Editor’s note: This blog post has been updated to clarify the legality of migrant border crossings into Canada and to more accurately represent the non-binding federal motion known as M-103.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had serious conversations with colleagues about whether the federal government is going to allow me to continue using the term “illegal migrants” in reference to the influx of people at Roxboro Road. I’m not kidding.
That’s because the new United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which Canada is expected to sign in Marrakech, Morocco on Dec. 10-11 — has a section about media re-education in how we talk about all migrants, including those who break the rules to come to our country.
Objective 17 of the pact commits the government to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets, including internet-based information, including by sensitizing and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology, investing in ethical reporting standards and advertising and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants, in full respect for the freedom of the media.”
I love the way they throw that last part in — “in full respect for the freedom of the media” — as if the entire paragraph preceding it didn’t just negate the notion of press freedom.