat children and tips on hygiene and cooking smells. It adds that some behaviors may result in isolation.
Many members of the Gatineau community, both immigrants and Canadian-born, have expressed shock and dismay upon the introduction of the guide, citing its condescending tone and content, as well as its perpetuation of immigrant stereotypes.
“The guide is so offensive, condescending and disrespectful of immigrants, that I’m not going to say thank you (that it’s been taken down),” says Moroccan immigrant Kamal Maghri, who has lived in Gatineau for over a decade.
Maghri filed a complaint about the guide to Quebec’s Human Rights Commission, which has seen similar complaints filed in other communities recently.
Source: Toronto Star