In Lehman’s Terms

Barrie's Mayor discusses diversity in a Facebook post Friday

An passionate rant from Barrie’s Mayor when it comes to hate.

Jeff Lehman, in a Facebook post Friday, made his feelings known in light of what’s happening south of the border.

“Canada does not belong to any one racial, national, or ethnic group”

Lehman wanted to reaffirm the commitment to fighting hate, and being a welcoming city, province, and a country.

Canada does not belong to any one racial, national, or ethnic group. It infuriates me when I see comments saying ‘go back where you came from, this is our homeland’.

Unless you are Indigenous, at some point your own ancestors were immigrants. It doesn’t matter if your family has been here 5 years, 50 years, or 500 years, you are the descendant of immigrants or you are an immigrant yourself – again unless you are Indigenous, in which case your ancestors were here long before anyone else (and today, subject to some of the worst racism in the country).

Betcha many of those saying ‘go back where you came from’ had somebody say that to their parents, or grandparents, or someone in their family, at some point in the past.

Excerpt From Mayor Jeff Lehman’s Facebook Post

The Mayor also called out political parties that practice what he called “wedge politics”

That’s the politics of fear; it’s based on crass political calculations, its lazy, and it ultimately does nothing but erode the foundations of a civil society.

If we wish to preserve the idea of Canada, and build communities on the basis of Canadian values, we have to stay committed to being a welcoming community that rejects racism in all its forms.

Unity and prosperity begins with empathy and with courage – the courage to defend Canadian values of openness and diversity.

Excerpt from Mayor Jeff Lehman’s Facebook Post

Lehman points to Barrie, which is rapidly becoming more diverse.