Comments made by the Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today, when asked by about Immigration in Toronto:
QUESTION: Premier, some comments have been made in the race for mayor that the City of Toronto should close its doors to immigrants because it has enough trouble taking care of the 2.5 million people who live here. Do you think that’s a very Canadian comment?
PREMIER MCGUINTY: Well, let me just say this. There are a group of people who’ve arrived in a boat on the west coast. I think we should ask ourselves what it is that we owe these people. They’re coming here because they despair for their future and the future of their children, in their home country.
And they come here with a sense of hope, because they believe that they might find an opportunity here. I think what we owe them is to receive them with open hearts and open minds. It’s been said that there may be some people there who are dangerous to us, and that may be so. But I don’t think we should approach this with any bias, presumptions, assumptions or prejudices. I think what we owe those people is fairness.
And if there are mischief-makers or dangerous people there, we will find them out and we will deal with them appropriately. But again, I think our mindset when it comes to these kinds of things is to approach those folks in a Canadian way. Just something else that I would ask you to ask yourself and all of us to ask ourselves, is: how far back do we have to go, when we consider our parents, some of us here, our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, who were received in that Canadian way, that is, with open hearts and open minds. Something to add. We are blessed with 120,000 new Canadians every year in this province.
We are the leading receiver of new Canadians, and I am very proud to say that. And, with time and with opportunity, if you take a look at what happens to those families, with time and with opportunity, they are some of our very best students, some of our very best politicians, some of our very best professionals, some of our very best folks in the arts and sports and all the sectors. So let’s understand who we are, and we approach these things with open hearts and open minds.