The Mayoral election for Markham may be a total waste of taxpayers' money as it is now almost certain that the incumbent (Frank Scarpitti) will contest the York Regional Chair in November – an election open to only 20 members of the York Region Council. If Frank is successful, it will trigger two, or even three by-elections to replace Markham's Mayor and Council members. For the previous article in this series, click here : http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/665024.
A demonstration between those opposed to "illegal border-crossers" and those who support refugees and migrants took place at the Markham Civic Centre turned violent last Saturday. A fight broke out before police arrived on the scene. After some speeches, the crowd dispersed and no arrests were made.
A group made up almost entirely of Mainland Chinese-Canadian citizens, appeared to be voicing their displeasure after they say they heard that Mayor Frank Scarpitti supports having Markham co-ordinate with the York Catholic District School Board to host as many as up to 5,000 refugees or migrants at unused buildings in Markham.
The Mayor did admit to having discussions with Toronto Mayor John Tory during an “urgent call” earlier this month with other large city mayors about the temporary housing shortage issue in the City of Toronto due to the increase in asylum seekers. And he said in the statement that “Tory requested that municipalities identify any sites or facilities that could be repurposed as temporary housing, as well as connections to employers for job opportunities. Mayors from across the province offered their support including examining existing capacity within their shelter systems, potential temporary housing sites and facilitating opportunities for seasonal and full-time employment.“
This effort to spin and control the damage did not work as it was subsequently revealed that the Mayor tweeted the following prior to his meeting with the Prime Minister earlier:
“Looking forward to discussing Markham and York Region priorities with Prime Minister Trudeau including our city's offer to help with providing shelter for asylum seekers”.
The tweet clearly inferred that help was “offered” without solicitation. It was then deleted by the Mayor in the hopes that no one managed to capture it on screen. Unfortunately for the Mayor, the genie was out of the bottle.
A candidate running for mayor (Shan Hua Lu) along with ward#2 candidate Charles Jiang presented a 1,500-name petition to Markham deputy mayor Jack Heath the morning of Aug. 1 calling on Markham not to accept any "irregular border crossers" into the city. Frank Scarpitti was clearly worry about this as he went on to criticize the instigators for spreading misinformation in an effort to whip up the community and to get the community to take a particular stand.
Frank also ridiculed the two candidates as having misspelled the City's name of “Markham” on their presented petition. Little did he realize his own staff member also misspelled someone's name on a media release the same day. As the saying goes, “mistakes happen and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.”
I can understand the feelings of the demonstrators. They feel that they have "paid" their way and "time" to wait for approval to come to Canada to enjoy its benefits of social welfare and security. It is therefore improper for "illegal border crossers" (majority of those flew into New York by snakeheads) to jump the queue ahead of others and enjoy a minimum of two years of accommodation, food, and health care awaiting the asylum/refugee claiming process which can be further extended by appeals. These expenses, regardless of who (Toronto or Markham) is paying, ultimately come off the tax dollars. Last year, majority of the illegal border-crossers were originating from South America and the Caribbean. This year, it is primarily Nigerians from Africa.
For the first time in memory since the arena fiasco a few years ago, Frank Scarpitti's name was identified in a demonstration. His ability to capture voters from Mainland Chinese Canadians is diminished.
York Region has a 24% component of Chinese-Canadians and Markham's component is 45%. His mandarin rendition of “The moon represents my heart” may therefore not be as effective as before. While he will probably still be elected on the strength of “Hong Kong Chinese not of mainland origins” with his Cantonese version of “Shanghai Beach”, his vote totals will not be at the level of what he received during the last election.
We will further examine the other wards in Markham and their candidates next time.
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