EDITORIAL – Page A-14
Our View FAR-RIGHT STOKES REFUGEE FEARS
Smuggling issue is being twisted into phobia about non-whites
The tally so far: 400 Chinese migrants down, 1.2 billion to go.
Or at least that seems to be our fear as we watch yet another boatload of smuggled aliens taken into custody on Vancouver Island.
By the sounds of our overwrought reaction, many Canadians feel like the Germans on D-Day, helplessly watching thousands upon thousands of vessels approaching the Normandy coast.
What do we do? Turn the boats back to sea? Mine the western approaches? Shoot the migrants? Give them bus tickets to Seattle? Declare war on China?
Many Canadians feel frustrated, helpless and betrayed by our government, courts and immigration system, all of which treat migrants much more generously that the offended sensibilities of a lot of people would allow.
It is that disillusionment, along with some good old-fashioned fear mongering, that is allowing the far right wing to have a field day.
Check out the Internet, where the usual collection of folks are turning whiter than usual at the prospect of the entire country being brought to it’s knees by three boatloads of poor Chinese farmers.
Groups like the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee are taking valid questions and concerns about immigration policy and dragging them across the line using them to legitimize weak-minded xenophobia, pandering to our basest emotions and fears.
Canada First dresses up its Web pages with breast-beating sermons about “lavishing salmon and calimari and welfare on illegals who have defied our laws” while Canadians remain homeless.
“Immigration is changing Canada to what more resembles a Third World country,” it screams, and splashes a picture of Asian drug dealers being taken down by police in Vancouver. At the foot of the site is a portion of Michaelangelo’s hand of God touching that of a man, accompanied by the slogan: “Made with European Culture — Accept no Substitute.”
It’s nauseating: after five minutes of this we feel in need of a shower.
It’s time to give our collective heads a shake. While the smuggling of migrants is frustrating, it’s not exactly an overwhelming epidemic. (Compare it to the U.S. where they arrested close to 1.5 million people on their south west boarder last year.)
But that isn’t the real issue, is it? There are people exploiting our concerns about people-smugling and twisting them into a campaign against non-white immigration/ It’s repugnant, and present a much greater threat to our country than any 11-year-old girl from China.
Marc Lemire Responds:
To: Times Colonist, letters to the editor FAX: (250) 380-5353 E-Mail: email@example.com Sept. 1, 1999
Re: Editorial “Far-right stokes refugee fears” (Sept. 1, 1999)
In all the articles about our site, yours is the biggest piece of trash I have read to date.
Your editorial takes issue with our website saying “Immigration is changing Canada to what more resembles a Third World country” are you actually daft enough to deny that? Poll after poll in Canada has shown on average 77% of Canadians do not want immigration to change our ethnic or cultural balance. [Gallop Poll, June 1987] But just look at Surrey, parts of Delta, and Vancouver, it is undeniable immigration has changed the ethnic balance of those areas. Does anyone in Ottawa actually care about the people?
You say we “dress up our Web pages with breast-beating sermons about ‘lavishing salmon and calimari and welfare on illegals who have defied our laws. While Canadians remain homeless.” Yes, how wicked and terrible we are to say that Canadians should come first, in Canada! When I was out in Victoria a month or so ago, I ran across the first boatload of illegals at ICA’s Victoria’s headquarters. I was utterly shocked to see these immigrant services falling all over themselves to help these “refugees” out, while directly across the street huddled in a corner with just a mangled looking dog and a sleeping bag, a poor Canadian lay sleeping on the steps of a church. No one seems to care for him. No one is falling over themselves to help him out. No one is giving him free calimari and specially cooked salmon. We put that picture of the poor fellow up on our website for the entire world to see, what a double standard we are seeing in this country.
Right before you get “nauseated” and “need to shower” you complain about us using the famous Michaelangelo’s Hand of God picture, with the quote “Made with European Culture — Accept no Substitute.” Your damn right we use that picture, and with very good reason. We have seen a systematic usurping of our heritage and culture by the multicults.
From the shameful removal of Canada’s true flag, the Red Ensign, to the outrageous notion put forth by Sheila (Limousine Lizzie) Finestone that “Canada has no Culture,” we have resolved as one of our groups main aims to celebrate Canada’s rich heritage and culture.
On our popular internet website, we have documented plenty of Canada’s history, our heroes and our heritage. From Captain Cooke’s Endeavour at Nootka Sound to great British Columbian’s like WILLIAM HOPKINSON and H. H. Stevens. We will not let our heritage be rewritten to appease the politically correct.
And as to this issue where you claim we are using the resentment of illegals to “legitimize weak-minded xenophobia,” it was not us who had in large print on the front page “Go home. By plane. By boat. Just go.” (Victoria Times Colonist Sun 15 Aug. 1999)
–Canada First Immigration Reform Committee Toronto, Ontario
CFIRC Director Paul Fromm Responds
September 1, 1999
The Editor, VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST
Your editorial “Far-right stokes refugee fears” (Times-Colonist, September 1, 1999) mocks our concerns for immigration reform and dismisses them as fretting “at the propsect of the entire country being brought to its knees by three boatloads of poor Chinese farmers.”
If poor, how did they afford to pay the vile snakeheads who smuggle human cargo U.S. $38,000 each or undertake to make such payments? Not through honest means, you can be certain. If they are, indeed, “poor farmers”, that is sad. However, poverty does not make them refugees.
Indeed, the “refugee” claim is so bogus as to be laughable. Any political dissidents would be more than welcome in anti-communist, democratic, progressive Chinese Taiwan, just across the Formosa Strait from Fukien Province.
You may see little harm to Canada in providing welfare, legal aid, medicare, housing, translators and security to these uninvited illegals. Many hard-pressed Canadian taxpayers may be less laid back. Perhaps, you can explain to a Canadian-born single mother on welfare why her child is worth about $720 a month, yet Chinese illegal youth recently made wards of B.C. are worth $8,200 each a month.
Canadians have every right to be both fearful and angry at the incompetent politicians who have brought us to this immigration chaos.
Paul Fromm Director Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3