Rathika Sitsabaiesan

If you want to be a MP, shouldn’t you at least know (to the nearest 5 million) how many Canadians there are in Canada?


Quick:  How many Canadians live in Canada?

Come on.

Give me your best guess… We’re a big country… 20 million?  25 million?  30 million?  If you said 33 million people according to the last census, you would be correct!

If you guessed “almost 9 million people”, well not only would you be WAY off base, but you would also be Scarborough NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan.  At a conference on “Human Rights Abuses in Sri Lanka” last Wednesday, Rathika, while speaking about her struggles as a young Tamil child in Sri Lanka, uttered the following comment about the number of Tamils in Canada, and the number of Canadians in Canada; 

English: Rathika Sitsabaiesan, NDP MP for Scar...

 “Tamils united, in Canada we’re about 300,000 strong, But Canadians united in Canada we’re a huge force to be reckoned with. We’re almost 9 million if I remember the number correctly. That’s 9 million Canadians strong. Standing together to fight for human rights.”

Screeeeeeech….

She was then interrupted by an audience member who pointed out the number was actually 33 million at which point she tried to hide her error by making the following comment;

“You know what I was thinking of.  I was thinking of the people that came out and voted in the past election.”

… Oh boy…

14.8 million people voted in the last election.

Granted after watching the YouTube video I could tell she was guessing at the numbers of Canadians when she paused trying to collect her thoughts and then referred to the vast number of Canadians before throwing out a number hoping to be close.  She wasn’t close.

More than 9 million Canadians live in Toronto and Montreal.

So while I appreciate that not every Canadian knows the number of Canadians - my guess was just under 30 million, this shows what happens when voter sentiment determines a change needs to be made and does so by electing a party to opposition status (thank goodness not to be the ruling government) who are not prepared to be in that position.  Dare I add that if this was a conservative, the left-wing media would be all over them and asking for them to apologize to Canadians.

But some good has come from this fiasco.  We all know there are 33 million Canadians living in Canada and it’s projected to be 34.7 million by the next census.  As well, some news outlets pointed out that because she’s such a pretty young lady, this non-issue will help her grow in her political career.  Hey!  Nothing surprises me in Canadian politics anymore.   

So since the Liberals were obliterated from power in that election that had only “9 million” voters, maybe they can start working on a training package for all rookie MP’s to help them with some of life’s greatest mysteries.  Population of Canada is today’s issue, the next issue might be the number of provinces in the country, or possibly Canada’s location in North America… or worse, the number of Canadian hockey teams.  (There are 7 now that Winnipeg is back in the league).

Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.

Here is a link to an article by Yahoo Canada with the YouTube video so you can see it for yourself.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/ndp-mp-rathika-sitsabaiesan-population-math-may-fine-213352701.html