We, the Others: Allophones, Immigrants, and Belonging in Canada

Ungrateful, opportunistic, moochers, dangerous, incompatible with our values and our way of life…

Being an immigrant in Canada is not the same as one in the United States. Especially if you live in Quebec where language plays a significant role in your acceptance in French society. We, the Others by Toula Drimonis a Montreal-based writer/columnist examines the plight of immigrants in Canada. This is one book you should be reading if you feel you got lost in the shuffle as an immigrant.

We, the Others explore xenophobia, ethnonationalism, and the fear of the other that is at the root of the belief that immigration is a polluting force.

Gleaned from the author’s personal family history as the second-generation daughter of Greek immigrants, and from her research as a journalist and columnist covering identity politics and social issues in Quebec, it is a poignant look at inter-generational struggles, conflicting loyalties and heartfelt questions of belonging.

A poignant look at intergenerational struggles, conflicting loyalties and heartfelt questions of belonging.

Ungrateful, opportunistic, moochers, dangerous, incompatible with our values and our way of life…Every immigrant demographic has heard these descriptors at some point in their migration history. We, the Others take a contemporary look at the xenophobia, ethnonationalism, and fear of the other that leads to discrimination and the belief that immigration is a polluting force.

Rooted in the author’s personal family history as the second-generation daughter of Greek immigrants, and from her research as a journalist and columnist covering identity politics and social issues in Quebec and Canada for the past 20 years, Drimonis courageously tackles this country’s history and practices, divisive legislation like Bill 21, and various nationalist movements that have influenced policy. We, the Others is a poignant look at intergenerational struggles, conflicting loyalties and heartfelt questions of belonging.

We, the Others make a strong case in favour of immigration and tell us how newcomers make us richer in every way. Thanks to immigrants, we discover new ideas, languages, foods, and cultures without going much further than the local dépanneur. As Drimonis notes, every new wave changes us imperceptibly until, over time, the others are now simply us, and we are all the better for it.-Michael Fukushima. Canadian filmmaker, NFB film producer.

Toula Drimonis is a Montreal-based opinion columnist, writer and news producer. A former news director for TC Media, she has reported and written on politics, social justice, and women’s issues for national and international publications. She has worked in television, radio, and print in all three of her languages, and has appeared on TV as both panelist and contributor to English and French-language current affairs and cultural news shows.