Feb 3-9, 2003: Immigration Industry

February 11, 2003

Ms. L. Haeber
Executive Producer
Information Programming
CBC Radio One
Vancouver. B.C.

Dear Ms. Haeber:

Here are some comments about an item that appeared on CBC Radio during the week of Feb 3-9, 2003. I am referring to a local news item broadcast several times on Saturday, Feb. 8.

In the item, the reporter interviewed two members of the local
immigration indusry (Victor Wong and Charan Gill). They were responding to questions the reporter asked about a recent Citizenship and Immigration announcement that it would be fast-tracking family-class immigrant applications.

Once again, CBC listeners were subjected to the standard
“Effects on Immigrant Families” answers. This means that the reporter had his interviewees complain about how long it took to process applications and that things should go much faster. No questions were asked about the effects of these fast-tracked policies on the larger “Canadian Family” which pays the reporter’s wages.

At no time in the news report did the reporter ask anyone who might
have a view in opposition to that of Citizenship and Immigration or the immigration industry. Instead, he merely parrotted what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration said. In the rest of the report, the reporter provided free public air time for the two members of the local immigration industry to do some public whining.

Any listener would have received the impression that these two characters would like to see a complete abandonment of all nation-state obstacles to human migration, the rough equivalent of the abandonment of all nation-state obstacles to corporate business globalization. In my humble opinion, such an attitude has to be
questioned—particularly by a public broadcaster.

My main point is that current immigration policies have abandoned
the long tradition of immigration policies being in the interests of the larger “Canadian Family”. To call a spade a spade, the current minister of Citizenship and Immigration is a sycophant for Canada’s immigration industry. He plays a public “tough” game, but almost always does what the industry wants him to do. To these people, the interests of the larger “Canadian Family” are irrelevant. Although there are exceptions, a significant number of CBC employees have joined the campaign against the larger “Canadian Family”. To be blunt, all of these people have to be put in their proper places.

If any journalism instructor wants to hear an example of complete
parrotting of propaganda from a federal government department and the
Vancouver immigration industry, this is a very raw example. Would any
instructor be interested in playing this to a class? (The reporter, a Mr. Adopia (Spelling?), is young and may be being used—although he is more likely a parrot-in-training. Any School of Journalism interested in “recalling” his journalism diploma or degree?)