“‘May you be the mother of a hundred sons.’ That benediction has been called down upon generations of Hindu brides in India, but the country’s junior health minister Renuka Chowdhury has a new mantra: ‘One is fun.’ Some demographers sniff at Ms Chowdhury’s slogan, splashed in advertisements beside a girl child’s picture, as too simplistic: ‘It’s a bad pun and shows amazing ignorance of social reality. They’re becoming flippant now,’ said Ashish Bose, president of the Population Monitoring Centre. The reality is scary. The World Bank estimates India’s population will reach 1.2 billion by the year 2010, 1.39 billion in 2025 –slightly below China’s 1.47 billion — and reach zero growth only towards the end of the 21st century, when there will be 1.88 billion Indians, double today’s figure. Mr Bose says the issue in the 21st century will not be food, or population.

‘It will be social environment, religious, caste and language conflict.’ Ved Marwah, now a professor at New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research after a 36-year career in the police, says Indian cities will be hit by more organised crime. ‘Kidnapping for ransom, drugs, the criminal-politician nexus — all these will grow.’ Experts believe about half of India’s population will live in urban areas by the year 2020, in contrast with 30 per cent today. Infrastructure is already under severe stress in most Indian cities, with water supply sanitation, transport systems and electricity frequently breaking down. The same Indian scriptures that placed emphasis on many sons in an agrarian society also refer to ‘bhubhaar’ — the weight of population on Planet Earth. ‘Humanity has already overshot Earth’s carrying capacity by a simple, measure: no nation is supporting its present population on income — that is, the sustainable flow of renewable resources,” Paul Ehrlich wrote in Betrayal of Science and Reason. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in a study “Emerging Asia”, notes that 1.5 billion people lived in Asia in 1950. This grew to 2.5 billion in 1975, and to 3.5 billion in 1995. ‘Thus in roughly two generations, the region’s population has grown by two billion, about the same number of people that currently live in all the industrial countries combined.’ … Mr Bose said family planning experts touted the IUD — intra-uterine device – -as a favoured birth control method. ‘But the real IUD that will act on middle-class families will be inflation, unemployment and deprivation,’ he said. … Mr Bose says the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan account for 40 per cent of India’s population, 42 per cent of the growth rate, and 48 per cent of the illiterate population. In contrast, the southern state of Kerala, which has focused on education and health services, has a better birth rate -13 per 1,000 – than even China’s 30 per 1,000. (South China Morning Post, November 28 1997)

Canada Coninues to Aid Communist Cuba

In 1997, Canada’s left-leaning Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy signed an accord with Communist Cuba. Canadian Ambassador to Cuba Keith “Christie said the Canada-Cuba accord was producing results in several areas. ‘There’s good chemistry, and the work we’re doing is steadily deepening.'” Nevertheless, “Cuba refuses to sign the Ottawa agreement banning anti-personnel land mines, saying it must maintain minefields around the U.S Guantanamo naval base. … Canadian officials continue to advise Cuba on tax and central-bank reform, part of about $17.5-million in Canadian aid to the island since mid-1994. Food aid includes $5-million worth of cooking oil — one of Cuba’s scarcest necessities — scheduled to be shipped in the first four months of this year. Private Canadian aid groups continue to work on projects ranging from disease prevention to computer training.” (Globe and Mail, January 20, 1998) House of Commons Speaker Gilbert Parent (Lib. — Niagara Centre) is an enthusiastic Cuba booster. “In 1997, two-way trade between our countries was more than $700-million. … No country can impose a particular model on its friends or neighbours,” said the fatuous Parent. (Toronto Star,. March 9, 1998) Surely, Parent can remember Canada’s war — boycotts, active funding of the opposition — to turn South Africa over to the ANC or Axworthy’s recent sabre rattling over Iraq.

Have the Courts Given B.C. to the Natives?

Writing in the Globe and Mail (February 17, 1998), columnist Jeffrey Simpson warned that last December’s Delgamuukw Indian land claims decision by the Supreme Court may have colossal consequences for British Columbia. “The Supreme Court has never made a ruling more consequential for British Columbia. Delgamuukw will enter the vocabulary of British Columbia, if it hasn’t already, as a symbol of hope, fear, uncertainty, pride and anger. … It represents judicial activism on a massive scale, which will in turn put the court at the centre of intense political debates. … What exactly Delgamuukw means is still being probed by lawyers, first nations, governments and citizens. No one doubts, however, that in substantially expanding aboriginal rights to land where no treaties have been signed — that is, the vast majority of British Columbia’s territory — aboriginals have been given much more bargaining power with governments and private interests. In any future legal cases, their claim to ownership, control and use of land has been strengthened. … Natural-resources companies — those involved in timber, mining, fishing, and tourism — are deeply nervous about Delgamuukw’s economic impact. … Native leaders hailed it as a huge victory that verified their long-standing claims. … The first Nations Summit which represents many but not all aboriginal groups in British Columbia, … asserted ‘our aboriginal title to all of B.C..’ Dalgamuukw, the group said, confirmed that ‘as aboriginal peoples, we continue to have and will exercise a complete range of uses to and in our terriotires. First nations continue to have and will assert complete authority, jurisdiction and decision making in our territories and over our resources. First nations assert that the authority of the provincial government is limited and it has juridiction over the decisions or decsion-making processes of first nations.’ While insisting that first nations do not want to ‘bankrupt the economy of the province,’ the summit said an immediate interim freeze should be placed on any development of land or resources while negotiations over aboriginal treaties continue.” If the natives claim such sovereingty, it would seem almost demeaning to continue to take the billions in taxpayers’ money given to them each year. Do “sovereign’ people get subsidies? Only in Canada, you say! To add insult to injury, as usual, the poor Canadian and B.C. taxpayer helped finance his own judicial execution. The Canadian “government’s test case funding programme, which finances ground-breaking court challenges” paid the Gitxsan chiefs to pursue the Delgamuukw case. (The Vancouver Sun, February 26, 1998) Ironically, the Gastown law firm of Rush-Crane and Guenther complain “that it has been asking for a payment for six months but has received only ‘a small portion of what is owed. … This has become a crisis … because we have gone into debt in order to advance your appeal,’ lawyer Stewart Rush wrote in his January 12 letter to … the Gitxsan chiefs. ‘We have had to finance this obligation with bank loans. … Although the lawyers were paid $11,000 on October 23, $190,000 remains outstanding.”

The Joys of Native Self Government

“A poll commissioned by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations suggests most Saskatchewan respondents hold negative opinions about aboriginals. … Almost 80 per cent made negative remarks as their first response.” (Globe and Mail, February 27, 1998) As Canada prepares to cede control of half of the NWT in an experiment with aboriginal apartheid, comes news that native hunters have been decimating wolf populations for fur exports. Using snow mobiles they “track down a pack of wolves, manoeuvre them onto a frozen expanse of tundra, and then, as the animals search vainly for somewhere to hide, chase them until they collapse from exhaustion. Then the hunters shoot them. … Northern Canada has what is considered the only vibrant wolf population left in the world.” (Globe and Mail, February 26, 1998) The virus just keeps spreading. As apologies, restitution and special minority concession packages of all shapes and sizes bankrupt the backbone of the nation, the pleading hands just stretch out further.

The Stoney Reserve has become the poster child of everything that is wrong with Ottawa’s uniform aboriginal and minority appeasement policies. “Last year, the 3,300 member Alberta band — one of the richest in the country — received $20-million from the federal government and another $13-million from resource royalties, yet ran a deficit of $5.2-million. Moreover, 60 per cent of the residents live on social assistance.” (Globe and Mail, September 12, 1997) This year, “Stoney Indian Chief Philomene Stevens and some of her family received more than $1.5-million during a three-month logging frenzy on the reserve.” (Vancouver Province, December 29, 1997) Are we expected to pretend that this is responsible stewardship of a beloved land? Perhaps they should spend some of that $700-million redress and healing fund on a public relations firm. Wheat Board Monopolists Jail Farmers for Selling Their Own Wheat in the U.S.! “Baring an appeal, Clay Desrochers, who turned 24 on [January 19] will spend the next 60 days in a Manitoba jail. He must also pay a $2,500 fine, surrender to the government the truck he uses to earn a livelihood, and endure a year’s probation. If he doesn’t give up the truck by Goundhog Day, a portion of Desrochers probation could be converted to jail time. Why? Because Clay Desrochers refused to sell less than $1,000 worth of barley he had grown to the Canadian government. If Desrochers had sold marijuana worth the same amount to another adult, it’s likely he, being a first-time offender, would have received a conditional discharge. No incarceration. No fine … Drunk driving or wife battering? With no record of previous convictions, there is only a 50/50 chance Desrochers would have spent as much as two months in jail. … Clay Desrochers had the gall to commit [a crime] against the Government of Canada. ‘Ironically,’ says Jim Pallister of the Canadian Farm Enterprise Network, a coalition of farmers who favour a voluntary wheat board, ‘two weeks ago Ukraine announced it would no longer force its farmers to sell the government some of their crop each year. Clay is in jail because here, our supposedly democratic government still demands we sell all our production to them.

‘ Desrochers is the third Manitoba farmer to be sent to jail since 1996 for what communist countries used to call ‘economic crimes.’ … The most famous of the three is Andy McMechan who spent 155 days in jail and was subjected to more than 50 strip searches for trying to sell a truckload of barley in North Dakota. At the time, American grain companies were paying about $8.20 a bushel for barley for which the Canadian Wheat Board was offering only $1.52. … A couple of months before his own arrest, Clay had been present when five Mounties and 10 customs agents crashed into his parents’ farmhouse in a pre-dawn raid, and, without a warrant, cut the phonelines and placed Clay and his dad Norm into ‘protective custody.’ They were acting on a tip that the elder Desrocher was preparing to run grain across the line.” (Edmonton Journal, January 21, 1998) But the Wheat Board seeks the best for the Candian farmer? Not so. Last fall, “the Manitoba Court of Appeal ruled that the Wheat Board’s duties to Parliament ‘tend to negative [sic] a duty to obtain the best price.’ The Wheat Board owes ‘no duty of care to the farmers.'” (Globe and Mail, January 22, 1998)

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