The Port of Vancouver Dispute Is An Immigration Displacement Issue

The Port of Vancouver Dispute Is An Immigration Displacement Issue

Our media have presented the recent strike at the Port of Vancouver as a complicated conflict between workers and management. That may be partly true. But the most important point is that it is a simple immigration issue. In particular, it is an issue of a very large group of  low-wage, low-skilled unnecessary immigrants using the practice of under-cutting  to overwhelm mainstream Canadian workers and displace them. In a weird twist of logic, these people have  compounded the injury  by then complaining about being underpaid and demanding wages similar to those paid to the Canadians they displaced.

Two big questions are these : (1) Why have our governments not done something about this and all other unjust immigration-driven displacement? and (2) Why has our media not focused on the injustice created by this displacement?

Let’s identify the group that caused the displacement at the Port of Vancouver. They are people of East Indian background. They like to call themselves South Asians, but their most specific label is  Sikhs from India’s Punjab.

Regarding our government’s reaction to them : Many would say that the government and opposition parties have not interfered because they are afraid of losing votes, particularly votes from large Sikh blocks in a number of ridings. In other words, politicians grovel to these blocks. Simultaneously, they treat mainstream Canadians as disposables. All of the thousands of politicians who have behaved this way deserve to be identified, shamed and disposed of.

Regarding the media’s reaction to them : Many would say that the media, particularly our CBC,  is addicted to fawning at the sight of a turban or other ethnic markers. Anyone who follows the CBC and a number of other prominent news chains has seen or heard hundreds of examples of this shameless behaviour.  In fact, the most striking thing about the trucking dispute is that all the media have seldom, if ever, identified the offending group as Sikhs. If Canadians did not have television, they would have to guess who these people are. Our Human Rights Commissions have contributed most to this problem. They have created a chill  throughout our society about issues like this that need to be discussed publicly. This chill has undermined our grasp of what is going on in our country. But the media should not be allowed to claim that they have to cower to Human Rights Commission bullying. Canada is supposed to be a free society. If Human Rights Commissions are preventing Canadians from seeing what is happening in their country, then the media should be working to expose and abolish Human Rights Commissions and their suppression of issues like this. 

In a recent letter to The Province newspaper, and in later comments,  Mike Steffin, an owner of a trucking company in Metro Vancouver, bluntly  summed up this issue. He stated that he felt no sympathy for both union and non-union truckers who have been involved in a strike against the Port of Vancouver. He also has no sympathy for officials at the Port.

“Twenty years ago”, he says, “trucking companies had a system that worked well for both themselves, their drivers and the Port. But people of East Indian background entered the business with the intention of using under-cutting to drive out mainstream Canadians. Slowly, they lowered their rates so that mainstream Canadian truckers could make little if any profit. The mainstream Canadians slowly left the business. Today almost all of the nearly 1500+ people involved in trucking to and from the Port of Vancouver are of East Indian origin.”     

“The East Indians got what they wanted, but now they are complaining they can’t make any money. They deserve the hardship they have created. The companies and Port went along with this mess. So, they are responsible for contributing to the mess.”

The Port complains that the strike is costly. In 2005, according to The Vancouver Sun, a 47-day work stoppage by port truckers over the same issues cost the economy an estimated $400 million.

“What goes around, comes around. The East Indians and the Port are getting a good dose of the hardship they created for others. Too bad. That’s what happens when a group comes from a culture that operates on under-cutting. Too many of them have come here with very few skills. The problem they created has come back to bite them”

“The trucking problem does not end there”, Mr. Steffin says. “Many of these East Indians cannot pay both their fuel costs and the maintenance costs on their vehicles, so they are not doing maintenance. The result is that there are probably many unsafe trucks on our roads.”

These people have to make money to survive. So two questions rise : (1) Jamming large numbers (10+) of people into a single family house is a common East Indian practice which definitely saves money, even though it violates municipal laws. But other expenses of both East Indian and mainstream Canadians are similar. So does the house jamming explain why the East Indians managed to survive while the mainstream Canadians did not? If not, where did the survival money come from? (2) What is the point of Ottawa bringing in people who deliberately scheme to displace mainstream Canadians? 

What has happened in the trucking business is significant. But it is not the only sector of the economy that has been affected by under-cutting.

“Those in the much larger construction sector know that people of East Indian background have taken over most of the house construction business,” he says. A reliable source says that they have used under-cutting to do that, often working at half the cost of other groups to do such things as framing a house. Other reliable sources point out that they have bought significant parts of the taxi and gas station business and  some sectors in agriculture.

Some Canadians would argue that the East Indians are just being very aggressive in entering certain sectors of the economy. So, as with the trucking industry, if this is just aggressiveness, the question is this : How have they achieved the take-over of the house construction sector? A reliable source in construction has alleged that contractors of East Indian origin have brought large numbers of relatives over here on tourist visas and then employed them on construction sites. The “tourists” get paid very low wages while they are here and displace Canadian construction workers.  Because there is an enormous amount of house construction in the Metro Vancouver area, this alleged abuse of Canada’s tourist visa system could be displacing a very large number of mainstream Canadian construction workers. 

Contrary to what the immigration lobby and the politicians who grovel for them say , immigration is supposed to exist for the benefit of Canadians. It should not be used to import problems for Canadians. Yet this has happened and continues to happen on a very large scale.

In Canada’s history, Ottawa took a number of legitimate measures to protect Canadians economically. Some of the measures were The Chinese Head Taxes on low wage Chinese labourers; restrictions on impoverished UK citizens from emigrating to Canada; Gentlemen’s Agreement limits on the number of low-wage labourers from Japan; curbs on get-rich-quick American miners; health checks at ports of entry on almost all immigrants to avoid burdening our charities; prohibition against the landing of Komagata Maru passengers bent on challenging Canada’s Continuous Passage law; and a Tap-On / Tap-Off immigration intake policy.  

The Port of Vancouver dispute shows that Ottawa has to take similar immigration  measures today.  Where are you Mr. Harper, Mr. Mulcair, Mr.Trudeau, Ms. May and hundreds of other elected officials when displaced Canadians need you?