Next Monday, November 27, Canadians will vote in a federal election. Judging by the latest poll, the Liberals led by Jean Chretien are headed for their third straight majority government. (http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
The Liberals have promised if re-elected to raise Canada`s current rate of immigration from 250,000 a year to 300,000 or one per cent of the population. This would be the equivalent of the United States accepting 2.7 million legal immigrants a year, instead of 8-900,000. As in the United States, most immigrants come from outside Europe. (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/971104/d971104.htm) Immigration is having a profound effect on life in Canada, which can be seen at a glance by walking down the streets of Toronto, Vancouver or any number of other urban centers. Almost half of all immigrants end up in the Toronto area (http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/ourcity/profile02.htm#1) with the result that the city itself, not that long ago overwhelmingly white, will sometime this year have a non-white majority.
Not one of the four, count`em four, opposition parties questions Canada`s immigration policy. On the contrary, the Liberals` main opponent, the Canadian Alliance, bends over backwards to emphasize its full support for mass immigration. Speaking in the platitudes beloved of politicians everywhere, Alliance leader Stockwell Day says: "We recognize that Canada is a land that was built by immigrants in the past and in need of new immigrants to secure our future. Immigration is a positive source of economic growth, cultural diversity, and social renewal." (This quote comes from an email sent to me from Day`s office. As far as I can tell the Alliance web site makes no mention of immigration.)
Some Alliance MPs would even outdo the Liberals. Earlier this year, Rahim Jaffer, described as "a rising political star" told the online publication Pundit Magazine that Canada should have no immigration limits at all: "Even if a million people apply and are suitable immigrants for what we`d like under the current system, let them in". http://www.punditmag.com/articles/jaffer.html
Significantly, the Alliance`s immigration me-tooism hasn`t stopped the Liberals from trying to portray the party as a "far right" movement one step away from fascism. In October, Prime Minister Chretien gave a speech to a gathering of liberal parties in which he said "We have to keep working on that because we never know when there will not be a force that will come and appeal to the dark side that exists in human beings." (http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
story.html?f=/stories/20001030/445644.html) Although Chretien denied it, this was taken to be a reference to the Alliance. Whatever Chretien may have meant, there is no ambiguity in recent statements made by Liberal immigration minister Elinor Caplan to a largely Jewish audience in her Toronto riding. According to Caplan, the Alliance is full of "Holocaust deniers, prominent bigots and racists." http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
But immigration keeps bubbling to the surface. Recently, for example, Betty Granger, an Alliance candidate from Winnipeg, resigned after she referred to an "Asian invasion" in remarks to university students. The CA leadership denied pressuring Granger; she says it did, although she received supportive telephone calls from across Canada. (http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
story.html?f=/stories/20001121/377613.html) Even the supposedly-conservative National Post newspaper denounced Granger in an editorial as "unfit for politics at the national level." (http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
story.html?f=/stories/20001121/377389.html) A little earlier, Eric Lowther, an Alliance MP, caused a stir when he suggested Canadians might want to have a referendum on immigration. His opponent, Conservative leader Joe Clark, denounced the idea, (http://www.nationalpost.com/search/
story.html?f=/stories/20001114/369128.html) as did immigration minister Caplan who said the proposal was "racist."
Got that? Voting on immigration is "racist." And you thought voting was democratic!
It takes real work to suppress the immigration issue. In Toronto, there have been controversies over mosques and Chinese shopping malls. A few years ago a large influx of Czech gypsies claiming refugee status caused a huge uproar as did the more recent arrival of illegal Chinese "boat people." Vancouverites complain about "monster homes" built by Asian immigrants as well as about English-language newspapers publishing Chinese-only ads. Even BC environmentalists murmur about the reluctance of new arrivals to join their organizations.
The elites may be enthusiastic about immigration. They know most Canadians are not.
November 23, 2000