July 22, 2011 : Jason Kenney Welcomes Giant Asian Hogweed

Jason Kenney Welcomes Giant Asian Hogweed

Reacting to recent news reports about the invasion of a poisonous Asian plant, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, speaking on behalf of perennially- vacationing Environment Minister Peter Kent, dismissed the reports as “alarmist” and contrary to the Canadian ethic of tolerance.

Earlier this week, Global BC TV and Sun TV, among other media outlets, had featured a story about City of Vancouver park staff waging a war on the Giant Asian Hogweed, an invasive species that has colonized and displaced native species—-particularly in coastal B.C.—-forcing some to seek refuge in other parts of the province and country.  Moreover, experts told reporters, this plant not only crowds out native Canadian species but  its shallow, extensive root system weakens Canadian soil. In B.C., it began in Richmond, but soon spread to other municipalities and districts.

The tenacious invader has proven difficult to eradicate. In its native lands, it learned how to reproduce prolifically.  Apparently, Giant Asian Hogweed can “out-compete’” other plants and has taken over whole eco-systems in the city of Vancouver, Richmond, many suburbs and even the UBC lands. “Contact can make skin (particularly white skin) defenceless against the sun’s rays and can result in severe burns.. It can also elicit blindness in people, particularly politicians and the politically-correct. It comes from a place where it’s ‘ Every plant for itself’ ‘, so it will fight to grow even in blackberry thickets. Not many plants can do that”, remarked an unidentified park superintendent.

The perennial plant is problematic across southwest B.C. , the Gulf Islands, and the southern half of Vancouver Island, but it has also taken hold in Metro Toronto and southern Ontario. SUCCESS, a Chinese immigration advocacy group, calls it the most “SUCCESS-ful  plant beach-head in Canada—ever”.

Despite public outrage, the Immigration Minister, in a press release dated this morning, insisted that “We should not consider the Giant Asian Hogweed as an invader but rather, as a valuable addition to our botanical diversity, which in the end, will make our gardens stronger once the initial frictions and adjustments are worked out. Invasive species have the right to demand unreasonable accommodations from Canadians. What, after all, is a ‘Canadian’ anyway?”, the Minister asked.

“Are not all Canadian plants from some other place? I mean, if they aren’t, then at least the parents who came before them? Aren’t plants from some other continent what built our gardens? And are we not still in the process of growing and building those gardens? Don’t we need the energy and vibrancy that foreign plants give us? What’s a little blindness, extinction and a few million displaced?”

Expressing disappointment at the knee-jerk hostility shown toward Giant Asian Hogweed, Mr. Kenney further announced that his Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism , will fund “Diversity Awareness” workshops. These are aimed at civic outside workers and citizens alike so that they may greet  this plant with sensitivity and acceptance. Hopefully then, Mr. Kenney said, the Canadian public will follow the example set by his own Conservative Party, which decided to reach out and include ethnic minorities in its ranks.

“After all, we are no longer a country or a party that favours English bluebells, red Tudor roses, daffodils and rhododendrons at the expense of new plants that land on our shores. These plants expect to grasp and put down roots so that as many other species as possible can follow them to this place.”

Mr. Kenney stated also that he hopes the CBC will continue to propagandize for diversity. In this case, it can rectify the unfavourable treatment the disenfranchised Giant Asian Hogweed has received from Global and Sun TV. “Our CBC must give Giant Asian Hogweed a voice. CBC reporters and journalists must not be content to hear from so-called botanical experts, but instead make a genuine attempt to defend newly arriving flora, whether they were introduced legally or illegally”, Kenney declared. “Who gives a flying flora about what plant and dirt experts have to say?”

As one CBC pundit declared on his way down to his knees in front of a Giant Asian Hogweed plant, ‘It is clear that this Harper government is serious in its intention to make Canada ‘Home to the world’s plants’ . We’re 100% behind them on that.”


This satire on Canadian immigration was written by B.C. Environmental Blogger Tim Murray.