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Ajit Jain in Toronto
Minorities and anti-racism groups are highly critical of a Winnipeg (Manitoba) paper that has published a cartoon showing an "uneducated" member of a visible minority getting preferential consideration for a job.
The cartoon, drawn by Danny Prudent in The Winnipeg Sun, depicts a man applying for a job, saying: "I'm uneducated. I'm illiterate. I have no experience, but I'm a visible minority."
The man is shown as being received with a smile and extended hands by Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray, saying: "Welcome aboard!"
Anti-racism groups held a news conference on Wednesday in Winnipeg and called on readers and advertisers to boycott the newspaper. They also demanded a retraction and an apology from The Winnipeg Sun.
But the newspaper's editor, Lyn Cockbun, has refused to apologise. By publishing the cartoon along with articles highly critical of preferential treatment being given to visible minorities, the newspaper has initiated a debate on the subject, she argued.
"That's what we are here for. As far as I'm concerned, it's on a level we welcome. We always want to provoke thought, it's the nature of the business," she was quoted as saying.
"The point that the critics are missing is that cartoonists by nature of their job take no prisoners. They do not recognise sacred cows."
But several people who attended the press conference in Winnipeg said many new immigrants, despite being professionally qualified, are unable to get decent jobs in Canada.
Eddie Win, who was once foreign secretary in Burma, lives in Winnipeg. Despite his PhD degree in international relations, he delivers newspapers for a living.
"I am the living example. I'm doing blue-collar work with two doctorates. This is the truth, this is reality," he said.
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