Tolerance is very important in a multicultural society such as ours in Montreal or in North America in general. New immigrants (or older immigrants even the whites who came few centuries earlier) enter this society and have been surprised by the difficulty to integrate in this highly mosaic culture that is so unique and different from any other human culture on earth. This task alone is stressful and leaves immigrants feeling homesick and lost in this foreign panoramic puzzle. I envy the aboriginals for their patience with all those waves of new comers since the 16th century.
However, the society in general is still tolerant and favor multiculturalism. In that, people do still accept the cultural differences and welcome their integration instead of opposing them. For example, some visible minorities dress differently than the average Montrealer. A tolerant view would help a person to accept these differences and even motivate her/him to learn more about this new other culture. On the other hand, an intolerant view would come from a person who gawked at the differences in clothing, even poking fun or performing an equally humiliating gesture toward the immigrant, new comer, aboriginal person or even another (so called) "de souche".
By accepting the differences of others, our country thrive and prosper. Canadians punished Harper's game with the Niqab. It truly reflects the entrenched values of Canadians who accept each other and are willing to work together to save the country. The Niqab dillema will not solve an economical crisis. It can hide the impact of bad politics and can advance hatred.
There is a common cliché that says "variety is the spice of life". We have a spicy city (too spicy in some corners where the Curry did already overcome the smell of Poutine). We are living at the end of the boomers era. All the respect for those who have built this society and brought it to the current level that we enjoy.
We are different but have all the same common goal. Live, enjoy and let others live.