Weekly Bulletin – 2004, April 22

Who Will Look After The Interests Of Canadians If Our Own Governments Won't? – The Federal Auditor General Has To Look At The Equity Employment Issue All Across Canada

Dear Prime Minister Martin and Fellow MP's:

When Canada's Auditor General lit the firestorm which turned into the “Sponsorship Scandal”, she also mentioned that Canada's cultural heritage was in danger because of underfunding of Canada's National Historical Sites. You and some Canadians might think her concern is interesting, but not in need of much attention. However, you, those unconcerned Canadians and your government might change your minds if the Auditor General and the Canadian public begins to question employment policies at these sites and throughout the rest of the federal, provincial and municipal public service. Here are some points for you to consider about one of the historical sites called Fort Langley (50 km east of Vancouver) and the equity employment issue there.

(1) For your information, Fort Langley was built in 1827 as a Hudson Bay Company fur trading enterprise. It prospered as such for over 50 years.
Halfway through its life, the B.C. Gold Rush began. Anyone who understands B.C. history realizes that the Gold Rush represented the first immigration wave to arrive in B.C. Many of these people were Americans. Fearing an American takeover, Governor James Douglas declared the area a British colony which took the name British Columbia.

(2) Fort Langley has been a fascinating place to visit for many years, but some peculiar things have occurred there in the last 10 years. When Canada's federal government cut the country's entire budget, Fort Langley's guided tours were cut in half. Visitors used to visit 8 different sections of the fort and be educated by a guide at each station. After the cuts, although visitors still went to 8 stations, suddenly, only four of these stations had a guide. The guides were usually English, French or Native, but just recently, other big changes have happened there. A recent visitor says that the four guides now employed there come from four ethnic groups:
one is African, one is Filipino, one is Chinese and the other is a white Canadian. All four guides are female and two of them (the African and Filipino women) have clear accents which show that they are immigrants.

(3) Canada's multiculturalists might see the change as a mere reflection of what they call the changing cultual make-up of Canada. A number of Canadians have accepted this kind of thinking. However, this change is so dramatic that it should make many Canadians wonder what is going on at Fort Langley and at many other places. Visitors will see that all four guides are polite and knowledgeable, but they cannot help but conclude that Canada's equity employment directors must have had a strong hand in the hiring practices at the Fort Langley National Historical Site. How else could such a result have occurred?

(4) As Dr. Martin Loney has pointed out in “The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender and Preferential Hiring in Canada”, there is clearly no evidence to support the claims of the equity employment industry that there is widespread discrimination against visible minorities in Canada. In fact, as he points out, some visible minorities have had much more success than the majority population. The question he asks is, “If some visible minority groups have had so much success, then might there be factors other than discrimination that are causing lack of success in other visible minorities?” Canada's equity employment industry refuses to look at any other possibilities. In fact, it has succeeded in getting the federal government agree to having around 20% of Canada's federal civil service consist of visible minorities in the near future. This goal is to be achieved through equity employment measures.

(5) The significant thing about so-called “equity employment” is that it results in large numbers of visible minority immigrants leapfrogging over others in Canada's employment queue. The injustice is a double injustice in the sense that those doing the leap-frogging are often part of the flood of immigrants for whom the government of Canada has never provided any evidence to demonstrate it needed. Now, through equity employment measures, the federal government gives preference in hiring to people whom Canada never required. In other words, the federal government has followed one serious mistake with another equally serious one. Most Canadians believe in being generous, but most would not support calculated discrimination against long-term Canadians.

(6) To return to the issue of Fort Langley, some Canadians might say it is trivial to argue about giving jobs to the women there who have almost certainly been hired because of equity employment measures. They might say these are just two jobs in the entire Canadian public service. But the point is that the federal public service is a huge operation consisting of many, many thousands of employees. In addition, its actions are imitated by provincial and municipal civil sevices and even by the private sector, so equity employment measures (in name or otherwise) can be applied to literally tens of thousands of Canadian jobs.

Once again, Canadians have to ask a very basic question, “Who will look after us if our own governments won't?” If governments cannot muster the courage to deal with this issue, then the federal auditor general has to step in and embarrass them into dealing with it.

If a firestorm ten times bigger than the sponsorship scandal follows, then let it happen. Sanity has to prevail in Canada's immigration policies.

Best wishes,
Dan Murray
Immigration Watch Canada