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Ujjal Dosanjh — a truly admirable Canadian, by Rex Murphy (National Post)

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Nov. 28, 2015

…In 1985, Dosanjh was beaten savagely by an attacker wielding an iron bar. He received a broken hand and a battered head that required 80 stitches. It is generally thought that he was the target of Sikh extremists. Some years after that trauma, when he was a B.C. MLA, a burning Molotov cocktail was left on his office desk. Neither incident intimidated him….

…All of which gave much rhetorical propulsion to Dosanjh’s just rebuke of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, for her careless and presumptuous labelling of those who have criticized, or suggested modifications to, the federal government’s rushed refugee settlement process (it has since been modified in response to those criticisms) as “closet racists.” Dosanjh was just one of many who advocated for a more thorough screening than the original mid-campaign pledge allowed. Wynne’s righteousness was manifest in her observation that those who had reservations about the process — that would be about 67 per cent of Canadians — were tapping into a “racist vein.” Dosanjh shot back that he didn’t much like being called “a racist and a xenophobe.”…

…The key sentence of his rebuke — this from a man who has endured violent attacks, public abuse and threats from real racists and xenophobes — carried a heavy sting: “You (Premier Wynne) tarred a whole lot of fair, just, thoughtful and compassionate Canadians with the brush of xenophobia and racism. That is hurtful and truly un-Canadian.”…

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