Old-Style Patronage’s Effects Were Confined To A Few People. New-Style Patronage’s Effects (Involving Immigration) Will Extend To Tens Of Thousands.

August 31, 2005: Old-Style Patronage's Effects Were Confined To A Few People. New-Style Patronage's Effects (Involving Immigration) Will Extend To Tens Of Thousands.


New rumblings over a consular mission appointment to India's Punjab area re-iterate to Canadians that Canadian patronage has entered new territory. They also show that the costs to Canadians of the new patronage will probably be thousands of times more than traditional patronage, says Immigration Watch Canada.

In October, 2003, not long before leaving office, Prime Minister Chretien gave Bhupinder Singh Liddar a three-year appointment as consul in a soon-to-be opened mission in Chandigarh, India.

Liddar never did a day's work because his appointment was challenged by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, but he has collected $120,000 a year for almost the past two years.

It now turns out, from revelations in the Grewal tapes, that Prime Minister Chretien's successor, Paul Martin, may have stalled the appointment to Liddar in order to give the job to his favourite. That person was another Sikh, Gulzar Cheema. According to Vancouver Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe, Mr. Liddar has refused to take a $60,000 walk-away package and is now threatening to sue the Canadian government.

The significance of this new patronage goes far beyond this appointment which a few influential Liberals have engineered in return for the votes that Sikhs have provided. But here is the immediate significance of this move:

(1) Opening another office in Chandigarh (in India's Punjab) is costly and unnecessary. It is widely assumed that Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs advised against even making this appointment because Canada already had a consular office in nearby Delhi.

(2) This appointment was one more example of the low level that Canadian politics and its immigration policies have descended to. It was also a clear and blunt admission by Prime Minister Chretien that the opening of this office and the appointment were paybacks to Canada's Sikhs for the support they had given Chretien in his Liberal Leadership race. Although a number of Canadians still consider negative comments about immigration to be taboo, it is impossible for even the naive among them to consider this immigration incident in a positive light.

(3) Unlike other numerous examples of patronage whose effects are confined to the individuals who receive them, this immigration appointment will probably have dramatic consequences on the lives of tens of thousands of Canadians. Very large numbers of Sikhs have already entered Canada either as legitimate immigrants or as questionable refugee claimants. Both the immigrants, as well as those who have managed to take advantage of lax refugee policies, have been able to bring in large numbers of extended family members.

(4) It is still possible to close the Chandigarh office, but opening it was a clear sign to Sikhs in the Punjab and to all Canadians that the flood of immigrants from the Punjab would continue whether Canada needed these immigrants or not.

(5) As such, it was a clear and blunt sign that the interests of recent immigrants were going to take precedence over any protests from Canadians. Economically, a number of these new people would not only compete for employment with Canadians. But because of “Equity Employment For Visible Minorities” measures applicable to them, they would be given the right to queue jump ahead of Canadian job seekers.

(6) It was also a clear and blunt sign by the former P.M. and his successor that they believed huge inflows made no cultural difference to the host population. With the approval of the P.M., re-establishing “there” (the society a group came from) “here” (in Canada) became a primary goal of ethnic groups. As a large number of areas in Canada will testify, the huge inflow has made re-establishing “there” a reality.

(7) Also with the approval of the P.M., raw pursuit of ethnic political power and of ethnic separation, through tactics such as “instant memberships” in political parties, packing of meetings (The late Chuck Cadman testified to these two techniques.), and block voting was more important than integrating into Canada.

(8) Also, this appointment demonstrated that the “family class” was being given clear priority over all other immigrant classes. The government might talk about how tough Canada's entry requirements were for immigrants, but, in reality, only about 20% of new immigrants had to meet any point standards. In fact, many of the people in the “Family Class” were illiterate in both French and English, had very few skills, and would draw down on Canada's social safety net rather than contribute to it.

(9) The P.M. and others would play on the sympathies of Canadians by telling Canadians they were helping to re-unite families. In addition, they would say nothing about the fact that if one or two family members were here, and the other 25 were in the Punjab, it might make more sense for the one or two here to go back to the larger group than for the larger group to come here. Also, they would say nothing about fraudulent documents created for people unrelated to sponsors or about chain (perpetual) migration which would see people bringing in relatives and then all those relatives bringing in all their kith and kin—ad infinitum. Finally, they would be silent about bringing in potentially tens of thousands of aged parents who had never contributed to Canada's healthcare system, but who now were going to compete with Canada's own elderly for scarce health care services. Again, Canadians would be told it was important to be charitable.

The P.M. and others may have to learn the hard way that large numbers of Canadian citizens do not receive the charity that has been dispensed to non-citizens. The P.M. and others may also have to learn the hard way that its corrupt behaviour is undermining future charity to its own citizens.


NOTE: Barbara Yaffe's column on the absurdity of recent federal appointments, and the need for reform in the way appointments are made, “Doing Nothing For $120,000 A Year”, was published in The Vancouver Sun on Friday, August 26, 2005. A copy of it is available in the NEWS ARTICLES section of the Immigration Watch Canada web site.