The following letter from CEMA director Arnim Joop puublisher/editor of The Albertan and Mill Woods Mosaic was published in the Edmonton Journal, March 10.
Re: ” ‘God choose me to kill him’; Edmonton immigrant sent to mental hospital heard voices telling him to decapitate passenger,” The Journal, March 6.
It is good that the Edmonton Journal has told the story of Vince Li, the man who killed Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus last year. But why was it necessary to describe Li as an “Edmonton immigrant?” As an immigrant, I am offended by this.
The horrible killing committed by Li has nothing to do with him being an immigrant. Canada is a country of many immigrants, and most of them are not mentally ill.
You wouldn’t identify CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge, who was born in England, or Governor General Michaelle Jean, who was born in Haiti, as immigrants, because it’s not relevant.
Li has been found mentally ill and therefore not criminally responsible for the killing, but there is no evidence that the number of people suffering from mental illness is higher among immigrants than among Canadians.
The article says Li’s “new life in Canada was typical of the kind of experience many immigrants faced — overeducated and underemployed.” What is “overeducated?” And not all immigrants who are underemployed become mentally ill.
Arnim Joop, publisher, Mill Woods Mosaic, Edmonton
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