In yet another betrayal, the federal government will name Metis leader Louis Riel a Father of Confederation as part of a five-year, $350-million statement of reconciliation to Aboriginal Peoples. (Ottawa Citizen, January 6, 1998) Riel is the ideal hero for an ailing nation — to this day academics question his sanity. Certainly he despised Anglo-Saxon culture and preached insurrection long before either concept had become a universally trendy no-brainer. This account, published six months before he was hanged, provides valuable insights — clearly, some things never change.

The Provisional Government installed itself in Fort Garry. … Before the troops under General Wolseley arrived, Riel fled without striking a blow, and made good his escape across the border into the States. The occupation of the fort by the insurgents was stained with the crime of putting to death a loyalist prisoner in cold blood. … Riel now pretends that he was not the real leader in the revolt, and says he was called back from the States and egged on by white people in the neighbourhood of Prince Albert. It is not surprising that he should now decline to accept the honour of the leadership in a lost cause. … Last September when he was probably preparing for the second insurrection, Riel issued a new ‘Bill of Rights,’ in eleven articles.

He seemed to be on sure ground when he demanded for the Half -breeds the same right to allotments of lands in the North-West as had been conceded to their relatives on the Red River. This claim no one would think of denying in a country where land is freely given to all comers, to Icelanders, Russians, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, not to speak of English and Irish; and in the middle of March, before the rising seemed imminent, a special commission was appointed to decide upon the several claims. The chief difficulty to be dealt with was that there had been a large emigration from the Red Rive region to the North-West of Half-breeds, to whom allotments of land had already been made, and who having sold their claims were asking to be served a second time.

But besides two hundred and forty acres for each Half-breed, Riel, in this new ‘Bill of Rights,’ asked to have two millions of acres set apart for their benefit to be utilized in the support of schools, orphan asylums, hospitals and for other purposes. Other claims for land extending over several generations were made. Besides this, the Government was called upon, without qualification or limit, to feed the Indians. Indiscriminate almsgiving has the same effect upon savages as upon other people: when they are assured of subsistance without labour they will do nothing to help themselves. Grants were demanded for the support of convents ‘at all points where there are a sufficient number of Metis to justify the expense.’

It is difficult when one listens to this demand not to recognize in it the voice of the Church speaking through Riel. … A missionary priest writing from the North-West makes an unpleasant prediction. ‘You may,’ he says, ‘kill the Metis, obtain a brilliant victory, but in this country this is not the end: it is only the beginning.’ Let us hope that this prophecy will not be fulfilled. (The Week, No. 25, v.2, 21 May, 1885, pp. 389-90, the University of Saskatchewan Library and Archive)

So Much for Mr. Nice Guy

Canada’s minority-sensitive media has managed to valiantly resist any temptation to report disturbing trends as they emerge from the developing world. Thus we can only speculate as to the exact nature of the Faustian bargain struck between oppressed nations , but it’s increasingly obvious that something is going on. Shall we take Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Mahathir at his word when he promises to flood the northern hemisphere with immigrants/refugees if we fail to apportion the pie fairly ? (Reported here last June) What of Robert Mugabe’s fair warning that the Organization of African Unity regards the west, and its economies, targets — not allies?

Nelson Mandela’s swan song was largely sanitized by our media. A notable exception was headlined ‘Mandela Bows Out with Tirade Against Whites’ … Nelson Mandela’s speech … revealed a new, intolerant face of the ruling party in the face of criticism, which bodes ill for the long-term future of democracy. … From now on, anyone who is not entirely for the ANC will risk being tarnished as ‘racist’, ‘counter-revolutionary’ and ‘reactionary’. (Times of London, December 17, 1997)

If the rhetoric sounds unabashedly communist, it must be remembered that historically the press has soft pedalled ANC’s ties to the trade unionist and communist camps. These several postures are hard to reconcile with the widely promoted image of a long suffering and immensely deserving Third World. Is it possible that while ‘race’ has been ruthlessly eliminated from western lexicons, the concept flourishes with a renewed vigour elsewhere? Fully four cold-war decades were devoted to containininf the Red Threat — presumed dead and buried with the implosion of the USSR — along with Red Chinese aggression in the aftermath of less than conclusive resolutions in Korea and Vietnam. (That China was the main supporter of Pol Pot’s murderous regime, was dismissed once China was transformed into a nation of more than a billion consumers . Perhaps the nature of the conflict has merely shifted to a new arena?

Shameless Western toadying to organizations like APEC and ASEAN suggests that these latter-day Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Spheres have succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of a mere Imperial Japan. China’s phenomenal growth dates from 1978 when it changed internal accounting and record keeping procedures, cumulative foreign direct investment, negligible before 1978, reached nearly US$100-billion in 1994. (Economic Issues 8, publication of the IMF, 1997) Alas, even Chretien’s cheerleading can’t save Eastern markets; they bleed on, as Canada’s trade deficit with countries on previous Team Canada missions … has increased by $2.65-billion … the biggest negative impact has been in China … exports to China have plunge … 35% over the past three years. (Toronto Sun, January 20, 1998) It’s clear that the miracle was a mirage , but Canada’s leaders are still selling immigration to us as a source of on-the-spot brokers for phantom deals. Although China has been the World Bank’s largest borrower since 1992… (East Asia and Pacific Brief, September 1997, World Bank Group), that nation seems to have money to burn when it comes to peddling or purchasing influence — whether in the U.S., Africa, or nearer home, in Asia. (Could this be why Canada’s such a perennial fan?) Africa is being divvied up between the last of the Big Red Behemoths and Taiwan. Both court African strong-men with trade, aid and loan packages.

China recently purchased a zirconium tubing [nuclear] plant from South Africa, at which South Africa announced that it was severing ties with Taiwan to ally itself with Beijing. (The deal was brokered by Desmond Tutu’s high-flyin businessman son, Trevor, while he served a stint in the can for making a bomb threat at East London airport.) This left Taiwan with just 29 diplomatic allies, (10 in Africa), however, China and Malawi hope to normalize diplomatic relations soon, Xinhua [Chinese news agency] said yesterday after an official from the African republic visited Beijing. (South China Morning Post, January 16, 1998) ‘Aid’ has long been the Third World equivalent to our ‘diversity’ — both see mountains of money thrown after some never-quite-attainable feel-good plan.

After years in which Africa seemed to be the lost continent, it has made progress based on policies of liberalization and deregulation. As a result, Sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita growth rates advanced from stagnation in the 1980’s to an average of 5 percent in 1996, with some countries attaining 8-10 percent. (World Bank, 1997) Taiwan has also been criticized for attempting to expand its profile and get more influence in Southeast Asia on the back of the current [economic] crisis. … [An] opposition legislator queried the effectiveness of ‘financial diplomacy’ in promoting real and long-lasting ties. (South China Morning Post, January 13, 1998) Beijing dropped it’s benign posture in an effort to block Taiwanese involvement in a regional bailout of crisi-battered Asian economies. [Foreign Ministry official Shen Guofang] told cash-starved governments in Thailand, Indonesia and other countries to refuse aid from Taiwan or risk rupturing diplomatic ties with Beijing. (South China Morning Post, January 14, 1998) Nearly 200 hundred years ago Napoleon Bonaparte said when China wakes, the whole world will tremble.

Just outside its borders, on the Pacific Rrim, lies the empire of the overseas Chinese, the ethnic minorities of countries and cities such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vancouver (also known as Hongcouver) [sic] and even further afield in New York. Today the 50-million overseas Chinese held together by an intricate web of clans with members numbering in the thousands, and an underworld that operates clandestinely or overtly, whatever suits it best have liquid assets worth $2-trillion. … In the 1990’s they have been pouring money into the mainland, especially the southern coastal provinces. … The input from overseas Chinese is, ironically, what has kept the Communist Party in power, together with the Tiananmen Square massacres in 1989, which sent the message that the party and its massive army will suppress rebellion no matter what the cost in human lives and that Deng Xiaoping’s slogan, ‘to get rich is glorious’, is an order. (Cape Argus, South Africa, December 20, 1997)

Gun Control Scam

Now that the Justice Department has determined that only the army, police, and gangsters should have access to guns, even the police are beginning to question the motives behind Canada’s contentious gun control legislation. The Canadian Police Association is accusing the Liberals of misleading them in claiming patrol cops could tap into the gun registration system while on emergency calls. … Unless cops on call can find out if a suspect has a gun in his home then the registry is essentially useless. (Toronto Sun, November 27, 1997) In a brief presented to the justice committee, the Canadian Police Association said the Liberal government mislead them into believing that police could get into the firearms computer system when making emergency calls.

We also learned this week that the justice department’s mail-in registration system will be so unreliable and unsafe that it will actually endanger policemen into providing inaccurate information. For example, justice officials claim that any firearms serial number incorrectly recorded on a mail-in application and then put on a registration certificate will still make the certificate valid. This is ridiculous. This means police will be unable to count on the accuracy of vital information entered into the system. Why do the Liberals not face it? Their gun registration system is falling apart and must be scrapped immediately. It is becoming obvious that this sloppy gun registration system gives police no security but instead greater risk. said Philip Mayfield (, Ref. — Cariboo-Chilcotin). [ Hansard, November 28, 1997) Taking aim at targets of convenience rather than consequence has become a cornerstone of Canadian policy.

As far back as 1993, the Auditor-General criticized the Dept. of Justice for introducing costly firearms restrictions when it could produce no evidence that previous legislation had been even remotely effective. Bereft of proof, every isolated tragedy is embraced with a ghoulish glee, citing a firearms mortality rate of 0.005 per cent as evidence that Canada must, once and for all, eradicate gun ownership. Firearms accounted for 1,100 deaths in Canada in 1995, of which almost 900 were suicides. (Toronto Sun, June 24, 1997) In a population pool of nearly 30 millions, that means that just over 200 deaths by gunshot can be attributed to accidental/homicidal causes. (On the other hand, it means 1,100 people are no longer paying taxes).

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