GEMS FROM THE PEOPLE
(1) ON WHY CHOICE OF BURIAL LOCATION MAY BE THE BEST INDICATOR OF TRUE NATIONAL LOYALTY
When immigrants are naturalized in a ceremony, the media treats it as a very sentimental affair, as if naturalization were akin to religious conversion. All evidence suggests that naturalization is mainly a matter of convenience and that citizenship has little to do with national sentiments. Nobody is going to feel more Canadian because he just received a citizenship card.
The Dutch newspaper Trouw reported recently that, although many Dutch cemeteries have space set aside for Muslims, about 90% of Muslims who die in the Netherlands are buried in their countries of origin.
(2) ON SELF-SUFFICIENCY BEING NECESSARY FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
The more a country is dependent on imports for its food, energy and essential raw materials, the less security it has. Self-sufficiency, especially in food and energy, is an important component of national security. The American ethanol program should send shock waves to every food-importing country. The message that it sends to the world is that Americans will convert grain into fuel without giving much thought to foreigners who are buying their surplus grain. It is as if Saudi Arabia decided to use some of its oil exports to irrigate its desert.
(3) ON THE MASSIVE DIVERSION OF SOCIAL SERVICES FROM OUR OWN PEOPLE TO THE NEWLY-ARRIVED
In 1985, my elderly mother needed a hip operation and Dr. _ operated. As a result of some error he made, a nerve in one of her legs from her hip to her toes was damaged. She started getting pain in one foot and the foot began turning in. When we went back to the doctor, he just said we had better put her in a nursing home. He never acknowledged the foot problem. Over time, she could not walk without a walker, and then had to use a wheel chair.
In 1989, I had to admit her to a nursing home in Abbotsford, B.C. There, her pain got worse and she had to have strong pain killers. But before the above, I brought her to legal aid to see if we could sue the doctor. On one of the walls in big letters was a banner with these words: ” If you are a recent Immigrant or a refugee and in trouble with the law, we at legal aid can help you.” My mother was denied legal aid because she was not an immigrant, a refugee or a criminal.
So if you are born in Canada, white, worked all your life and paid taxes, and are not a criminal, forget about help such as with suing a doctor like the one who ruined my mother's life for 9 years and caused her to die in 1995 in pain…… I wonder what would have happened if she had been of colour, had worn some ethnic clothing or was Illegally in Canada. I bet she would have been helped……..Yes, I'm still mad.
(4) ON THE DESIRABILITY OF POPULATION DECLINE
One of the irrationalities in economic policy-making is the ridiculous fear of population decline. Granted, if population shrinks very fast, it can create havoc, although in densely populated countries like China and India, a sudden decline might avert even greater havoc that could arise from further population growth.
Suppose that France, which today has 60 million inhabitants, were to lose 1.5 million people each decade. A century from now, it would have 45 million people. For the life of me, I can't see why that would be such a disaster. Of course, as with all change, there would be some losers and some gainers, but the balance of advantages and disadvantages can't be negative.
(5) ON WHY MULTICULTURALISM CANNOT BE CANADA'S NATIONAL IDENTITY
We seem to be surprised that Canada's brand of politically engineered multiculturalism somehow has not succeeded in creating an oasis of peace and opportunity for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Masquerading as a kind of “ersatz” national identity and culture, multiculturalism, by itself, without the cohesive force of an all-emcompassing, commonly-shared national vision, has merely contributed to further amplify and multiply the “bi-lingual” din of conflicting “French/English” voices ….. dividing ourselves into many “identities”.
When on July 7, 1988 Parliament passed the “Act for the Preservation and Enhancement of Multiculturalism in Canada”, augmented in 1991 by the “Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship Act”, we effectively stopped ascribing any value to the integration of newcomers, and instead institutionalized the notion that host countries aren't legitimate entities with their own cultures, but only geopolitical receptacles for a multitude of co-existing cultures.
Canada's “We-are-the-World” multiculturalism as a “home-grown” legislated political ideology has, in fact, become an instrument of racial and ethnic segregation, that has led to a “ghettoization” of newcomers to this country, creating a tribal Canada with no political or moral centre and encouraging new immigrants to remain outside the social mainstream of the host country. – For some immigrants Canada has become merely an economically convenient and politically indulgent place to wave foreign flags, to voice foreign grievances, to fight foreign battles, to demand Canada's unreserved accommodation to suit their religious, social, cultural and even legal preferences … and to claim injustice and discrimination when such demands are not readily met.
The precipitous reduction of residency requirements for new Canadians to qualify for Canadian citizenship from 5 years to a bare minimum of 3 years, and the legitimization of dual (multiple) citizenship by virtue of the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1977, have already devalued the meaning of what citizenship is all about …. sending a message to all Canadians that Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport have all the moral value of a personal insurance policy.
Seeking refuge in the “no-man's-land” of our centrifugal “cultural mosaic”, honest debate about the divisive notion of a government-imposed quiltwork of encouraging and reinforcing ethnic and cultural differences has been stifled in the name of political correctness. And yet, those very policies of social and cultural engineering have of late become the object of much more candid and critical scrutiny in countries like Britain, Holland, Germany and Australia, where now they are beginning to be openly recognized as failures.
(6) ON QUEBEC “ETHNIC” NATIONALISM VERSUS CANADIAN “CIVIC” NATIONALISM
I completely understand the logic behind Bill 101. For instance, before Bill 101, 90% of the children of Italian immigrants in Quebec were going to English schools. Control over education and immigration are the two most important attributes of sovereignty for purposes of national preservation. It is therefore not surprising that Quebec is insistent about retaining control in these areas. I have zero sympathy for Canadians who think that Quebec nationalism is somehow pathological while Canadian nationalism is admirable because it is “civic” rather than “ethnic”.
(7) ON WHY THE SUCCESS OF IMMIGRATION MAY BE DETERMINED BY IMMIGRANT NUMBERS, CONCENTRATION, AND SIMILARITY TO HOST POPULATION
I think it is quite right to say that the reaction to immigrants depends on their number, their concentration and their similarity to the host population. The more numerous immigrants are, the more they concentrate in certain areas. The more different they are from the host population, the greater the likelihood that they will provoke negative reactions.
200,000 Tamils in Vancouver are not the same as 200,000 Tamils spread out evenly over Canada. Two million Dutchmen and Swedes in Germany may arouse less hostility than 500,000 Turks.
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