Prime Minister Martin’s recent comments about Canada’s new Governor General, Michaelle Jean, clearly show that he was using the appointment to promote Canada’s current high immigration policies and to re-write Canadian history, says Immigration Watch Canada.
Ms. Jean, a journalist, had come to Quebec from Haiti 37 years ago at age 11 with her parents. Prime Minister Martin, reading a prepared speech, earnestly declared that Ms. Jean had fled the brutal regime of Papa Doc Duvalier. Canadians were left to marvel that an 11-year old had developed such a sophisticated political consciousness.
Prime Minister Martin added that Ms. Jean represented “the story of Canada”. Mr. Martin did not provide details, but Canadians were left to assume that most, if not all of us, were refugees and had fled some form of persecution. The truth is that a very tiny number are genuine refugees. A much larger number have duped some people into thinking they are. But the vast majority of Canadians were born here.
In fact, if Mr. Martin’s speechwriters had checked the facts (particulary research done for the federal government by The Economic Council of Canada around 1990) they might have discovered something very different from what they wrote for Mr. Martin. The major factor in Canada’s population growth in every decade since Confederation has been internal growth, not immigration. This is the true story of most of Canada’s population growth.
This will be quite threatening to Mr. Martin and Canada’s immigration industry who in their “Apostles’ Creed for Canada” (developed especially for their believers) have portrayed Canadians as one of the planet’s larger groups of displaced persons. As critics have pointed out, these people have reduced Canadian history to a series of ethnic grievances.
This portrait is one of the many misconceptions they sell. The major misconceptions the immigration industry and a number of urban MP’s have propagated are the following:
(1) Current immigration is much like past immigration and current immigration levels are similar to past immigration levels.
(2) Immigration’s effect has been positive in the past, is now positive and always will be positive. Or, at worst, it is neutral.
The recent gang violence in Toronto as well as a host of other incidents say otherwise. But a B.C. event, in particular, which occurred around the same time as the Governor General’s appointment, shows that people who have these misconceptions have to take a sober look at what is going on.
The incident in question was the removal of agricultural land in British Columbia for development that has largely been driven by immigration.
B.C. is the only province in Canada with an agricultural land reserve. The reserve was established in the early 1970’s to protect farmland from urban encroachment. About 5% of B.C.’s land base is included in it. As most Canadians know, the remaining 95% of B.C. is mountainside. And most of that 5% which is not mountainside is rangeland which is fit only for cattle grazing. Only about 1% of B.C. is high grade farmland. In other words, although B.C. is spectacular, it is agriculturally impoverished.
But the 1% of B.C.’s land which is available is the best farmland in Canada. It is endowed with a unique temperate climate and long growing season (in contrast to that of the rest of Canada) and sits in B.C.’s Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley areas. This land is many times more productive than the best farmland in other provinces. Its productivity is its significance.
As in the 1970’s, when the Agricultural Land Reserve was created, urban encroachment on farm land is again a major issue.
Just last week, B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission–the provincial body responsible for administering B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve–bowed to encroachment pressure. It agreed to release about 200 hectares of land in the municipality of Abbotsford. The stated reason was to satisfy the needs of the area for growth. Commision Vice-Chair Peter Dhillon, who owns a cranberry farm and is a member of several prominent boards, including the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Board of Directors, gave the following explanation for the decision:
“There are communities that need to grow and it’s the responsibility of the commission not to stand in the way of growth….” Dhillon said.
Immigration Watch Canada notes that this is a strange statement coming from an official of the Agricultural Land Commission. The primary purpose of the Agricultural Land Reserve, contrary to what Mr. Dhillon says, is to stand directly in the path of growth and to declare that growth will not occur on farmland.
However, as The Vancouver Sun has reported, “Critics have said that the land commission is no longer committed to farmland preservation, but is more interested in appeasing local communities, with no consideration of the greater provincial interest.” Critics see the release of 200 hectares as another dangerous precedent.
Abbotsford likes to boast that it is one of the fastest growing areas in Canada and has claimed that it needs the land for industrial use, but according to The Vancouver Sun, “a 2004 report by the Greater Vancouver Regional District estimated there is enough industrial land in the region to last 25 to 50 years”.
The question everyone has to ask is this: What is the cause of the pressure on the Agricultural Land Commission?
Statictics Canada figures are very clear: 75%+ of the population growth in the Greater Vancouver area between 1991 and 2001 was due to direct immigration. A significant part of the remaining 25% of population growth is due to indirect immigration, that is, migration of recent immigrants from other areas of Canada to the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley areas. Lastly, an unknown number of illegals have come here and now live in the area. The situation has not changed much since 2001.
Abbotsford borders the Greater Vancouver area, and it also has experienced high immigration, as well as population displacement (driven by immigration) from Greater Vancouver. In other words, immigration is, without question, the primary cause of population growth in both areas.
Abbotsford seems to believe that it can grow forever. Surrey, a neighbouring municipality which is the largest in Canada, has the same idea. Its chief planner has stated publicly that Surrey has an obligation to provide a 5-year supply of land for development. The obvious question to ask is this: Where is the land going to come from? The answer seems to be that Surrey will campaign to remove land, within its borders, that is currently designated agricultural.
None of these areas talks about population stabilization or about putting limits on growth. In fact, these phrases seem to be virtually foreign and unintelligible.
The population of the GVRD-Fraser Valley areas has grown by close to 1 million in the last 15 years. It would have been even higher if a significant number of long-term GVRD-Fraser Valley residents had not migrated to a few other B.C. areas with hospitable climates. This migration has swollen the populations of areas such as the Okanagan and Thompson and placed new pressures on these areas. These places also have limits, but no one is talking about this either. Ironically, B.C. has its share of “displaced persons”, but many of these are Canadian citizens trying to escape the effects of immigration.
All of these things are a result of immigration policy decisions made in Ottawa. And if the population pressure is ever going to end, it is logical that high immigration levels have to end.
Very few elected officials at the federal, provincial or municipal levels have had the courage to stand up and speak against so-called “growth”. Critics have referred to this “growth” as a cancer. Many cancer symptoms are obvious now and more are appearing daily. If Canada waits until this cancer reaches its full-blown stage, it will be too late to do something
Critics have pointed out that the treatment for this cancer is obvious: surgical removal of already-metastisizing cancerous immigration policies and a double or triple dose of chemotherapy for the multicultural/diversity programmes that feed on high immigration levels.
Prime Minister Martin and others cannot continue to manufacture more deceit to cloud the immigration issue. Contrary to what he has said about the newly-appointed Governor General, she does not represent “the story of Canada”. Not only that, but the chief reason for Ms. Jean’s appointment and the chief qualification she brings to the job seems to be her ethnic background and the victimology politics that come with it. There are many other Canadians who do represent the story and who had much higher qualifications than Ms. Jean.
Also contrary to what the Prime Minister has said, unremitting high immigration is not “the Canadian story”. It never was. Divisive, cancerous “ethnic-catch-up” politics have resulted from this policy and have inspired her appointment. The ruining of good B.C. agricultural land and the host of other destructive results of extremely foolish and electorally-motivated immigration policies are evidence of a new Canadian story which most Canadians do not want.
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