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Intolerance in Canada?


I am an immigrant who lived in Canada for 2/3 of my young life. I give Canada 89% for being a country of tolerance. I can only recall three cases of racial discrimination/comments against me and all of them were from individuals. That is one incident per every ten years. Opinions might differ but for me it doesn’t get any better than that.

So you can imagine my shock when I heard about the Minassian incident in North York. A van plowing down pedestrians, mainly women, and killing 10 while injuring 14 or more. This doesn’t happen in Canada does it?

The fact is, no country is totally immune to acts of violence. Canada is so tolerant we even tolerate people who are intolerant, in this case a deranged person who seems to be hateful toward women.

Facts are still unfolding, but whatever his story is, he has committed multiple murders in a country that accepted him for who he is. Ten innocent lives were cut short because of his actions. Fourteen other lives are badly affected. A sad day for Canada and the world.

The alleged van killer is an immigrant. Should Canada tighten its borders and install background checks at van rental places? Should Canada install concrete pillars at every cross walks? Should Canada hire snipers with high power rifles who can put a bullet in the engine block from half a mile away?


All good questions. All feasible solutions. But for the best solution I ask myself: “What would Dalai Lama do?”

“Where there is fear, frustration will come. Frustration leads to anger.” Wise words from his holiness. I believe his holiness will say we cannot fight violence with more insensibility. Yes the killer is from another country, but so are many of his victims, so are the parents of the police officer who apprehended him. Stopping people from coming to this country clearly will not solve the problem

Hardware installations and tighter controls of machineries might work temporarily but absolutely nothing can stop a very determined individual who does not value life, his own and others’. Dalai Lama would probably preach about human compassion. How it is lacking in today’s society.

These are hard words for the families and friends of the victims to hear at their time of grief. But in the long run we have to admit (albeit somewhat grudgingly) his holiness is right as always. We need to spread the miracle of life throughout the universe. We need to educate everyone on they are not alone. We need to share the fact that we are all one. If the sense of wellbeing can penetrate the lone killer before tragedy happens then maybe we can all share full and happy lives, together! Would-be-killers and would-be-victims living in harmony. The Lion and lamb lie together in peace?


Another great man, Gandhi was assassinated by another deranged man. Gandhi’s last words were words of compassion. How is that possible? Great men see themselves not as individuals but as part of a whole. The pains of the world is their pain and their concerns are concerns of the world. Our lives are times given so we can reconnect better with the universe.

The North York incident is a pain we all have to carry with us for the rest of our lives. Canada is a country we choose to live in. How can we still live here after what happened? Simple, by continue to love and share. By making an immigrant like myself feel like I BELONG HERE! By not excluding anyone. By spreading the joy of being ALIVE. By living WITHOUT fear!

R.I.P. to those who passed on in North York incident. Well wishes to those who are still suffering. May the light find us again soon, my brothers and sisters.


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