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Radio Station Rapped for Anti-Sikh Insults

Contributed by Geeta Kaur Ahluwalia via the Sikh-Diaspora Yahoo! Group.

Reuters, Ottawa, Mar. 31, 2005

Photo: F.M. C.K.A.C.'s Pierre Mailloux

A Canadian radio station was formally reprimanded Wednesday after one of its presenters insulted immigrants to Canada and then said the Sikhs of northern India were 'a gang of bozos.'

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council said the item on Montreal's C.K.A.C.-F.M. was 'abusive and unduly discriminatory' and ordered the station to make a public apology.

Immigration is a sensitive issue in Canada, one of the few western countries that still accepts large numbers of immigrants each year.

In a show broadcast in December 2003, C.K.A.C.-F.M. presenter Pierre Mailloux told listeners that immigrants who came to Canada should abandon their habits and traditions.

'You cultural communities come from a wacko country. You live a wacko culture. Don't bring it with you. That's the message to convey,' he said.

Later in the show he remarked: 'I flee northern India because the Sikhs are a gang, a gang of bozos, and then I bring all that with me. No, no, you really don't get it. If you flee your country because it makes no sense, then don't bring those senseless things with you.'

The standards council said that while freedom of expression laws entitled Mailloux to express his opposition to wide-scale immigration, he had gone too far with his anti-Sikh comments.

'(We) consider that the host is entitled to espouse his chauvinistic intolerance until such time as his disrespect leaks into individual races and nationalities, as it did when he referred to the Sikhs as 'a gang of bozos,' ' it said.

The radio station said Mailloux had shown 'manifest ignorance of the immigration policies and procedures in Canada' and said it had told him to 'show more compassion and reserve concerning immigrants.'