Joe Daniel, Conservative MP for the Toronto riding of Don Valley East, has today caused something of a stir. As reported by the Toronto Star's Tim Harper, in talking to his constituents Daniel ended up talking about Eurabia. Yay.
On the same weekend Conservatives expedited a refugee processing system in a nod to what they called “Canadian generosity,” one of their candidates seeking re-election was telling voters about an “agenda” to move Muslims into European countries.
And that is something Joe Daniel doesn’t want to see in Canada.
In a video obtained by the Star, Daniel offered this warning to voters in Don Valley North: “So I think there is a different agenda going on in terms of these refugees.
“Whereas at the same time Saudi Arabia is putting up money for 200 mosques in Germany I think the agenda is to move as many Muslims into some of these European countries to change these countries in a major way.
“That is something that I certainly don’t want to see happening in Canada. I think Canada is the greatest country in the world.”
A later CBC report quotes his manager as saying these reports are taken out of context.
Daniel's comments were circulated online days after the Conservatives announced an expedited process to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by September 2016, in an effort to move past criticism the government wasn't doing enough to help ease the crisis.
In a phone interview with CBC News, campaign manager Didar Khokhar said it was ultimately up to Daniel to explain his comments, but immediately went on to say they were "taken out of context."
"He was touching upon the controversy that has seized Europe," Khokhar said Wednesday afternoon.
Khokhar said Daniel gave a brief speech during a barbecue with some 30 people in attendance, where he touted the government's record on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
"He made the comments in passing," Khokhar said.
Both news agencies feature the video in question. The CBC"s version is below.
Readers should make their own judgement.
I rather dislike the introduction of unfounded Eurabian conspiracy theories into the Canadian elections. That such potentially dangerous falsehoods are apparently being passed off casually by candidates at meet-and-greets is appalling. I will note that Daniel at least apparently chooses not to own up to this. I'll also note that Daniel himself is of immigrant background, both to parents of Malayali background in Tanzania, product of the Conservative Party's effective outreach to "new" immigrant communities. Might, I say only partly jokingly, the propagation of nativist and xenophobic myths by these people at least show that integration is working in some skewed way?
More, about Syrians and Canada's elections, later this week.