Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Case of Neelam Vir

This is the text of my Letter to the Editor of the Toronto Star

Your coverage of the charges regarding Neelam Vir and the allegations that she threatened a member of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s staff is at a minimum very interesting. I have followed the Star’s editorials on this issue and I am left with the feeling there is something not known and not reported.

As the matter is before the courts I respectfully will not make more of this issue than is known to this point. Regardless, some facts are interesting to point out. Why is the well-educated Neelam Vir not employed in the field of her education? Why would anyone send a reported 200 emails to a Premier in a six-month period? Is it possible that foreign trained professionals are not being treated fairly in Canada? I very much doubt that is the case. Canada has been a land of opportunity for immigrants since confederation. That is who we are.

I was interested in the Star’s staff reporter, Prithi Yelaja’s comments in her editorial dated February 26, 2008. She said, “Vir’s tale starts with the typical immigrant story of struggle and a quest for belonging.” That statement by Prithi Yelaja does nothing to contribute to solutions for immigrants and only makes resident Canadians wonder if something is wrong with the current situation regarding new immigrants to this great land of opportunity.

Finally, I trust that calm minds will prevail regarding this issue. It needs to be settled without needlessly aggravating those who are otherwise reasonably comfortable as they are. My grandparents came to this country about a hundred years ago from England. They too were immigrants by the last name Birkbeck. The Birkbeck families have done very well here in Canada and I wish the same for all immigrants.

Canada is a great country, but it isn’t perfect. As for Neelam Vir, I can only hope that we can all learn from her particular situation.