Thursday, September 13, 2012

Racially motivated crimes and sentencing

R. v. Feltmate, 2012 NSSC 319 has useful language on racially motivated crimes and sentencing: 

[16]         Racially-motived crimes are indicative of a lack of respect.  The respect of which I speak is the essence of Canadianism.  A country where we foster diversity, we recognize diversity.  We do not ask or require that every Canadian be the same, whether you are from Newfoundland, Nunavut, British Columbia, or any place in between.  We do not require of people in this country that they forget where they came from when they arrive, no matter how far they have moved.  In fact, we are a better country when we take the best of what people have to offer and embrace it.  We don't ask them to leave their clothes behind; we do not demand of them that they leave their religion behind.  About the only thing we ask them to do is respect other people when we tell them racial intolerance in this country is not acceptable.


[17]         We do ask of Canadians—no, in fact we demand of Canadians that they respect fellow citizens in this country no matter what their ethnic or religious background is. This is because a Canadian, is a Canadian, is a Canadian  no matter what their vintage, religion or attire.  Your children, your grandchildren are not more Canadian because they have been here one or two generations more than you have.  Mr. MacIsaac's children are not more Canadian than he is because they have been here one more generation than he has.  That's not the way we do it.  That's not the test.  How many generations do you have to have in this country before you are a Canadian.

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