1.The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a document on the history of U. S. genocide against Native Americans on their official website. Currently trending on Weibo, and being promoted by People’s Daily and other major media accounts. Yesterday, a recent documentary about U. S. military experiments on Danish children during the 1960s was one of the major trending items.
Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once said that you can have mass immigration or you can have the welfare state. But you can't have both.
Hallway medicine is a reality in many Canadian hospitals
Aged hospitals, atrocious wait times, fewer cutting edge treatments, fewer new drugs, a shortage of doctors, a paucity of acute care hospital beds, unfunded liabilities that constitute 46% of the national economy, a middling performance about among countries with universal medical access----yes, the truth is out about Canada’s acclaimed health care system.
You know, the one that American progressives love so much from afar. The one that Canadians ardently loved too---until the 1990s. Then two things happened.
One was a dramatic shift in immigration policy taken by the then Brian Mulroney government at the end of the 1991, when it was announced that annual immigration intakes would virtually double. The second thing to happen was that wait times for necessary surgical procedures grew longer. And longer---until today, the median wait time today of over 21 weeks is twice as long as it was then.
Coincidence? It would stretch credulity to the extreme to deny a connection. The greater the number of patients, the greater demand that is placed on the system, and immigration-driven population growth has added more than 7 million medical consumers to the queue since the departure of “Lyin’ Brian”.
Last year, Canadian taxpayers spent roughly $250 billion on health care, an expenditure equivalent to ll.5% of Canada’s GDP. That works out to over $6,600 per person. Now, one would think that that would be enough to provide us with the comprehensive care we crave. But it’s not. Ours is not an integrated system. Unlike the British National Health Service for example, physiotherapy, dental care and vision care are not covered. Neither are ambulance rides, plus a host of other out-of-pocket expenditures, including, for most of us, the crippling cost of drugs. If the Trudeau government delivers on the promise of a national pharmacare program, you can add another thousand bucks to the $6,600. A figure that’s been growing 4% a year of late.
That $6,600, however, is just an average. What of elderly parents sponsored by adult children under the rubric of ‘family reunification”? What of the unskilled migrants from “non-traditional” sources who don’t earn enough income to offset the cost of the social services provided to them? Migrants who impose a net fiscal burden of approximately $35 billion a year on Canadian taxpayers? And what about the many tens of thousands of refugee claimants whose settlement costs anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 a pop? It would be reasonable to assume migrants from Less Developed Countries come with a backlog of unattended medical problems.
Already the big ticket item in every Provincial budget---accounting almost half of all program expenditures----health care spending in this country is on an unsustainable trajectory. The reasons are many. Rising drug costs, the price of new medical technology, over-centralization, the lack of community health clinics, a failure to shift toward preventive and holistic medicine, a failure to implement economies, the under-funding of home care and the refusal of many Canadians to take responsibility for their own health---all factor into the conversation. But the elephant in the hospital room, immigration policy, is a no go zone.
This is not just an issue of financial impositions. There is a human cost as well. The cost born by Canadians who must endure acute pain while waiting in a long line up to get a CT scan or see a specialist, only to join another long line up to have the actual operation. If you want to gauge their suffering think not in terms of faceless millions, but of individuals you may know who suffer in silence or turn to pain killers to get them through the night, and the many months ahead. When I do that, I think of my late mother and the hardship she endured in her final years. I think of the evening when, at age 86, had a medical event in a Vancouver suburb.
Mom was rushed to hospital only to have to spend the night lying in a gurney in the hallway. All beds were taken. According to protocol, the paramedics who carried her in from the ambulance had to stand around until she was admitted to the emergency ward. They had a long evening. So did I. When morning broke when all knew each other's life stories.
There was a lot of talking done that night, and at least half of it was in languages other than English. The signs posted near the waiting room and receptions were multilingual. English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and another from the Indian subcontinent. Our other official language---French---was not on the menu. Quite telling that. At times the scene was chaotic because staff were running around trying to make themselves understood.
That's a common problem in Lower Mainland hospitals. Hallway medicine, stressed out nurses, and very long surgery waits---that's the reality of our much vaunted health care system, a system that was not designed to cope with the crushing demands now made upon it, never mind the demands which the immigration and refugee lobby would further add. It is confounding that many of the people who grumble about having to wait 6 months to see a specialist or 8 months to get a hip replacement are the same people who favour open borders policies. They don't connect the dots.
Thankfully, my mother survived the night, but her lifelong socialist convictions did not.
My parents were among the founding members of Canada's democratic socialist party in 1933, the CCF, re-branded as the NDP in 1961. They fought for the establishment of a welfare state -- a 40 hour week, unemployment insurance, government auto insurance...and of course socialized medicine. When the NDP finally formed the government in British Columbia in 1972, they were elated, like most working class people of their generation. Having met the brutal challenges of the Depression and the War, it seemed then that their sacrifices would be rewarded with a worry free future. They would never have to worry about getting the kind of care they would require in their golden years.
But like the loyal working class supporters of labour and social democratic parties in Britain, Europe and Australia, they were betrayed by the politicians who claimed to be their advocates. They worked hard and paid their taxes, only to see people who had never put a nickel into the system bumped to the head of the queue. It was sad to see their bodies fail, but it was heartbreaking to witness their disillusionment. Their God had failed them.
Mom and Dad never left the NDP. The NDP left them.
Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once said that you can have mass immigration or you can have the welfare state. But you can't have both. The NDP chose mass immigration.
July 30, 2018
A picture tells a thousand words
I must admit that I am excited. After 17 years in office, the BC Liberals were denied a majority of seats in the May election. But the news got even better. The social democratic party, the NDP, also fell short of the mark. Suddenly, after more than six decades of one party dictatorship, a third party found itself holding the balance of power. It was the BC Greens, who doubled their popular vote and tripled their representation in the House. A spectacular achievement.
What followed was two weeks of negotiation, until finally—after absentee ballots were counted---the Greens announced their decision back the Official Opposition. In fact, the two parties hammered out a formal agreement.
It was a natural choice, because the Greens had much more in common with the NDP than with the Liberals, a coalition of greed, corruption and blatant bribery. The fact that the Liberals still managed to win 43 of 87 seats is testimony to the grip that they and their big money puppeteers had on the province. If they had won another term, our fate as the banana republic of the north would have been sealed. Ours would be a province of clear cut forests, mined out quarries, wild life habitats hopelessly fragmented by roads, an agricultural land reserve compromised by encroaching development , urban housing rendered even more unaffordable by the foreign investors who filled Liberal coffers, and coastal waters forever threatened with oil spills. By a hair’s breadth, we avoided certain disaster at the 11th hour. Mother Nature is breathing a sigh of relief.
I watched the entire joint press announcement of BC Green Party Andrew Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan, who was flanked by the 40 other members of his caucus.
Both men were very articulate and forceful in their remarks, which were frequently interrupted by smiles, handshakes and cheers. They stood side by side as equals. This historic accord lays the ground work for long overdue changes. Here is what it promises:
1. A system of proportional representation will be presented to voters next year.
2. An end to corporate and union donations to political parties.
3. A government resolutely determined to thwart the trans mountain pipeline agreement. That is, a government that will finally reflect British Columbians strong desire to protect our waters and our environment. We said no to mindless resource development and delivery of an evil product.
3. The Site C dam may also be blocked. Precious farmland will not be flooded. Thank God.
4. The province will turn away from the obsolete 20th century recipes for economic growth. There will be encouragement of renewable energy, a more vigorous climate change policy, a durable carbon tax, measures to discourage the use of automobiles, etc.
5. A change in the culture of the legislature, where parties will understand that they must work together and compromise to get things done. Instead of yelling at each other, our elected politicians will have to sit down together and listen.
I am also looking forward to an aggressive opposition to fish farms, an end to the export of raw logs and a negative attitude to coal exports. As Dr. Weaver said many years ago, all things being equal BC coal was contributing more to global warming than Alberta’s tar sands oil. 15 times as much as a matter of fact.
Don't get me wrong. I think all of these parties are delusional, naive and ignorant about the conflict between economic growth and a healthy environment. All repeat the same line that we can have both. The Greens and the NDP and the federal Liberals do it with the use of euphemisms. They rebrand it as can "smart" growth. "Green" growth”, or "Managed" growth. But growth is growth.
Whatever growth is called, wherever it takes place, whether it consists of growth in the resource sector, or growth in the construction of infrastructure, of bridges and tunnels and highways, or growth in mass transit or growth in efficient technology, it still involves throughput. Metals, minerals and fuels will continue to be extracted, delivered and processed. Solar panels, windmills, dams, transmission towers, light rail cars, and buses are not made of fairy dust.
I believe that there is no environmentally benign form of industrialism, and that ultimately it doesn't matter if industrialism is under capitalist, socialist or social-democratic management. I also believe 'renewable energy" cannot be scaled up to meet the needs of a growing economy and a growing population---which all parties accept and promote. The "Green Economy" will depend on natural non-renewable resources that will soon not be affordably accessible. So despite my short-term excitement, I am still a doomster.
But I also understand that no political party that doesn’t want to commit suicide can call for de-growth----even if they understood that it is an imperative. Which they clearly don't.
So the only question is, which party or coalition of parties is less inclined to pursue reckless growth at a frentic pace? In B.C., it is the NDP-Green alliance. That is why I have a smile on my face.
PS NDP Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, in her defiant assurance that the trans mountain pipeline is a done-deal and that there is nothing that the new government can do about it , demonstrates how exceptional our province and its people are. Notley's sharply petulant reaction should remind us that there is nothing in NDP ideology that indicates an understanding of limits to growth. When the late NDP leader Jack Layton remarked that the only problem with growth is that its benefits are not fairly distributed, he was giving voice to standard social democratic thinking. But the BC NDP is a different animal. The Notley-Layton mentality lives in the BC NDP, but this perspective is counter-balanced by a strong green wing that echoes the sentiments of most British Columbians. More so on Vancouver Island. We live here because of its stunning natural beauty, and we want to keep it that way.
What Andrew Weaver and the Green Party have done is to tip the balance of power within the BC NDP toward its green faction. Terrific. I voted strategically this time, for the NDP, especially after Captain Paul Watson instructed Green voters to do the same. But I was extremely happy to learn that the Greens did well enough to be king makers. They saved the day.
A year ago, like a herd of buffalo being stampeded toward a cliff, people in my neck of the woods were convinced that "we must get rid of Harper" in order to "save the environment." When I asked such people what it was that Harper was doing that was so damaging to the environment, they all spewed the party line. "He's stripped the country of all environmental regulations." It came out like a programmed response. However, when I asked them to give me a specific example, without exception, no one could tell me. No one could name a single one of those environmental "regulations".
Of course, Harper did remove several regulations, and worse than that, muzzled scientists in Environment Canada who might spill the beans as to what was happening in the Canadian north. Canadian scientists were understandably enraged. OK. But the point here is that herd animals are not driven by any intimate knowledge of the issues that animate them, but by the instinct to follow their leaders. In that respect, political parties resemble religious congregations, and their conventions are more like revival meetings than symposiums. None more than the NDP.
My next question went something like this. "Mulcair (leader of the Opposition NDP) vowed that he would, as he put it, "get the oil to market"---but only after the restoration of regulations that would ensure that it was extracted and delivered in an "environmentally responsible" way. But isn't what happens AFTER the oil reaches the market the major issue here? No one buys oil without the intention of BURNING it. So isn't this talk about environmental responsibility just so much Greenwash? Would it not be akin to Goering or Hitler assuring Londoners that V2 rockets would be assembled and delivered in an environmentally responsible manner in full compliance with tough environmental regulations?
Again, no NDP supporter I encountered could answer that question either. Then I tried to drive in another nail. "Thanks to the government's tri-partisan policy on immigration, we have 7 million more consumers today than we did when the Kyoto accord was signed. These extra people are emitting twice the amount of GHG emissions as the whole Alberta tar sands project. And BTW, this population growth has despoiled twice as much land as the tar sands project. We are not talking about boreal forest here, but some of the best farmland in the country."
That's when the conversation ended. It was a show-stopper. In one case, though, it spiralled out of control. On a dark damp October night two days before the federal election, a neighbour down the street yelled at me, "Immigration has nothing to do with it!", and stalked off down his long driveway. Another neighbour to the south, on the other hand, just turned away. She hasn't spoken to me since then, almost a year ago now. That's the more typical reaction. Silence and withdrawal.
Immigration is a no-go zone, and if you press the issue you are a no-go zone. Presenting arguments that they cannot refute only hardens their position. In essence, I have attacked their religious beliefs. There is no greater sin than that.
In fact, Prime Minister Trudeau is rumoured to introduce legislation patterned on Quebec's Bill 51, making criticism of Islam a criminal offence. In other words, he plans to re-establish good old-fashioned laws against 'blasphemy'. Like so many 'progressives', that is, regressives, he is of the view that ideas and ideologies should enjoy immunity from comments, criticisms or depictions that might hurt their adherents' feelings. To do so would be "divisive" and "non-inclusive, and that wouldn't do. Not in today's Canada. "Diversity" and "inclusivity" are central to the catechism of our State Religion. Better include those words on the protected list too.
So it should come as no surprise if any criticism of immigration policy may one day be subject to state punishment to complement the public shaming of blasphemers in social media and the employer sanctions that follow. Especially after Trump's defeat. Opinions that are perceived to be remotely "hurtful" will be excluded by nervous editors. The chilling effect will extend far beyond legal definitions of un-Canadian utterances.
To prepare the ground for this tight constriction of "anti-immigrant" speech, we are now witnessing a number of articles, op-eds and radio commentaries that argue for a spectacular increase in the government's annual immigration intake. It seems like a replay of a similar campaign conducted some 5 or 6 years ago when people like Irvin Studin and Steve Lafleur were given free rein by the CBC or other MSM outlets to promote their vision of a Big Canada. Only this time, we can expect that this "Second Wave" will be wider in scope and more strident in tone. It seems that a belief in open floodgates is destined to become one of those core Canadian “values” that Justin Trudeau talks about.
Thus, a number of pro hyper-immigration articles have been popping up of late. The Globe and Mail recently posted such an article by Tom Milroy, “Immigration: how a bigger Canada benefits us all” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/immigration-how-a-bigger-canada-benefits-us-all/article32302399 . But, as retired Canadian diplomat Martin Collacott noted,
"In the past week the Conference Board of Canada also proposed increasing our population to 100 million (see the attached Toronto Star article) – hardly surprising since the Conference Board is funded by corporations and promotes their interests. Immigration Minister John McCallum is mentioned in the article as wanting to “substantially” increase immigration – which indeed he announced some weeks ago was his objective, notwithstanding the admission that work had to be done to convince Canadians this was a good idea. As far back as April 2001, McCallum began touting the idea that we should increase the population to 100 million."
This from one of Justin Trudeau's frontline cabinet ministers. That's Justin Trudeau, the "pro-environment" politician and climate change warrior.
It is amazing what Justin can get away with these days. He can visit a mosque and appear in a Pride Day parade in the same week. He can argue for economic growth and lower GHG emissions and a "clean environment" in the same speech. He can shill for big corporations and at the same time enjoy the support of credulous dupes who regard him as Nature's advocate.
This guy is a better actor than was Ronald Reagan. Proof positive that the Liberal Backroom Boys knew what they were doing when they chose a high school drama teacher to channel the Bay Street agenda while dressing it up in the clothing of social justice, tolerance and environmental sustainability. An airhead who can cloak his ignorance with politically correct platitudes with complete confidence that his adoring flock will not take a look at what is under his glossy, flowing hair---the vacuous mind of a preening charlatan.
He can read the lines. That's enough
‘I was to play Rachmaninoff, not preach politics’ – fired pianist Valentina Lisitsa to RT. This article first published April 07, 2015 22:19 http://rt.com/news/247297-canada-orchestra-pianist-ukraine/ The Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa has become even more famous than she's already been among the online community, after her political views cost her a job with a Canadian orchestra. And she doesn't plan on being silenced, she told RT.
See also: Toronto Symphony Bans Pianist Critical of Kiev Regime (9/4/15), twitter.com/ValLisitsa, Canada's Immigration Minister Delivers Pro-War Speech against Russia (18/3/15) and Kiev Becomes First European Capital to Openly Glorify Criminal Ideology (10/4/15).
"I always separated music from politics and tried to keep enormous distance between the two," the pianist told RT's 'In the Now' host Anissa Naouai on Tuesday, after news of how she's been treated by Canada's Toronto Symphony Orchestra has spread globally.
The hashtag #LetValentinaPlay surged in popularity on social media, and thousands of supporters spoke out for the artist, who was offered to be paid not to play.
READ MORE: Canadian orchestra drops Ukraine-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa over anti-Kiev posts
"I was about to play Rachmaninoff concertos with the orchestra, not to preach politics," Lisitsa, who was fired allegedly for her political views rather than lack of skill, told RT. The orchestra hasn't returned RT's requests to comment on the situation so far.
"I never expected my music to be silenced," the pianist said, adding that she's "totally for freedom of speech, freedom of discussion and freedom of heated argument."
"That's what I've been doing on Twitter," she said, explaining her extensive tweeting on Ukraine on the social platform, with her point of view not falling in line with the popular Western narrative, allegedly costing her a job.
Thomas Mulcair, MP
Leader of the Opposition
Dear Mr. Mulcair:
Thank you for opposing Harper’s extended and expanded war in Iraq and Syria, and for pointing out in parliament that conducting a military intervention in Syria, without the permission of the Syrian government and the UN Security Council, is a flagrant violation of international law. It’s reassuring to know that “an NDP-led government will end Canada's involvement in this war immediately.”
I am writing today to make three comments on your e-mail message to me, entitled “New Democrats on War in Iraq and Syria.”
First, I would like to draw to your attention that Tunisia is the latest of several countries to re-establish diplomatic ties with the government of Syria. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32172974) The Tunisian government went so far as to invite its Syrian counterpart to send an envoy to Tunis.
I feel that it is now incumbent upon you and the New Democratic Party to call upon the government of Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Syrian government as well. This move would help pave the way for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis. It would assist in ending over four years of terrible violence and the suffering of millions of Syrian refugees. It could contribute to the peace process under UN auspices at Geneva, as more and more countries realize that there is no military solution to the tragedy in Syria.
My second comment is that, to the best of my knowledge, neither you nor the NDP caucus have ever publicly declared that you are in favour of the UN-sponsored peace process for Syria. If I am wrong, please correct me. Canadians need to know that the opposition is indeed in favour of the peace process.
Instead, you and other members of the NDP caucus have raised unsubstantiated allegations about the conduct of the Syrian government, namely that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own citizens and that it cooperates with ISIS. Repeating these allegations, which are not supported by the facts or by various UN investigations, is counterproductive to the peace process, since it impedes opening a dialogue with the Syrian government, without whose participation no peace process is possible.
If you have concerns about the conduct of any of the warring parties in Syria, the appropriate place for these concerns to be raised is at the peace conferences at Geneva. Raising these allegations at other times only serves to reinforce the demonization of the Syrian government, which is part and parcel of the Harper government’s determination to have a military, rather than a humanitarian, mission in Iraq and Syria. We all know that this extended and expanded military mission in Syria could easily morph into a regime change operation.
My third comment is that your job as leader of the opposition requires that you hold the Canadian government to account. You might ask why the Harper government saw fit to help the USA organize the pre-conference in Tunisia (in December 2011) for the founding conference in Tunis in February, 2012, of the Friends of Syria Group of Countries (FSG), which group, in turn, organized a covert war for regime change in Syria – partly with Canadian tax dollars. You might demand an accounting for the several millions of our tax dollars that the Harper government donated directly to Syrian “rebels”, who are, in fact, the terrorist mercenaries who morphed into ISIS and invaded Iraq in 2014. You might question the wisdom of the Harper government’s hosting in Ottawa in June of 2013 – with our tax dollars - of a meeting of FSG countries for the purpose of co-ordinating economic sanctions against Syria - again without the approval of the UN Security Council.
Please focus your criticism on the Harper government of Canada and seek positively to influence public opinion for a resumption of diplomatic relations with the government of Syria and the continuation of the UN-sponsored peace process at Geneva.
I look forward to your reply on this very important matter,
member, Hamilton Mountain Federal Riding Association
exec member, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
, 17 Oct 2014.
In a letter sent to members, CBA president Michele Hollins stated "The [Legislation and Law Reform] Committee concluded that while the factum was well-drafted and of a high standard of quality, it did not meet the specific requirements of CBA’s Intervention Policy. Consequently, under the terms of the Intervention Policy, the CBA came to the conclusion that without the certification of the factum, the Intervention could not move forward and would be withdrawn."
Although the previous letter to members made mention of opposition to the CBA intervention, this second letter did not. Santiago Escobar, a member of the Anti Chevron Committee of Canada, in an interview with teleSUR stated "The CBA won’t admit this but they withdrew because of the protests they were facing, they knew that they couldn’t be seen supporting a corporation that has negatively affected the lives of so many Indigenous people in Ecuador."
The CBA’s legislative and law reform committee had recommended against proceeding. Meanwhile the environment, aboriginal, and civil litigation committees has urged the CBA not to intervene on behalf of Chevron. Kathryn Deo, who had resigned from the CBA in protest told the Globe and Mail "I’m sure it was a difficult decision but it was clearly the right decision and we are appreciative of their courage in reversing course." Lawyers in Canada were upset that the board of the CBA had authorized a law firm with ties to Chevron, Blake Cassels and Graydon LLP, to submit the brief.
At issue is whether the Ecuadorian plaintiffs can seize the assets of Chevron corporation in Canada in order to collect a USD $9.5 Million judgment against Chevron for the contamination it cause in the Lago Agrio region. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the case could indeed be heard. Chevron has appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which will hear the case in early December of this year. Chevron maintains that courts in Canada have no jurisdiction in this case, should the Supreme Court rule against them, the full judgment could be collected and paid to the Ecuadorian plaintiffs.
These extraction costs include threats to human water supplies, which some believe could threaten civilisation and human survival in large US populations, including New York, increasing fuel required to extract more fuel from more difficult places, massive earth subsidence and drastic landscape change, destruction of farmland, poisoning of soil, disturbance of pastoral and agricultural production and, most strikingly, destruction of democracy and property rights. France has outlawed fracking for these reasons. 
I contacted Fawzi Aloulou, the specialist spokesman for the following EIA report with questions about this. I asked him, whether he had information about the amount of energy and the financial cost of extracting this natural gas from the shale? I put it to him that, as he would be aware, we have gone from an earlier situation where liquid petroleum gushed from the ground and gas was blown off into the atmosphere to one where great lengths have to be gone to to get an energy return on investment.
I wrote to him: "The EIA figures don't show the changes in the costs of extraction for crude and other liquids over time, nor for [fracking shale]." I added that candobetter.net would like to publish the EIA reported findings but we feel that they need more comment re the energy and financial cost side.
Dr Fawsi thanked me for my interest in the EIA's work but replied, "We don’t publish the financial cost of extracting natural gas from shale for a simple reason: cost keeps changing over time as function of depth of the shale, depletion rate and technology improvement."
To this I responded with, "Surely an annual report could average them out?"
Dr Fawsi replied, "That’s a good guess. However, our cost estimates are model-generated and we do not post them in public domain."
My further question as to where I might find an objective source on this major factor in energy production has so far received no answer. But I am interested to know that the EIA does model the problem. There is probably nothing more important to the American and global public likely to be affected by increasing environmental and social turmoil associated with trying to keep up petroleum-type resources to maintain economic growth in an era of dwindling traditional fuel source forms.
Below is Dr Fawsi's report. At this point in time no-one I know can say what the amount of gas produced would look like if these graphs also revealed and deducted the amount of gas and other resources that were used up to produce these apparently stunning surpluses. For more on these unmentioned factors have a look at our pages on fracking and coal-seam gas.
EIA report that North America leads the world in production of shale gas
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, LCI Energy Insight, Canada National Energy Board, and Facts Global Energy
Note: Canadian data uses "marketable production," which is comparable to dry production.
The United States and Canada are the only major producers of commercially viable natural gas from shale formations in the world, even though about a dozen other countries have conducted exploratory test wells, according to a joint U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)/Advanced Resources International (ARI) study released in June. China is the only nation outside of North America that has registered commercially viable production of shale gas, although the volumes contribute less than 1% of the total natural gas production in that country. In comparison, shale gas as a share of total natural gas production in 2012 was 39% in the United States and 15% in Canada.
Shale gas dry production in the United States averaged 25.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2012, while total dry production averaged 65.7 Bcf/d. In Canada, total dry natural gas production from the two major shale plays—the Muskwa-Otter Park shale formation in the Horn River Basin of northern British Columbia and the adjacent Montney Basin that spreads over British Columbia and Alberta—averaged 2.0 Bcf/d in 2012, while total Canadian production averaged 14.0 Bcf/d. Gross withdrawals from Horn River and Montney averaged 2.5 Bcf/d in 2012, and reached 2.8 Bcf/d by May 2013. The potential for higher production from these two plays is currently constrained by limited pipeline infrastructure.
Source: Canada National Energy Board (NEB)
Note: Graph depicts "raw" natural gas production, a measure used by the NEB that is comparable to gross withdrawals. Raw natural gas production is the volume of natural gas produced at the wellhead.
China was ranked as the largest holder of shale gas resources among the 41 countries assessed for technically recoverable shale resources in the study released by EIA/ARI this past June. The Chinese government has not officially reported on shale gas production, but some independent Chinese energy analysts have claimed commercial production of at least 0.003 Bcf/d of shale gas, mainly from the Sichuan Basin.
Map of China with EIA/ARI shale gas/oil assessment, as explained in the article text.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration and Advanced Resources International
Principal contributor: Aloulou Fawzi
 "In Gaslands it has been suggested that, if completely developed, the huge Marcellus shale formation in the United states, under the current very poorly regulated, chaotically individual and uncoordinated system of drilling, could permit as many as 400,000 new wells. This might endanger the supply of water to New York, which would be catastrophic."
 Articles on social, vital and environmental costs of fracking
 Whilst official pronouncements try to normalise fracking as inevitable in the United States and Canada, the French experience highlights the coercive and outlandish application of this technology. More debate is needed and for debate, organisations like the EIA should release more information about these costs.
"France says "No" to fracking based on US experience
France has just passed its anti-fracking law in parliament. The law rescinds rights previously granted and puts any schale-mining for gas on hold pending new and safer technologies. Source: JT, Edition du Mercredi 13 Avril 2011, http://jt.france2.fr/20h/
This parliamentary decision is yet more evidence that the Napoleonic system in France and Europe is far more democratic - in protecting peoples' rights and communal (and national) assets and vital resources - than the anglophone systems in their various forms in Britain and her current and ex-colonies. America, Canada, Australia are among the least democratic countries in the world, with vast and growing differences between the haves and the have-nots, in legal systems which cannibalise and destroy their own community, citizens and resources. The reason that these countries are not yet obviously reduced to the poverty of Haiti is that their citizens started out with more resources per capita. As commonwealth is transferred more and more into private hands in those systems, people who have to date been able to survive, will not survive. The growing numbers of homeless and hopelessly endebted are indicators of the social unsustainability of the current economic and legal systems in Australia, America and Canada. In France and the rest of Europe, it is virtually impossible for citizens to be left without shelter unless they voluntarily opt out - as some homeless do - albeit with every attempt made to shelter them each winter.
High on the list of reasons against fracking in France was the risk of contamination of water supply and its impact on agriculture and human health." Source: First published as /?q=node/2348#comment-6275
by Naomi Klein - 3 September 2013. Sub-headings : Harper's one idea, Extractivism, Climate change — Don't look away, Climate change — is happening now, Climate change — is at the heart of all our existing demands, Climate action = the left agenda, How to pay for it, Trade, First nations, Overburden.
Naomi Kein delivered the following speech on September 1, 2013 at the founding convention of UNIFOR, a new mega union created by the Canadian Autoworkers and the Canadian Energy and Paper Workers Union. Full text of the speech follows the video.
I'm so very happy and honoured to be able to share this historic day with you.
The energy in this room — and the hope the founding of this new union has inspired across the country — is contagious.
It feels like this could be the beginning of the fight back we have all been waiting for, the one that will chase Harper from power and restore the power of working people in Canada.
So welcome to the world UNIFOR.
A lot of your media coverage so far has focused on how big UNIFOR is — the biggest private sector union in Canada. And when you are facing as many attacks as workers are in this country, being big can be very helpful. But big is not a victory in itself.
The victory comes when this giant platform you have just created becomes a place to think big, to dream big, to make big demands and take big actions. The kind of actions that will shift the public imagination and change our sense of what is possible.
And it's that kind of "big" that I want to talk to you about today.
Some of you are familiar with a book I wrote called The Shock Doctrine. It argues that over the past 35 years, corporate interests have systematically exploited various forms of mass crises — economic shocks, natural disasters, wars — in order to ram through policies that enrich a small elite, by shredding regulations, cutting social spending and forcing large-scale privatizations.
As Jim Stanford and Fred Wilson argue in their paper laying out UNIFOR's vision, the attacks working people in Canada and around the world are facing right now are a classic case of The Shock Doctrine.
There's no shortage of examples, from the mass slashing of salaries and layoffs of public sector workers in Greece, to the attacks on pension funds in Detroit in the midst of a cooked up bankruptcy, to the Harper government's scapegoating of unions for its own policy failures right here in Canada.
I don't want to spend my time with you proving that this ugly tactic of exploiting public fear for private gain is alive and well. You know it is; you are living it.
I want to talk about how we fight it.
And I'll be honest with you: when I wrote the book, I thought that just understanding how the tactic worked, and mobilizing to resist it, would be enough to stop it. We even had a slogan: "Information is shock resistance. Arm yourself."
But I have to admit something to you: I was wrong. Just knowing what is happening — just rejecting their story, saying to the politicians and bankers: "No, you created this crisis, not us" or "No, we're not broke, it's just that you are hording all the money" may be true but it's not enough.
It's not even enough when you can mobilize millions of people in the streets to shout "We won't pay for your crisis." Because let's face it — we've seen massive mobilizations against austerity in Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Britain. We've occupied Wall Street and Bay Street and countless other streets. And yet the attacks keep coming.
Some of the new movements that have emerged in recent years have staying power, but too many of them arrive, raise huge hopes, and then seem to disappear or fizzle out.
The reason is simple. We are trying to organize in the rubble of a 30 year war that has been waged on the collective sphere and workers rights. The young people in the streets are the children of that war.
And the war has been so complete, so successful, that too often these social movements don't have anywhere to stand. They have to occupy a park or a square to have a meeting. Or they are able to build a power base in their schools, but that base is transient by its nature, they are out in a few years.
This transience makes these movements far too easy to evict simply by waiting them out, or by applying brute state force, which is what has happened in far too many cases.
And this is one of the many reasons why the creation of UNIFOR, and your promise of reviving Social Unionism — building not just a big union but a vast and muscular network of social movements — has raised so much hope.
Because our movements need each other.
The new social movements bring a lot to the table — the ability to mobilize huge numbers of people, real diversity, a willingness to take big risks, as well as new methods of organizing including a commitment to deep democracy.
But these movements also need you — they need your institutional strength, your radical history, and perhaps most of all, your ability to act as an anchor so that we don't keep rising up and floating away.
We need you to be our fixed address, our base, so that next time we are impossible to evict.
And we also need your organizing skills. We need to figure out together how to build sturdy new collective structures in the rubble of neoliberalism. Your innovative idea of community chapters is a terrific start.
It's also important to remember that you are not starting from scratch. A remarkable group of people gathered a little less than a year ago for the Port Elgin Assembly and produced what they called the Making Waves agenda.
The most important message to come out of that process is that our coalitions cannot just be about top-down agreements between leaders; the change has to come from the bottom up, with full engagement from members.
And that means investing in education. Education about the ideological and structural reasons why we have ended up where we are. If we are going to build a new world, our foundation must be solid.
It also means getting out there and talking to people face to face. Not just the public, not just the media, but re-invigorating your own members with the analysis we share.
But there's something else too. Another reason why we can't seem to win big victories against the Shock Doctrine.
Even when there is mass resistance to an austerity agenda, and even when we understand how we got here, something is stopping us — collectively — from fully rejecting the neoliberal agenda.
And I think what it is is that we don't fully believe that it's possible to build something in its place. For my generation, and younger, deregulation, privatization and cutbacks is all we've ever known.
We have little experience building or dreaming. Only defending. And this is what I've come to understand as the key to fighting the Shock Doctrine.
We can't just reject the dominant story about how the world works. We need our own story about what it could be.
We can't just reject their lies. We need truths so powerful that their lies dissolve on contact with them. We can't just reject their project. We need our own project.
Now, we know Stephen Harper's project — he has only one idea for how to build our economy.
#n3500_OneIdea" id="n3500_OneIdea">Harper's one idea
Dig lots of holes, lay lots of pipe. Stick the stuff from the pipes onto ships — or trucks, or railway cars — and take it to places where it will be refined and burned. Repeat, but more and faster. Before anyone figures out that this is his one idea, and what has allowed him to maintain the illusion that he is some kind of responsible economic manager, while the rest of the economy falls apart.
It's why it's so important to this government to accelerate oil and gas production at an outrageous pace, and why it has declared war on everyone standing in the way, whether environmentalists or First Nations or other communities.
It's also why the Harper government is willing to sacrifice the manufacturing base of this country, waging war on workers, attacking your most basic collective rights.
This is not just about extracting specific resources — Harper represents an extreme version of a particular worldview. One that I sometimes call "extractivism". And others times simply call capitalism.
It's an approach to the world based on taking and taking without giving back. Taking as if there are no limits to what can be taken — no limits to what workers' bodies can take, no limits to what a functioning society can take, no limits to what the planet can take.
In the extractivist mindset, labour is a commodity just like the bitumen. And maximum value must be extracted from that resource — ie you and your members — regardless of the collateral damage. To health, families, social fabric, human rights.
When crisis hits, there is only ever one solution: take some more, faster. On all fronts.
So that is their story — the one we're trapped in. The one they use as a weapon against all of us.
And if we are going to defeat it, we need our own story.
#n3500_ClimateChange1" id="n3500_ClimateChange1">Climate change — Don't look away
So I want to offer you what I believe to be the most powerful counter-narrative to that brutal logic that we have ever had.
Here it is: our current economic model is not only waging war on workers, on communities, on public services and social safety nets. It's waging war on the life support systems of the planet itself. The conditions for life on earth.
Climate change. It's not an "issue" for you to add to the list of things to worry about it. It is a civilizational wake up call. A powerful message — spoken in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts — telling us that we need an entirely new economic model, one based on justice and sustainability.
It's telling us that when you take you must also give, that there are limits past which we cannot push, that our future health lies not in digging ever deeper holes but in digging deeper inside ourselves — to understand how ALL our fates are interconnected.
Oh, and one last thing. We need to make this transition, like, yesterday. Because our emissions are going in exactly the wrong direction and there's very little time left.
Now I know talking about climate change can be a little uncomfortable for those of you working in the extractive industries, or in manufacturing sectors producing carbon-intensive products like cars and planes.
I also know that despite your personal fears, you haven't joined the deniers like some of your counterparts in the U.S. — both of your former unions have all kinds of great climate policies on the books.
And this isn't some recent conversion either: the CEP courageously fought for Kyoto all the way back in the 90s. The CAW has been fighting against the environmental destruction of free trade deals even longer. [Former CEP President] Dave Coles even got arrested protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. That was heroic.
But...how to say this politely?...I think it's fair to say that climate change hasn't traditionally been your members greatest passion.
And I can relate: I'm not an environmentalist. I've spent my adult life fighting for economic justice, inside our country and between countries. I opposed the WTO not because of its effects on dolphins but because of its effects on people, and on our democracy.
The case I want to make to you is that climate change — when its full economic and moral implications are understood — is the most powerful weapon progressives have ever had in the fight for equality and social justice.
But first, we have to stop running away from the climate crisis, stop leaving it to the environmentalist, and look at it. Let ourselves absorb the fact that the industrial revolution that led to our society's prosperity is now destabilizing the natural systems on which all of life depends.
I'm not going to bore you with a whole bunch of numbers. Though I could remind you that the World Bank says we're on track for a four degrees warmer world. That the International Energy Agency — not exactly a protest camp of green radicals — says the Bank is being too optimistic and we're actually in for 6 degrees of warming this century, with "catastrophic implications for all of us". That's an understatement: we haven't even reached a full degree of warming yet and look at what is already happening.
#n3500_ClimateChange2" id="n3500_ClimateChange2">Climate change — is happening now
97% of the Greenland ice-sheet's surface was melting last summer — as Bill McKibben says, we've taken one of the great features of the planet and broken it.
And then there are the extreme weather events. Hell, I was in Fort McMurray this summer and the contents of the town's museum — literally, its history — was floating around in the water.
I was trying to get interviews with the big oil companies but their headquarters in Calgary were all empty as the downtown was dark and the city was frantically bailing out from the worst flood it has ever seen.
And not even the provincial NDP had the courage to say: this is what climate change looks like and we are going to have a lot more of it if those oil companies get their way.
We know that this climate emergency is only getting more dire. And our excuses about why we can't do anything about it — why it's somebody else's issue — are melting away.
But engaging on climate does not mean dropping everything else you are doing and turning into a raving environmentalist.
Because I know that the fights you are already waging against austerity, against new free trade deals, against attacks on unions have never been more important.
Which is why I'm not calling you to drop anything.
#n3500_ClimateChange3" id="n3500_ClimateChange3">Climate change — is at the heart of all our existing demands
My argument is that the climate threat makes the need to fight austerity all the more pressing, since we need public services and public infrastructure to both bring down our emissions and prepare for the coming storms.
Far from trumping other issues, climate change vindicates much of what the left has been demanding for decades.
In fact, climate change turbo-charges our existing demands and gives them a basis in hard science. It calls on us to be bold, to get ambitious, to win this time because we really cannot afford any more losses. It enflames our vision of a better world with existential urgency.
What I'm going to show you is that confronting the climate crisis requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook — and that we do so with great urgency.
#n3500_ClimateAction" id="n3500_ClimateAction">Climate action = the left agenda
So I'm going to quickly lay out what I believe a genuine climate action plan would look like. And it's not the market-driven non-sense we hear from some of the big green groups in the U.S. — changing your light bulbs, or carbon trading and offsetting. This is the real deal, getting at the heart of why our emissions are soaring.
And you will notice that a lot this will sound familiar. That's because much of this agenda is already embraced in the vision of your new union, not to mention everything you have been fighting for in the past.
First of all, we need to revive and reinvent the public sphere. If we want to lower our emissions, we need subways, streetcars and clean-rail systems that are not only everywhere but affordable to everyone.
We need energy-efficient affordable housing along those transit lines. We need smart electrical grids carrying renewable energy. We need garbage collection that has, as its goal, the elimination of garbage.
And we don't just need new infrastructure. We need major investments in the old infrastructure to cope with the coming storms. For decades we have fought against the steady starving of the public sphere.
Again and again we've seen how those decades of cuts have left us more vulnerable to climate disasters: superstorms bursting through decaying levees, heavy rain washing sewage into lakes, wildfires raging as fire crews are underpaid and understaffed. Bridges and tunnels buckling under the new reality of heavy weather.
Far from taking us away from the fight for a robust public sphere, climate change puts us right in the middle of it — but this time armed with arguments that raise the stakes significantly. It is not hyperbole to say that our future depends on our ability to do what we have so long been told we can no longer do: act collectively. And who better than unions to carry that message?
The renewal of the public sphere will create millions of new, high paying union jobs — jobs in fields that don't hasten the warming of the planet.
But it's not just boilermakers, pipefitters, construction workers and assembly line workers who get new jobs and purpose in this great transition.
There are big parts of our economy that are already low-carbon.
They're the parts facing the most disrespect, demeaning attacks and cuts. They happen to be jobs dominated by women, new Canadians, and people of colour.
And they're also the sectors we need to expand massively: the care-givers, educators, sanitation workers, and other service sector workers. The very ones that your new union has pledged to organize. The low-carbon workers who are already here, demanding living wages and respect. Turning low-paying low-carbon jobs into higher-paying jobs is itself a climate solution and should be recognized as such.
Here I think we should take inspiration from the fast-food workers in the United States and their historic strikes this past week. They are showing how this organizing can be done. Maybe it will turn out to be the first uprising in a sustained rebellion fighting for both real wages and real food! One in which the health of the workers and the health of society are inextricably linked.
It should be clear by now that I am not suggesting some half-assed token "green jobs" program. This is a green labour revolution I'm talking about. An epic vision of healing our country from the ravages of the last 30 years of neoliberalism and healing the planet in the process.
Environmentalists can't lead that kind of revolution on their own. No political party is rising to the challenge. We need you to lead.
#n3500_HowToPay" id="n3500_HowToPay">How to pay for it
So the big question is: how are we going to pay for all this?
I mean, we're broke, right? Or so our government is always telling us.
But with stakes this high, crying broke isn't going to cut it. We know that it's always possible to find money to bail out banks and start new wars. So that means we have to go to where the money is, and the money is with the fossil fuel companies and the banks that finance them. We have to get our hands on some of their super profits to help clean up the mess they made. It's a simple concept, well established in law: the polluter pays.
We know we can't get the money by continuing to extract more. So as we wind down our dependence on fossil fuels, as we extract LESS, we have to keep MORE of the profits.
There's lots of ways to do that. A national carbon tax and higher royalties are the most obvious. A financial transaction tax would be a big help. Raising corporate taxes across the board would too.
When you do that, suddenly, digging holes and laying pipe isn't the only option on the table.
Quick example. A recent study from the CCPA compared the public value from a five billion dollar pipeline — Enbridge Gateway for instance — and the value from the same amount of money invested in green economic development.
Spend that money on a pipeline, you get mostly short-term construction jobs, big private sector profits, and heavy public costs for future environmental damage.
Spend that money on public transit, building retrofits and renewable energy, and you get, at the very least, three times as many jobs...not to mention a safer future. The actual number of jobs could be many times more than that, according to their modeling. At the highest end, green investment could create 34 times more jobs than just building another pipeline.
And how do you raise five billion dollars for public investments like that? A minimal national carbon tax of ten dollars a tonne would do the trick. And there would be five billion new dollars every year. Unlike the one-off Enbridge put on the table.
Environmentalists, and I include myself here, have to do a much better job of not just saying no to projects like Northern Gateway but also forcefully saying yes to our solutions about how to build and finance green infrastructure.
Now: these alternatives makes perfect sense on paper, but in the real world, they slam headlong into the dominant ideology that tells us that we can't increase taxes on corporations, that we can't say no to new investment, and moreover, that we can't actively decide what kind of economy we want — that we are supposed to leaving it all to the magic of the market.
Well — we've seen how the private sector manages this crisis. It's time to get back in there. This transition needs to be publicly managed. And that will mean everything from new crown corporations in energy, to a huge re-distribution of power, infrastructure and investment.
A democratically-controlled, de-centralized energy system operated in the public interest. This agenda is increasingly being described as "energy democracy" and it's not a new idea in the union world — Sean Sweeney of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University is here today, and many fine trade unions — including CEP - have been working on this agenda for years. It's time to turn energy democracy into a reality here in Canada. "Power to the people" is a terrific slogan to start with.
As you all know, there have been some modest attempts by provincial governments to play a more activist role in bringing about a green transition, while resisting the pressure to double down on dirty energy.
But in those cases, we're starting to see something very disturbing. In the provinces where governments have taken the most positive, bold action, they're getting dragged into trade court.
And that brings me to the last piece of a real progressive climate agenda.
It's time to rip up so-called Free Trade deals once and for all. And we sure as hell can't be signing new ones.
You've fought them for decades now, since the CAW played such a pivotal role in the battle against the first Free Trade deal with the US. You've fought them because they undermine workers rights both here and abroad, because they drive a race to the bottom, because they hyper-empower corporations.
And you were right — even more right than you knew. Because not only is corporate globalization largely responsible for soaring emissions, but now the logic of free trade is directly blocking us from making the specific changes needed to reduce climate chaos in response.
A couple of quick examples.
Ontario's Green Energy plan is far from perfect. But it has a very sensible "buy local" provision so that wind and solar projects in Ontario actually deliver jobs and economic benefits to local communities. It's the core principle of a just transition.
Well, the World Trade Organization has decided that this measure is illegal.
The CAW is already in a coalition fighting back — but more green policies will face the same corporate challenges.
Here's another example. Quebec banned fracking — a courageous move that has been taken up by two consecutive governments.
But a US drilling company is planning to sue Canada for $250- million dollars under NAFTA's Chapter 11, claiming the ban interferes with its "valuable right to mine for oil and gas under the St. Lawrence river."
We should have seen this coming. A WTO official was quoted almost a decade ago, saying that the WTO enables challenges against "almost any measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
In other words, these maniacs think trade should trump everything, including the planet itself. If there has ever been an argument to stop this madness, climate change is it.
The battle lines have never been clearer. Climate change is the argument that must trump all others in the battle against corporate free trade. I mean, sorry guys, but the health of our communities and our planet is just a little more important than your god-given right to obscene profits.
These are moral arguments we can win.
And we don't have to wait for governments to give us permission. Next time they close a factory making fossil-fuel machinery — whether cars, tractors, or airplanes — don't let them do it.
Do what workers are doing from Argentina to Greece to Chicago: occupy the factory. Turn it into a green worker co-op. Go beyond negotiating a last, sad severance. Demand the resources — from companies and governments — to start building the new economy right now.
Whether that's electric trains or windmills. Watch that factory turn into a beacon for students, anti-poverty activists, environmentalists, First Nations. All fighting together for that vision.
Climate change is a tool. Pick it up and use it. Use it to demand the supposedly impossible.
It's not a threat to your jobs, it's the key to liberation from a logic that is already waging a war on the entire concept of dignified work.
So all we need is the political power to make this vision a reality. And that power can be built on the urgency and science of the climate crisis.
If we stay true to a clear vision that these changes are what is required to stave off an ecological collapse, then we will change the conversation.
We'll escape from the clutches of narrow free-market economics, where we are constantly told to ask for less and expect less and we will find ourselves in a conversation about morality — about what kind of people we want to be, about what kind of world we want for ourselves and our kids.
If we set the terms of that conversation, we back Stephen Harper up against the wall.
We finally hold him accountable for the lethal ideology he serves — the one that he has been hiding behind that bland and boring mask of his.
That's how you shift the balance of forces in this country.
If UNIFOR becomes the voice for a boldly different economic model, one that provides solutions to the attacks on working people, on poor people, and the attacks on the Earth itself, then you can stop worrying about your continued relevance.
You will be on the front lines of the fight for the future, and everyone else — including the opposition parties — will have to follow or be left behind.
#n3500_FirstNations" id="n3500_FirstNations">First nations
I believe that a key to this shift is deepening your alliance with First Nations, whose constitutionally guaranteed title to land and resources is the biggest legal barrier Harper faces to his vision of Canada as an extraction and export machine — a country-sized sacrifice zone.
As my friend Clayton Thomas Mueller says, imagine if the workers and First Nations actually joined forces in a meaningful coalition — the rightful owners of the land, side by side with the people working the mines and pipelines, coming together to demand another economic model?
People and the earth itself on one side, predatory capitalism on the other.
The Harper Tories wouldn't know what hit them.
But this is about more than strategic alliances. As we tell our own story of a different Canada to stand up to Harper's story about endless extraction, we will need to learn from the Indigenous worldview. The one that understands that you can't just take and take, but also care-take, and give back whenever you harvest. That five-year-plans are for kids, and grownups think about seven generations. A worldview that reminds us that there are always unforeseen consequences because everything is connected.
Because building the kinds of deep coalitions that we need begins with identifying the threads that connect all of our struggles. And indeed that recognize they are the SAME struggle.
I want to leave you with a word that might help. Overburden.
When I was in the tar sands earlier this summer, I kept thinking about it. Overburden is the word used by mining companies to describe the "waste earth covering a mineral deposit."
But mining companies have a strange definition of waste. It includes forests, fertile soil, rocks, clay — basically anything that stands between them and the gold, copper, or bitumen they are after.
Overburden is the life that gets in the way of money. Life treated as garbage.
As we passed pile after pile of masticated earth by the side of the road, it occurred to me that it wasn't just the dense and beautiful Boreal forest that was "overburden" to these companies.
We are all overburden. That's certainly the way the Harper government sees us.
Unions are overburden since the rights you have won are a barrier to unfettered greed.
Environmentalists are overburden, because they are always going on about climate change and oil spills.
Indigenous people are overburden, since their rights and court challenges get in the way.
Scientists are overburden, since their research proves what I've been telling you.
Democracy itself is overburden to our government — whether it's the right of citizens to participate in an environmental assessment hearing, or the right of Parliament to meet and debate the future of the country.
This is the world deregulated capitalism has created, one in which anyone and anything can find themselves discarded, chewed up, tossed on the slag heap.
But "overburden" has another meaning. It also means, simply, "to load with too great a burden"; to push something or someone beyond their limits.
And that's a very good description of what we're experiencing too.
Our crumbling infrastructure is overburdened by new demands and old neglect.
Our workers are overburdened by employers who treat their bodies like machines.
Our streets and shelters are overburdened by those whose labour has been deemed disposable.
The atmosphere is overburdened with the gasses we are spewing into it.
And it is in this context that we are hearing shouts of "enough!" from all quarters. This much and NO further.
We heard it from the fast food worker in Milwaukee, who went on strike this week holding a sign saying, "I am worth more" and helped set off a national debate about inequality.
We heard it from the Quebec Students last summer, who said "No" to a tuition increase and ended up unseating a government and sparking a national debate about the right to free education.
We heard it from the four women who said "No" to Harper's attacks on environmental protections and indigenous rights, pledging to be Idle No More, and ended up setting off an indigenous rights uprising across North America.
And we are hearing "Enough" from the planet itself as it fights back in the only ways it can.
Everywhere, life is reasserting itself. Insisting that it is not overburden.
We are starting to realize that not only have we had enough — but that there is enough.
To quote Evo Morales, there is enough for all of us to live well. There just isn't enough for some of us to live better and better.
To close off, I want to read an excerpt from Article 2 of your brand new constitution.
Words that many of us have been waiting a very long time to hear. Words that you may have already heard today, but they bear repeating. Here goes...
"Our goal is transformative. To reassert common interest over private interest.
Our goal is to change our workplaces and our world. Our vision is compelling.
It is to fundamentally change the economy, with equality and social justice, restore and strengthen our democracy and achieve an environmentally sustainable future.
This is the basis of social unionism — a strong and progressive union culture and a commitment to work in common cause with other progressives in Canada and around the world."
Brothers and Sisters, all I would add is: don't say it if you don't mean it.
Because we really, really need you to mean it.
What's wrong with the Canadian Environmental Movement? Why don't Canadian environmental organisations protest about the huge impact of successive government's policies to promote mass immigration to Canada? The six million more people imported to Canada since 1991 would account for four times as much GHG emissions as the Alberta tar sands project. Overpopulation is the number one issue that multiplies every other impact. Why is this message of the original promoter of Earth Day forgotten today?
Questions for the environmental movement on Earth Day: Do you think adding these many people (250,000+) to Canada every year has no impact on the environment? Is that why you remain silent about it? Or is the money you get from corporations like RBC, TD Bank and the Van City mortgage empire (the latter two, donors to the BC Sierra Club)? More people, more home building, more loans, more cheap labour!
And the real influx is much higher than this, including those here on "temporary" visas who forget to leave. Real figure: somewhere between 4-500,000 per year. That is one Mississauga worth of consumers added to our numbers each year, year after year after year. Mind-boggling.
1991 - Kyoto and the start of Mulroney/McDougal mass immigration push
1991 was the year that the Kyoto accord was signed. It was also the year that Brian Mulroney and his Immigration Minister, Barbara McDougall, began the era of hyper-immigration so that, according to McDougall's reasoning, the Conservatives could lure ethnic voters away from the Liberal Party (Hey, it finally worked!). Since then, Canada has gained more than 6 million extra people that otherwise would not be here. Those six million people have been responsible for FOUR times as much GHG emissions as the Alberta tar sands project and FOUR times as much land despoilation. Not boreal forest, but largely prime Class 1 farmland. Mass immigration has been the biggest ecological disaster of the last twenty years of Canadian history. More than any pipeline, more than any mining project, and certainly more than our nuclear industry, the most inflated of all boogeymen on the landscape. Mass immigration is definitely not, as Elizabeth May said, a 'trivial' issue.
About Immigration, not Immigrants ...
This is about immigration, not immigrants. "While immigrants did not invent our profligate lifestyle, they nevertheless aspire to it, as our parents, grandparents or great grandparents once did in coming here. Improving one’s lot is, after all, is the major and fully understandable motive for those who choose to settle here. The point is not to blame immigrants but to cite immigration as the major driver of population growth, which, contrary to green perceptions, has a demonstrably negative impact on our environment. " http://candobetter.net/node/2254 Each of us are part of the problem, but increasing our numbers cannot be a solution. In fact, radically reducing our existing population level is essential to our survival. Ask the scientists. Ask Canadian scientists like Dr. Michael Healey, or Dr. David Schindler, or Dr. David Hughes of Cortes Island. We should aim for a national population level of half, or less than half, of what we presently have. We must return immigration intakes to sane levels, stop rewarding people for having children, encourage adoption and discourage IVF treatments. Instead, we are growing leaps and bounds while the environmental movement stands mute.
What's got the Canadian Environmental Movement's tongue?
A second question therefore arises. Why hasn't the environmental movement demanded an environmental review panel process for the policy of mass immigration? Why are there not people lined up at the microphone in hearings across the country demanding that an environmental assessment be done for a policy that has made Canada the leader in population growth among G8 countries? Why? Why? Why?
Is it political correctness? Cowardice? Wilful blindness? Stupidity? Or a mercenary quest to keep corporate funding, funding which Big Green Inc. is careful to try to hide from its grassroots membership? Why do the members of these corrupt behemoths lack the diligence and the integrity to scrutinize the books of their beloved green champions and ask the appropriate questions? Question like "Why is my organization accepting money from big corporations and big banks? What do we have do in return for that money? What does RBC, the TD Bank and Encana Corp, for example, want from Big Green? Why is the grass roots membership content to rely upon the filtered information of their trusted Club representatives rather than do their own research? How can they remain ignorant of the foundational formula of the environmental movement, the IPAT equation?
April 22, 2013
Earth Day Founder Advocated That U.S. Dramatically Cut Immigration and Stabilize Its Population
We make eight key points about Earth Day, 2013 :
(1) Earth Day was founded by the late Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Nelson was a U.S. Democratic Senator and Wisconsin Governor.
(2) A giant among environmentalists, Nelson advocated that in order for the U.S. to protect its environment, it had to dramatically cut legal immigration, enforce its laws to stop illegal immigration, and stabilize the U.S. population.
(3) He was the author of the U.S. Wilderness Act, numerous other environmental bills, and an inspiration for many more. He was a forceful leader in attempting to convince environmental organizations that they could never achieve their long-term goals unless the US achieved population stabilization through immigration reduction.
(4) On Earth Day’s 30th anniversary in 2000, Nelson said : “Population, global warming and sustainability would be my suggestions for the three most urgent environmental challenges…. Stabilizing U.S. population is a challenge that could be resolved in a relatively short period resulting in significant economic and environmental benefits. At the current rate of population growth, the population of the US will (rise)… to some 530 million within the next 65 to 70 years. If that happens, the negative consequences will be substantial if not, indeed, disastrous. To stabilize our population would require a dramatic reduction in our immigration rate….
(5) “The hard fact is that while the population is booming here and round the world, the resource base that sustains the economy is rapidly dwindling. It is not just a problem in faraway lands, it is an urgent, indeed, a critical problem here at home right now. We are talking about deforestation, aquifer depletion, air pollution, water pollution, and depletion of fisheries, urbanization of farmland, soil erosion and much more…
(6) “The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become…. We have to address the population issue. The United Nations, with the US supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’ “
(7) To those economists whose only concern is maximizing GDP, thereby disregarding environmental concerns, Nelson would thunder that, “These people refuse to recognize that the economy is the wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.” If the environment collapses, so will the economy which depends on it.
(8) Gaylord Nelson's name is largely ignored and his message has been downplayed and betrayed by most environmental organizations, our media and our governments. To many of these people, environmentalism has been trivialized to recycling toilet paper rolls while the roof of the world falls on their heads.
April 22, 2013
Canada is at the mercy of ruthless growth-merchants, just like Australia. Until recently, however, counter-growthism Canadians seemed to be almost totally unrepresented in their local, provincial and national press. Candobetter Free Press was therefore interested when news came our way of an exchange between growthists and counter-growthists on the British Columbian island of North Saanich. Another counter-growthist writer, Tim Murray, also lives on an island in British Columbia - Quadra. He often complains about the prevalence of growth politics there in a general aura of Greenwash and the lack of representation of other ideas in the local and national press.
North Saanich is located on the Saanich Peninsula, approximately 25 kilometres north of Victoria, British Columbia on southern Vancouver Island. The District is surrounded on three sides by 40 kilometres of ocean shoreline, and is comprised of rural/residential areas, and a large agricultural base. It has an international Airport (Victoria International Airport) and a ferry terminal (Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal).
Calls for 'more housing'
Recently a resident there wrote in to the local paper, The Times Colonist, calling for more housing to be built to accommodate employees of local businesses. The theme was 'more growth needed'. The writer, J.A. Tomminen, anticipated objections. (http://www.timescolonist.com/Housing+needed+North+Saanich/7481260/story.html#ixzz2B1jky1u1) He dismissed environmental concerns in advance with a questionable assurance that what he was proposing would not destroy "the ambience" of North Saanich. I say, 'questionable' because how the hell can he guarantee anything of the sort? And, when the natural environment is gone and Saanich is overpopulated, how do we go back and, will Mr Tomminem pay damages to all the original inhabitants? I think not. So what is his word worth?
What he actually wrote was: "We can create a vibrant community without destroying the ambiance of North Saanich."
Most environmentalist bulldust detectors would start beeping at the word 'vibrant', because it is a growth industry buzz-word for uncomfortably high population density, usually associated with high rates of overseas immigration. For this reason alone I recently screened-out two Australian local election contenders, who used the word in their election material.
"Ambience" is a plastic substitute word for 'environment' and it tends to include bright lights, loud drunks, gentrified suburbs, yuppie venues, choking fumes, increased traffic, violence, and higher rates and taxes. Ambience means the synthetic environment. "Ambience" has no time for natural environment, local flora and fauna, stable populations, low land costs, home orchards and self-sufficiency.
Vibrancy and ambience together with 'more housing', 'progress', 'moving forward' and other growth lexicon, are all about a desperate raking in of dough, faster and faster, in any way possible. Whilst one recognises that the harsh world we live in pushes more and more people to scrape a living by pushing others around and doing stuff they would not choose to do, anyone who can still draw the line in the sand, needs to stand up for quality of life, democracy, natural environment and honesty.
Short term thinking
On September the 24th, 2011, Allan Tominem and Lucy Tominem (who had then only lived in North Saanich for four years) signed a letter to the council encouraging it to support the idea of an industrial park, and questioning the economic viability of having so many farms. The argument was largely based on the idea that the community could not remain as it was because it cannot provide jobs for people of all ages.
The fact that in the past it was not necessary for farms to be highly productive, nor for farmers to make a profit margin so high that it would finance other industries is overlooked in such discussions. The fact that the growth economy is unsustainable and leaves big populations high and dry when bubbles burst is not addressed.
It actually sounds as if North Saanich is still capable of providing a self-sufficent economy - just not a growth economy.
America, Canada, Australia, and most of the Anglophone countries are scraping around for a living in a declining growth economy of which the symptoms are nomadic movement of people from dying suburbs in search of work. Unfortunately the real-estate bubbles that have caused international debt have encouraged a delusional view that high turnovers and big profit margins are the norm. But the real-estate economy is parasitic and only lasts for as long as it can milk established wealth by developing land cheaply and buying and selling land and buildings to people on credit who must then find work to service their debts where no long-term work exists.
Responding to the Tominem's attempts to drive infrastructure expansion in North Saanich, Diane McNally wrote in the Victoria Times Colonist, that it is time to put limits on the island's growth. McNally is a member of the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee and the School Board.
On 30 October, she wrote, "There are limits to growth. The fact that we live on an island makes our area an excellent laboratory for the concept." She asked, "What future are development-approving "pro-future" fans envisioning? What is the vision for North Saanich and Saanich Peninsula? What is the vision for the Capital Regional District and the South Island?"
She criticised the promotion of "growth" as "fresh and new", pointing to how it is really the artificial preservation of a superceded economic system that uses up ecosystems. When would the growthists in Saanich "address a limit to population increase on this island?" she asked.
"It's past time time to take "degrowth" seriously, a concept first expressed by ecological economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen in 1971 in reference to the ecological limits to growth as it relates to the industrial economic growth model. I applaud supporters of planned downscaling of production and consumption: they are the real "pro-future" supporters, who think far enough ahead to consider long-term ecosystem and human survival."
Let us hope that environmental and economic thinkers in North Saanich support Ms McNally and the long-term future of their island which hosts green forests, wildlife and sustainable farms, in an encroaching sea of Canadian concrete and growthist ideology. Why would any community throw such uniqueness away? The answer is, of course, that communities don't; it is bad government that sells them out.
Two thousand “Temporary” Foreign Workers ---Chinese miners---are coming to extract coal from northeastern British Columbia, Canada, close to three First Nations reserves who suffer unemployment rates over 70% !
'Diversity' drives down wages in Canada
Two thousand “Temporary” Foreign Workers ---Chinese miners---are coming to extract coal from northeastern BC, close to three First Nations reserves who suffer unemployment rates over 70% !
Government and industry tell us that we don’t have enough trained workers of our own. But maybe the real problem is that our workers are not trained to accept substandard wages for hard, dangerous work, that neither government nor industry has taken a serious inventory of our labour needs or resources, and that they are gripped by a quick-fix mentality that looks overseas rather than investing in the training of our own people, particularly of native youth.
Development: What's the big hurry?
And there is another elephant in the room. The primary question. Why the mad rush to “develop”, mine, drill and transport every resource in sight? Whose agenda are we following? The long term needs of Canadians, or the shareholders of foreign corporations and revenue-hungry debt-addicted governments? What becomes of the extra millions we import in a generation, when the ‘gold rush’ is over?
Nothing so permanent as a "temporary" worker
These miners are being brought in as “Temporary” Foreign Workers. A labour category whose numbers have tripled in just six years. But as the saying goes, there is nothing so permanent in Canada as a “Temporary Foreign Worker”. The trade union establishment, in fact, wants to smooth their transition into formal immigrant status. This reflects the ambition to “bring them into the union”, rather than to protect Canadian workers by demanding their expulsion. One often gets the impression that unions care more growing their dues-paying membership base and about exploited temporary workers than about the jobs of Canadians that those workers have displaced. Whatever happened to the ancient understanding that the best friend of the working man (or woman) is a tight labour market?
Canadian Political parties addicted to ethnic votes
Until recently, it was the cross-party consensus that Canada should have a ‘tap on, tap off’ immigration policy. That is, Canada would open the gates wider when times were good and foreign workers were needed, but close them when times were tough, as they are now. That consensus was blown apart two decades ago when the Mulroney government dramatically jacked up immigration quotas to unprecedented levels, motivated not by economic considerations but by political ones. Namely, the desire of the Conservative government to woo ethnic voters away from the Liberal Party by expanding immigration. Since then, successive governments have kept up that unwarranted intake for fear of chasing ethnic voters away into the embrace of the opposition parties eager to capture their loyalty.
Canada needs stability, not boom and bust
The truth is, we don’t need to dig up and ship out our resources at breakneck speed. We don’t need to follow the classic boom-and-bust cycle that has cursed our resource economy for a century. And we don’t need to recklessly import millions of foreign workers to pursue that kind of roller-coaster economic model.
The aim of public policy should not be to get rich quick, but secure economic stability over the long haul. The word “sustainable” has been abused beyond meaning. But nonetheless, it applies here. It should be clear that a sustainable economy is better than one that rises like rocket, and then crashes. A sustainable economy for a sustainable population level.
October 27, 2012
Australia and Canada are in a race to the bottom to dig up all their minerals. They are importing workers and failing to train their own. Their politicians are caught up in the myth of sustainable economic growth. "The tar sands are the engine of that growth. And we'll want top dollar for what we export because the thirst for tax revenue is insatiable. We'll want the Americans to compete with the Chinese for the privilege of burning our bounty of black death. No wonder then that the support for continued mass immigration is bipartisan. We are in a big hurry to get that resource out of the ground and get it shipped out ASAP---so we bringing in migrant labour like mad to satisfy a "shortage" in skilled labour that we assume to exist because we have never conducted a proper inventory nor seriously tried to train our own people."
Bill McKibben has recently given us the latest terrifying math about global warming http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
More terrifying math
Here is some more terrifying math:
There are 3 major political parties in Canada's House of Commons.
Guess how many of them support the Alberta oil sands project? Three.
What? How can that be? The Green-Left and those who lap up whatever Avaaz.org, Common Dreams, 350.org, Huffington Post et al have to say are led to believe that is the Hated Harper who is responsible for pushing through this project and the two major proposed pipelines. No doubt. He is our current Prime Minister and he does have the captain's wheel. But wait...
Both Liberal Leader Bob Rae and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, when pressed, say they favour the "sustainable development" of the "oil" sands. (That's what people call it when they are addressing Alberta voters). But they caution that it must be done in an "environmentally responsible" way. "Sustainability is not just about the environment", Rae said, "There is also social sustainability and economic sustainability---we need a balanced approach. We need sustainability and we need development."
That is exactly what Harper says too, though he might reverse the word order to read "development and sustainability". What rubbish. http://www.populationmedia.org/2010/06/25/there-really-is-only-one-kind-of-sustainability
a) How does one "develop" the tar sands to extract a finite resource "sustainably"? The resource is finite. A finite resource cannot be replenished in a time scale relevant to the human race. Get it?
b) How does one develop the tar sands in an "environmentally responsible" way when the mere extraction will not only threaten the Athabaska River with lethal toxins but use up much of the remaining global "budget" of 565 'gigatons' of C02, which if exceeded are thought to make runaway temperature increases inevitable.
All parties, all politicians and all corporations are shopping the same soothing, oxymoronic lies, the same greenwash. If there are differences, they are merely ones of nuance and emphasis. The bottom line is that they all want economic growth---Oops, sorry, I meant "development"---but they want it to be aesthetically tidy enough to convince the public that nothing irrevocably damaging is being done to Mother Earth. Trouble is, "Mom" is not fooled by euphemisms.
This Coalition of Deceit and Ruin looks at the polls and realizes that the majority of Canadians of all political hues---even those who say they support the NDP, the Liberals or the Greens-----want jobs. Aboriginals want jobs. All levels of government want jobs---- and the tax revenues that flow from them. We are hooked on growth because we are hooked on pensions, medical care, education, and a standard of living to which we have grown accustomed. We rely on economic growth to pay for all this and to outgrow our debts. Our pension system requires a cash injection of $6 billion more today than it did two years ago. Our heath care system needed $5 billion more this year just to alleviate surgery waiting lists that force 46,000 Canadians a year to leave the country in search of timely treatment. So much for Michael Moore's utopian portraits of the "Canadian Way".
Sustained growth economics an impossible dream
Both our pension and health care systems are on unsustainable trajectories. Where are governments going to find the money? Oh, I know, "tax the rich". Sorry, that’s been tried. Ask the socialists in Greece and Spain. Ask the socialists who were elected to office in four Canadian provinces on the coat-tails of that slogan, and then backed off when they realized what Bill Clinton and the Swedish Social Democrats realized in the mid-90s. Money has wings. Raising taxes on the "rich" does not necessarily raise tax revenue. In fact, at some point, the reverse is true (the famous Laffer curve). That is why Clinton and the Swedish socialists lowered marginal tax rates. We believe that we are entitled to our "entitlements", and continuing economic growth (necessary but alas impossible) is the ticket out of the box we have built for ourselves.
Why import workers?
The tar sands are the engine of that growth. And we'll want top dollar for what we export because the thirst for tax revenue is insatiable. We'll want the Americans to compete with the Chinese for the privilege of burning our bounty of black death. No wonder then that the support for continued mass immigration is bipartisan. We are in a big hurry to get that resource out of the ground and get it shipped out ASAP---so we bringing in migrant labour like mad to satisfy a "shortage" in skilled labour that we assume to exist because we have never conducted a proper inventory nor seriously tried to train our own people.
Of course, the voices on the establishment "Left" would like to see the pace of this "development" slowed down, and the hearings drag on so to make the government sweat. But this is political gamesmanship. Were they in office---the tar sands project would continue. It would have to if the Opposition wanted to keep its own voter base, a base that looks to government to defend and extend our straining social safety net.
This project is UNSTOPPABLE. We can argue about the pace and the disposition of the pipelines, but that oil is coming out and it is going to be exported. And while there is currently a sizeable opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Columbia, the recent news that the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation paid a 60% premium above market value to purchase to purchase a majority stake---$15.1 billion---- in Nexen reinforces a belief that somehow, some way, Canadian tar sands oil will find a way to the Pacific coast. Until the Nexen takeover----still awaiting government approval----CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinopec Group have poured over $18 billion into buying minority stakes in tar sands projects operated by other companies.
The Chinese don't gamble that kind of money on maybes. The opposition NDP will win the BC election, and it may block the pipeline for three years---but that's it. Money talks. My bet is that will strike a deal and greenwash its nature. If they don't, they're gone.
Meanwhile, Harper wears the goat horns and the Green-Left gives the Liberals and the NDP a free pass. The hypocrisy sickens me.
Gutless, deceitful and as slimy as the oil they argue about---that about sums up the whole lot of them.
July 25, 2012
Source of images used: http://www.ecmperformance.com/images/mining-pit.jpg
Although First Nations are still dealing with the adverse effects of Colonization and Residential Schools, a new threat looms on the horizon. As Statistics Canada figures imply, immigration could likely be the next great obstacle that Canada's First People have to overcome in the fight to improve their lives.
By Curtis Dekoning
(Edited by Christy Anderson, MA student, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg)
I am an Aboriginal.
Here in Canada, Aboriginal People are given only nominal historical and cultural recognition. Canada has dedicated February as Black History Month and May as Asian Heritage Month, but all that Aboriginals get is one day, June 21. Yet we are North America's first people.
The Jews have drawn the entire world's attention to their Holocaust, but it is nothing compared to the North American holocaust created by European colonizers : 120 million Native North American Men, Woman and Children massacred in the name of progress. Yet we have no memorials.
The great irony is that a New Holocaust has begun. Giving much more recognition to Aboriginal history and all the dark events in it could help to extinguish the New Holocaust. But if that and other measures, including a very important cut to immigration, are not taken now, this New Holocaust will include both Aboriginals and the descendants of the European people who colonized Canada.
There is little doubt that the New Holocaust is being caused by Canada's mass immigration policy which can best be described as the re-colonization of Canada.
Many changes impacting on Canadian Aboriginals
As a long term resident of the inner-city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, I have seen many changes over the last 25 years that have negatively impacted the lives of Aboriginal Peoples.
Here's an example of the negative impact : As many probably know, Manitoba has the highest Aboriginal population, per capita, in all of North America. According to the 2006 Statistics Canada census, the employment rate among immigrants is a country-leading 73.1 per cent and their unemployment rate is only 6.8 per cent, the second lowest in Canada.
In contrast, statistics from the same 2006 census show that Canada's First People have much lower employment rates and much higher unemployment rates. The 2006 data shows that the employment rate for First Nations people aged 25 to 54 living in Winnipeg was only 57.8%.
Although First Nations are still dealing with the adverse effects of Colonization and Residential Schools, a new threat looms on the horizon. As Statistics Canada figures imply, immigration could likely be the next great obstacle that Canada's First People have to overcome in the fight to improve their lives. Canada is a "multi-ethnic" society and people come from all over the world looking for greater opportunities, and hoping to improve their quality of life. This is one thing that makes Canada such a great country.
Yet our nation's First People are lagging behind our immigrant new-comer population in many ways which are vital to accessing a good quality of life. Because Aboriginal unemployment on Reserves is often 10 times higher than that in Canada's general population, and unemployment off Reserves is also very high, Aboriginals have to be included in decisions on how many immigrants Canada takes each year. I understand that Canada needs some Immigration but Canada should first concentrate on getting Aboriginals and its own unemployed into Canada's work-force.
Home ownership higher among immigrants than among aboriginals
A City of Winnipeg administrative review in January 30, 2012 said Winnipeg's population is expected to grow by 174,000 people over the next 20 years. Provincial population growth is primarily due to new immigrants under the Provincial Nominee Program. Consider last year : Manitoba admitted about 12,000 provincial nominees, while Ontario, a much larger province, had only about 1,000. Of the past nominees from the program, 76 percent become homeowners after three to five years.
Compare this to Aboriginal Peoples living off reserve in the city of Winnipeg, and you'll find that only 42.7 percent own homes. The crucial thing to note is that Aboriginals should have a much higher ownership rate because they have been here all their lives, not three to five years. Additionally, 85 percent of new immigrants residing in Manitoba are active in the labour market within three months.
Positive job discrimination for immigrants disadvantages Canadian born and Aboriginal
These most recent statistics indicate that positions in the work force are being taken by the new immigrants, while Aboriginal Peoples continue to suffer from high rates of unemployment. New Canadians will subsequently invest in businesses and franchises, they will buy real estate and homes, etc. In general, they will participate in the Canadian economy. I see nothing wrong with this, given that we operate in a capitalist society. However, the stigma and prejudiced attitudes towards Aboriginal Peoples that are prevalent in Canadian society, are also present in many newcomers. Many immigrants treat Aboriginals like second-class citizens. And I have experienced that myself !!
Furthermore, the newcomer immigrant population is beginning to monopolize the labour market. Canada should not be about monopolization. It is supposed to be a great land of opportunity and equality. But, when you consider franchises, for example, like KFC, Tim Horton's and The Real Canadian Superstore, and observe the high employment of visible minorities/immigrants, and the lack of representation by Aboriginal Peoples, the monopolization of the limited job market becomes apparent.
Not only are immigrant persons employed in entry level positions at many businesses, they occupy the higher and better paid positions as well. With the flooding of the labour market by the growing influx of immigrant workers, there are fewer jobs available for our country's First Peoples. For example, the difference in the unemployment rate between Aboriginal and immigrant youth aged 15-24 residing in Winnipeg, is staggering : 31.7% of First Nations youth are unemployed vs. 9.8% of their non-aboriginal counterparts.
Crime rate and desperation
With limited opportunities to earn an income, many desperate and hopeless Aboriginal youth turn to gangs and selling drugs as a means to earn a living. Winnipeg's notoriously high crime rate is a partial indicator of the severity of our gang issues. While the Federal government provides money for many programs for Aboriginal Peoples, it is lacking in addressing other social issues like the racist and discriminatory attitudes of Canadian business owners and corporations, who are responsible for hiring people in an equitable and fair manner. If this climate of injustice continues in the labour market, I am fearful that our situation will worsen, and Aboriginal Peoples will be forced to continue to live in Third World conditions.
Need protection from employment monopolization
My proposal, which I call the White Buffalo Act, is intended to alert the federal government to this issue, and to appeal to our Parliament to create an employment bill to protect Aboriginal People and our future generations from employment "monopolization'. This bill would include dramatically reducing Canada's immigration and Temporary Foreign Worker intake until Aboriginal and other Canadian employment dramatically increases. In the case of the very limited number of immigrants who would be allowed in, our government should ensure that these immigrants become aware of the history and culture of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. One of the things our government can do is have Aboriginal People develop an Aboriginal History curriculum for all of Canada. A section of this should become part of the mandatory test new immigrants take for Canadian Citizenship and would hopefully create cultural sensitivity in the new immigrant population.
The White Buffalo Act would effectively produce a harmonization between cultures that could potentially help lead Aboriginal People out of desperate circumstances related to prejudice and negative attitudes from new Canadians. If this Act is passed, it would be a collective and collaborative effort by our government, businesses and educational institutions throughout Canada. At this time, Ottawa is making the requirements for admission into the country more stringent. In particular, the Federal Government wants to see more emphasis on English or French language proficiency.
While the government is in the process of changing the requirements for new immigrant entry, perhaps this would be the ideal time to begin advocating for the creation of a program that would educate new immigrants in Aboriginal history as well. This educational pursuit would help new Canadians to better understand the struggles of First People and would increase the likelihood that the prejudicial and negative attitudes that currently prevail amongst this demographic, would change toward Aboriginal People.
In order to change the blatant discriminatory hiring practices already present within the Canadian work-force, I would further recommend aggressive media campaigns to draw attention to the lack of Aboriginal representation in the labour market. The Canadian government is responsible for ensuring that all citizens in this country are given fair representation in the work-force and equal opportunity to participate in it. When it comes to immigration policies, many politicians are hesitant to address the myriad of issues that surround this controversy. It is my sincere hope that the issues discussed above will not be dismissed or taken lightly. This is a serious issue that we cannot ignore.
Source: Immigration Watch Canada
How the Growth Lobby Stole The Minds Of The Digital Generation
Above---a PC Pod has identified you as no friend of the CBC. “Racist! Racist!”, she screams. “Assimilate him! Assimilate him!” she shouts as a mob of thought police chase after you.
It is a Canada where the unimaginable becomes real and the impossible becomes possible. They’re here! They’re here I tell you! Why can’t you see the Digital Generation has been stolen and replaced by replicas who look like real Canadians but are in fact programmed to follow an anti-Canadian agenda?
Your loved ones---your children and grandchildren may be next! Don’t let them go to sleep! Don’t let them be captured by the social media! Don’t let them take liberal arts courses and be transformed into mindless multiculturalists who robotically chant the PC line. Maybe your kids have already been taken! When they return home for a semester break, look for clues. Look into their vacant eyes, and if they say things like “All cultures are equal”, or “It is all relative” , “What’s a Canadian anyway”, or “The only true Canadians are First Nations people”, or “No one is illegal”, or “I am offended” or “I consider myself a citizen of the world”----you know that these are not your kids, but the agents of an alien force bent on your assimilation. Run! Run now! Don’ t let them take you!
Maybe I should get out of here while the getting is good. I could flee this country or get out of town, because being intellectually neutered and living life as a left-wing pod is no life at all. I am afraid to fall asleep or visit my politically-correct doctor. I can imagine what he will say---it will be like the screenplay from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers":
Tim: Doctor please. Let me leave the city!
Doctor: You don't have to leave the city. Nothing changes. You can have the same life.
Tim: But what happens to me if I accept the liberal PC media consensus?
Doctor: You'll be born again into an untroubled world, free of anxiety, fear, hate....
Tim: Doctor, you're killing me! Wait....
Doctor: That's not true. Your mind and memories will be totally absorbed. Everything remains intact.
Tim: What is this supposed to do?
Doctor: It's just a mild sedative to help you sleep.
Tim: I hate you. You and everyone of the slimy NDP-Sierra green-left clique!
Doctor: We don't hate you. There's no need for hate now... or love. Especially love for one's own culture and nation. You will come to accept Diversity, the word we prefer to use to describe the assimilation and control of people like you, people who have not accepted globalization and the ideology of the occupying forces and the monoculture of money, disguised as it is by fake pluralism.
Tim: There are people who will fight you. Patriots. Those who cherish Western values and their Euro-Canadian heritage. People who want to defend our natural environment from the continuing onslaught of immigration-driven population growth. They'll stop you!
Doctor: In an hour... you won't want them to. Don't be trapped by old concepts. You're evolving into a new life form---a gullible liberal, a herd animal who, rather do his own research, relies upon the filtered information from the CBC, Commondreams.org, Avaaz.org , Huffington Post and Sierra Club newsletters. Come and watch. We came here from a dying world. Europe. The Frankfurt School to be precise. We are Cultural Marxists, parasites dedicated to the transformation and displacement of native species we invade and the habitat upon which they depend. We drift through Western society from nation to nation, pushed on by the solar winds (a pie-in-the-sky energy source funded by taxpayer dollars). We adapt... and we survive. The function of life is survival. If you don't like our principles, we will find new ones for you.
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers----coming to a theatre near you!
This can’t be real. This must be fiction. This can’t be happening. The take-over of a nation, the take-over of a generation, converted into an army of Quislings who revel in their own colonization. Self-righteous Red Guards looking for signs of disobedience and offensive speech, eager to swarm and denounce you for what you are, a relic of the counter-revolution harbouring parochial thoughts about independent nationhood and governments that put the needs of its own citizens above those who would displace them for profit! Once I felt comfortable in the country of my birth---but now I feel that I am a stranger among men. They look like men---but they act like they have no balls! They’re pods!
Help! Help! No, no, let me go! Take your hands off me! I don’t want to be re-educated! No! No! I don’t want a sedative! Don’t inject me with a dose of the CBC or the Globe and Mail! Not that! Kill me if you have to, but I don’t want to live like a vegetable!
Somebody get me out of here! Somebody turn off the CBC! Why doesn’t anyone believe me? Tell me that this is a nightmare!
July 31, 2012
Too often we fail to see the connection between the ecological destruction and cultural genocide of so-called "developing" nations and the lax immigration policies of those nations like Canada which play host to both the victims and the perpetrators of the tragedy. A look at the relationship between Sarawak's plight and the inflation of real estate values in Ontario, Canada and elsewhere should give us a better understanding of how plunder abroad promotes in-migration here. Canada, by offering an outlet to dirty money and the people who profit from it, must be seen as a willing accomplice and silent partner to a vast money-laundering operation.
Introducing The Godfather of Sarawak
I had a friend, "David", over for 3 hours this past Wednesday night. David, a serious Christian, and an individual of outstanding character, was a CUSO worker in Sarawak four decades ago and returned for a three month visit this winter to re-connect with old friends. Upon his return he treated me to a travelogue more enlightening and thorough than anything you would find on National Geographic program. Among his major concerns was the alarming growth of the Islamic population which is being favored by the patronage of the province's corrupt Minister, and the ominous potential that demographic shift might have for the liberty and security of non-Muslims. Coincidentally, two weeks after listening to David's account and seeing hundreds of his beautifully graphic pictures, I came upon a television documentary about the politics of this region, and invited David to view the recording. It was the 20 minute documentary that Global TV did on the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmood, and his kleptocracy. David confirmed the truth of most of what was said in the documentary, and was very pleased that two environmental activists in London, England were following the labyrinthine money trail from "Daddy" to his daughter Jamilah Taib Murray, the wife of Canadian Sean Patrick Murray.
The Criminal Rape Of Sarawak’s Rainforest
I was able, in the second viewing, to record several fascinating facts about Jamilah and Sean Murray's real estate investments in Canada, which ironically began in Ottawa. What I found ironic is that Ontario's 'green' Premier Dalton McGuinty, darling of David Suzuki, leads a government with 11 Ministries who pay $4.9 million a year in rent to the Murrays for office space in their building(s). The Murrays---through their "Sakto Corporation"---- own six major commercial properties in Ontario worth over $100 million , money which has its origin in the criminal rape of Sarawak's rain forest and its conversion to palm oil plantations. This is a catastrophe of global significance. One square mile of Sarawak's rainforest contains more biodiversity than all of North America. More than that, in clearing cutting an area the size of England, the logging companies---owned by Taib's family and their political allies (largely ethnic Chinese)----they have obliterated the culture of the Penan people, one of the last nomadic tribes in the world. Many Penan protesters have been overtly killed or have simply disappeared. One of them, now a Canadian resident, spent a month in solitary confinement just for participating in a blockade to stop logging trucks. He walks the streets of a Canadian suburb like a disembodied and broken spirit, stalked by memories of a life spent in a tropical heaven, a heaven that is now rapidly being transformed into hell. As he spoke to the camera, his face was concealed in darkness---a testimony to the ability of Sarawak's "mob boss" to intimidate even the people who, one would think, should be beyond his grasp.
Corruption in Sarawak Finances Real Estate Development Abroad
As the logging has proceeded, the Taib family has grow richer and richer. At least 84% of the shares of Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) , a Sarawak-based construction conglomerate with net assets of $760 million (US) are held by Taib’s late wife and his four children Mahmuc Abu Bekir Taib, Sulaiman Rahman Taib, Hanifah Taib and Jamilah. According to Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, CMS ,“has a track record of receiving untendered public contracts worth millions of dollars and holds a cement monopoly in Malaysia’s largest state...and has also massively benefited from the Bakun dam construction which has been labelled by Transparency International as a ‘monument of corruption’”. A CMS subsidiary “Similajau Industries” has also formed a connection with Rio Tinto Alcan to oversee the an aluminum smelter with the scope to produce up to 1.5 million tons per year.
When Jamilah was a foreign student in Canada in 1983, Daddy the Godfather and Piggy Bank, gave her $23 million to play with, and so began her real estate acquisitions in Ottawa, now extended to America, Britain and elsewhere. In fact the British government is currently looking into alleged Taib family money-laundering in the UK and British offshore financial centres. Through “Ridgeford Properties”, Sean and Jamilah Taib Murray hold luxury properties in Central London estimated to be worth several hundred million pounds. Jamilah is also currently a Director on the boards of some 63 Malaysian companies.
Canada The Land Of Opportunity And The Champion Of Diversity
It warms the heart—doesn’t it---to know that it was Canada, the land of opportunity, which allowed this enterprising immigrant to launch a business empire stretching almost across the globe, fuelled by monies obtained by crony capitalism and the wanton destruction in a faraway tropical land, home to so much biological and human diversity. How ironic that diversity can be destroyed in Sarawak to feed real estate development in a country that brags about its “diversity”.
Dalton McGuinty too can take pride in helping her to grow her business and reward Minister Taib for his program of relentless rainforest destruction. Whatever initiatives McGuinty has taken to reduce carbon emissions in Ontario have been more than offset by the deforestation that has enabled Jamilah to build her empire. With the destruction of this magnificent jungle, the world is not only losing a unique culture, and untold species---including the orangutan---but a carbon sink of similar scope to the Amazonian forest. And Canada, it seems, must make itself a haven for refugees fleeing from these kinds of tragedies, but for the perpetrators and their ill-gotten gains as well. Is this an effective remedy for a problem that is all too common in the "developing" world? In many ways, Sarawak is a microcosm of the world. Greed, corruption, economic disparity, religious friction, environmental degradation and the displacement of indigenous peoples---it is all in play. Perhaps we can attack the problem in another way. A way that would assist both Canada and those who we would want to protect from persecution. Rather than open the door to untold millions of refugees, maybe we should slam the door to the forces of greed, corruption, and destruction that drive them out. Could we not embargo their exports, most especially their exports of corrupt politicians, their family and their fortunes?
Always Follow The Money Trail
Clare Brown --the London-based environmentalist determined to expose Taib's corruption---has been able to shine a light on Taib's activities by pouring through the paper trail of investments. This, I think, is the key to discrediting any group. Thanks to Vivian Krause and Sun Media TV's persistence in showing the fraudulent nature of the David Suzuki Foundation's "charitable" status, Suzuki has been forced to distance himself from his own foundation. And the public is finally waking up to the corporate corruption of environmental groups. The Conservatives--to their credit--- seem determined to prevent green NGOs from taking donations from foreign-owned corporations. Our project, however, is to make the point that environmental NGOs should not be able to take money from ANY corporation, foreign or domestic. Shining a light on the big three (the DSF, the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy ) and their practice of taking corporate money should be key to our effort to question their failure to address the profoundly negative impact of mass immigration---and their integrity. How does this smell: the Sierra Club of Western Canada has accepted money from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RFB) to protest the oil sands development and Enbridge pipelines. How interesting. Jay Rockefeller, a major donor to the RFB, is the long-time Governor and now senior Senator of West Virginia, one of the biggest coal-producing states in America, supplying coal for electricity generation to two dozen other states. According to Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria, the burning of coal is 40 times more impactful than the burning of oil in terms of green house gas emissions, not to mention its medical effects. It seems that environmental groups are willing pawns of a corporate game that is less motivated by genuine concerns about the environment than deflecting attention from the damage they are doing in their own backyard. Shades of the East India Company, which supported Wilberforce's campaign to end slavery in order to undercut their chief rival in tea production---the West Indian slave plantations.
Scratch a noble cause and you find a mercenary motive.....
Green Inc. And “Green” Corporations---A Partnership Made In Hell
It is high time that the public come to understand that Green Inc. and the corporations that fund them are first and foremost a business. In return for the funding that maintains their paid bureaucracy and sustains their relentless quest for more and more donations, environmental NGOs give corporations what they crave---ecological dispensation, the seal of approval that they can wave on their websites and brochures as proof of their corporate "responsibility". Meanwhile, they can lobby for higher immigration quotas and aggressive outreach initiatives to recruit the foreign labour they want to fuel their drive to drill, mine and develop at an ever quickening pace----secure in the knowledge that they have bought the silence of their 'kept women' in the DSF and the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy.
The Moral Stench Of Canada’s Growth Lobby
Canada is the Chicago of the 1920s writ large. It's bipartisan immigration policy is like a numbers racket where everyone from the cop on the beat to the politicians at City Hall get a "piece of the action". Environmental NGOs must be regarded as key constituents of the Growth Lobby, every bit as important to the team as are the slimy immigration lawyers, the cheap labour employers, the big banks, the Puppet Intelligentsia in academia and the CBC, which like the ethno-cultural organizations, feed off the taxpayer tit while they tirelessly work to undermine our country. Together they form a stew of putrid slime that has no equivalent except what one would see while peering through the hole of a outhouse. Next time you're in a Provincial Park and nature calls, take a whiff. That, my friend, is the foul stench of Canada's Immigration Industry---an industry that is fully complicit in the rape of Sarawak and regions like it across the world.
May 4, 2012
Tim Murray reports on a recent Canadian census and the public reaction in a voting poll to uncontrolled population growth. He asks why politicians seem to do the opposite of what the Canadian voters actually want.
Meanwhile Politicians And Media Clap and Environmentalists Remain Silent
In the wake of the just released Canadian Census Report, the Vancouver Province asked readers what they thought of continuing and rapid growth in their community.
83% said that either growth was "ruining" their communities or that growth "was not something they were crazy about".
That is 83% who said "No!" to growth.
Yet we have all four main federal political parties and all three provincial parties saying "Yes!". Yes, let's throw more coal into the furnace and keep our runaway growth train hurtling toward the cliff. Of course, there are some civic parties who want to "manage" growth by packing more and more people more and more tightly together. They even are so deceitful as to call this project "green". But how do you "green" a city by reducing per capita consumption, waste and land consumption while adding more and more newcomers? Cut consumption and waste in half but double the population? How much sense does that make? How much sense does it make to grow Canada's population by deliberate government policies? Does population growth make us wealthier? If it increases the GDP does it increase our PER CAPITA GDP?
If growth creates more jobs does it actually reduce the unemployment rate? If it expands the tax base does the extra tax revenue offset increased infrastructure costs of servicing more people?
If 80% of New Canadians are unskilled, do they earn a high enough income to pay the taxes necessary to offset the cost of social services they consume? If the answer is no, then what does that say about the commonplace belief that immigration is needed to "support the aged"? And what happens when the immigrants we accept to allegedly support the aged themselves become aged? Do we bring in yet more immigrants to support them? Canada already has the highest per capita intake of immigrants in the world (sorry Australia) and the highest population growth rate of all G8 countries. Do we increase this rate exponentially ad infinitum to chase the tail of increased tax revenue?
Do we need more and more immigration to fill the shortage of skilled labour so we can grow the economy? Does not a growing economy create even more skilled labour shortages? Are we sure that we need to import skilled labour? Have we taken a proper inventory of our labour requirements? Have we done enough to train our own youth, particularly Aboriginal youth, many of whom live on reserves with unemployment rates over 75%? Why do we seek foreign labour while we turn our backs on this vast untapped pool of potential talent, wasting away in despair and hopelessness?
Do we need population growth to grow the economy? And if continuing economic growth is desirable, or necessary, is it possible? What if advancing resource constraints make continuing economic growth IMPOSSIBLE? What if there are LIMITS TO GROWTH?
These are the questions that policy-makers and politicians won't answer. They won't answer because their jobs depend on avoiding the questions. And they are not the only ones who refuse to face the raging monster of growth.
Public silence about overpopulation in Canada is deafening
Do you hear that? Listen. Listen carefully. Do you recognize that sound? It is the sound of silence. No one is talking about growth, no one, that is, except those ordinary citizens who have had enough and cannot take it anymore, but whose complaints cannot get a hearing on the CBC or with any political party in Canada.
The public silence about growth in Canada is DEAFENING. And, oddly, when the topic of population growth threatens to make itself heard, the quietest place you would find in Canada would be in the offices and meeting rooms of Canada's mainstream environmental organizations------ who remain MUTE about the manifestly negative and massive ecological impact of our country's population explosion. Their silence is stunning given that over the last two decades, mass immigration has generated four times as much Green House Gass emissions and despoiled three times as much land as the Alberta oil sands project--- not boreal forest one might add, but for the most part, prime farmland.
Ah, but greens say, urban sprawl is not a function of population growth but "bad planning". The problem though, is that, to the contrary, on average half of sprawl is driven by population growth, 70% which in turn is driven by immigration. And since land-use planning is under the control of developer-controlled local councils, stopping sprawl must require stopping growth, not managing it. That is the raw reality that the talking heads of Green Inc. will not acknowledge.
The release of this latest Census report should have given the environmental establishment the opportunity to blow the whistle on the government's immigration policy. It would be the ideal "teachable moment" to restore "population" to the position it once held in the environmental discussion, and to resurrect the call for the development of a Population Plan for this nation. But once again, as happened in 2007, they have nothing to say. Not a word. Not a peep. Just what their corporate benefactors want to hear.
February 14, 2012
Editorial: Yeah, we’re growing, but are we happy?
February 9, 2012. 2:50 pm • Section: Opinion http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/02/09/editorial-yeah-were-growing-but-are-we-happy
Should Greater Vancouver just keep growing until it resembles New York City? Is that what we all want? (MCT FILES)
Population figures from the 2011 Census didn’t tell us much that we didn’t know already, at least in a general sense. B.C. and its large, Lower Mainland communities are growing at a brisk clip.
The population of the province increased seven per cent from 2006 to 2011 — above the national average of 5.9 per cent. Some 4.4 million of us now call B.C. home.
Lower Mainland communities expanded even faster:
Surrey’s population grew by 18.6 per cent, downtown Vancouver grew by 11 per cent, with Burnaby (10 per cent), Coquitlam (10.4), New Westminster (12.7) and Port Moody (20.0) showing big population gains.
Developers, who stand to profit, and most politicians, who equate population growth with success and more power, champion all growth as wonderful. And while it’s true that growth means jobs and greater economic activity, it also means more crowded communities, more traffic, greater pressure on public facilities, higher costs on local government to provide services, and usually higher housing costs.
How dense we want our communities to become, and to what extent we should preserve current neighbourhoods, are questions in a discussion that all citizens should join. VOTE:
Thank you for voting!
. . . fantastic, and creating much more dynamic and interesting communities. 6.52% (6 votes)
. . . OK, I guess. 3.26% (3 votes)
. . . not something I'm crazy about. 19.57% (18 votes)
. . . ruining our communities. I wish I could live elsewhere. 63.04% (58 votes)
. . . inevitable and there's nothing we can do about it. 7.61% (7 votes)
Total Votes: 92
[Editor: More have voted since this article was written.]
· Citizen of the West - 3 days ago
The answer is NO we should not keep going until we resemble New York as your editorial asks. The beauty of the Vancouver and BC that I grew up in is the laid back quiet beauty, not the expensive, densified unfamiliar place we are starting to become. We are told to expect another million people in the next couple of decades or so. They told Toronto that also, and then they got a million more, and another million .... you get the picture.
TruthandJustice - 3 days ago
If anyone actually believes that such high immigration is necessary they are very naive. No other country with a similar birthrate has experienced such massive changes. When did we ask for our communities to become concrete jungles and for us long time residents to become alienated? Such change is unnerving.
The release of Canada's latest Census report should have given the environmental establishment the opportunity to blow the whistle on the government's immigration policy. It would be the ideal "teachable moment" to restore "population" to the position it once held in the environmental discussion, and to resurrect the call for the development of a Population Plan for this nation. But once again, as happened in 2007, they have nothing to say. Not a word. Not a peep. Just what their corporate benefactors want to hear.
“The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people but to poor ideology or land-use management is sophistic.” E.O. Wilson
February 22, 2012. It’s been 14 days and counting.
The results of the 2011 Census Report were released on February 8th of 2012, but the silence from official environmental quarters continues. How could that be?
If there had been a major oil spill on the BC coast that day, do you think the Green NGOs would have said something? If the federal government announced that it was going ahead with the Enbridge pipeline regardless of what came out of public hearings, do you think the Green NGOs would have said something? If the government announced that it would approve mining, logging or drilling at Banff National Park do you think the Green NGOs would have mentioned it, at least in passing?
Damn rights they would! In fact, they would be screaming to the heavens about it. And they would be right in doing so.
Yet two weeks have passed since the 2011 Census Report was released they still have nothing to say about the biggest ecological disaster to afflict this nation since the last ice age, Canada’s silent killer, the cancer of rapid exponential population growth, 70% of which is driven by hyper-immigration, a policy that has been responsible for the addition of 7 million people to this country since 1990, when it began. Its environmental impact has been enormous. It has generated four times as much GHG emissions as oil sands project and despoiled three times as much land. Not boreal forest, but precious prime farmland for the most part, which has been converted to housing. In Ontario alone, according to Ontario Farmland Trust, some 600,000 acres of very good farmland was developed between 1996-2006, a period of very high immigration rates, which incidentally match Australia’s as the highest in the world. The province’s then Environment Commissioner, Gordon Miller, warned that if this intake was not curbed, the “Golden Horseshoe”, site of some of the best farmland in Canada, would have to accommodate another 6 million people in the next two decades.
The future looks bad. How bad is it? Check out the numbers.
Between 2001 and 2006, Canada’s population grew by 5.4% or 1.08% per year. The fastest population growth rate in the G8.
Between 2006 and 2011, however, that growth rate picked up steam. It was 5.9% or 1.18% per year.
Once again, Canada had the fastest population growth rate in the G8-----for ten years running.
In 2006, Canada’s official population was 31,612,897. By 2011, however, it was officially 33,476,688. In other words, Canada added 1,863,791 more people to its numbers over 5 years, or 372, 758 per year. Put another way, since 2006 when Halifax had almost 373,000 people, Canada has added a Halifax to its numbers each and every year. In total, Canada has added the equivalent of Hamilton and Edmonton to its population level since 2006. And this doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of residents with temporary visas. The verdict is in. We are growing at a torrid place.
Had Canada retained its relatively high population growth rate of 1.08%, experienced between 2001-2006, our population would double in 65 years. But now, with an even faster population growth rate of 5.9%, we are on target to double our population in 59 years. This means that by 2071, Canada would consist of 66 million people---and this assumes that we will not be called upon to accept tens of millions of refugees fleeing the impact of climate change and crippling resource shortages and the conflict which will ensue from it.
What are the Talking Heads of Green Inc. telling us?
We cannot allow this to happen. Someone must speak out. Someone who commands attention. Someone like David Suzuki or the Executive Director of the Sierra Club. What is holding these people back? Why won’t they break the silence? Are they telling us that adding 1,863,791 more consumers to our society in 5 years is of negligible ecological impact? Are they saying that pipelines cannot be built before they are vetted by ecologists and biologists and subjected to public hearings, but there should be no environmental impact assessment of population growth as a deliberate government objective?
The hypocrisy of Canada's Green Pharisees is breathtaking. While the house is burning they vigorously polish the wood furniture. Our cities are bursting at the seams and sprawling over arable greenbelts and they are missing in action. I cannot find words adequate to vent my rage at these pretentious fakes, so I will invoke the scorn expressed by Jesus in Matthew 23:23:24 when spoke of the hypocritical high priests of his time:
"You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel"
February 22, 2012
As was the case in 2007 when the previous Census Report revealed that Canada led all G8 countries in population growth, the results of this latest Census Report for 2006-2011 were greeted by media commentators and politicians alike with glee. It is as if we had won a trophy for achievement. But growth is not a solution, it is the root of our problems, and Canada's rapid population growth rate is cause for shame, not pride.
Whoopee! Canada Wins The Trophy For Reckless Growth
So, according to the latest Stats Can news, Canada had the highest population growth in the G8 since 2006. If we are to believe the tone in which that news is being reported, Canada has just won a contest and all Canadians should be cheering. By that reasoning, China and India should get a lifetime achievement trophy for population growth. While the Chinese have realized that unending population growth is a dangerous goal and have made concerted attempts to rein their numbers in, India has not. And Canada seems to think increasing its population is something we can't do fast enough.
Immigration Not A Cure For Rural De-population
I was interested to read the research provided by population expert Peter Goodchild. He compared the 15 Ontario cities that had the lowest unemployment with the 20 Ontario cities that have the lowest house prices. The two lists appear mutually exclusive.
Through the prism of my own personal experience and in the light of the Stats Can Census Report, I conclude the following.
There are advantages to living in economically “depressed” localities. One of them is that the cost of housing is lower. Since housing costs for the typical Canadian can eat up anywhere from 40% to 70% of disposable income, if those costs (in the form of mortgage payments, rents and/or property taxes) are lower, then so is the cost of living. Of course, if you are unemployed and living in a depressed area, these lower housing costs do not suffice to offset your lack of income. This is the reason that so many young people have left smaller rural or hinterland communities in Canada, communities like mine, which were once buttressed by a strong resource industry (forestry, mining or fishing). The latest census report, which takes a snapshot of the country’s demographic profile for 2011 is therefore somewhat deceptive. Yes, Canada has the fastest growing population in the G8 group, having grown 6% between 2006-2011, but the rampant growth in some major urban centres conceals the rapid de-population of outlying areas, which have lost their economic foundation. As demographer Ryan Berlin of “Urban Futures” put it, people are caught either in an upward spiral or a downward spiral. So what is the answer?
Well, it is certainly not to continue promoting rapid population growth through mass immigration--- for several reasons. We may be able to encourage and entice immigrants to depopulated regions, but it is doubtful that we can ‘direct’ them there permanently, given the mobility rights that are guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. After all, there is a reason why Canadians are leaving those areas.
The Green Contradiction----Disperse People and Concentrate Them
This is something that Green Party leader Elizabeth May seems not to understand. On the one hand, in responding to complaints that Canadian cities are straining under the pressure of government-induced population growth, she has proposed that immigrants be sent to small town regions crying out for people. On the other hand, like other ‘green’ and ‘progressive’ politicians in Canada, she argues that bigger and denser cities can grow and be ‘green’ at the same time. Allegedly, according to the official environmentalist party line, urbanites of such cities have lower per-capita carbon footprints. Therefore, to save the planet we need to “urbanize” all of it and restructure our cities. That is a polite way of saying that we must herd outlying rural people into growing cities and squeeze them in as tightly as we can. While most folks would describe this fate as bleak and claustrophobic, Greens describe it as 'vibrant', ‘walkable’ , 'efficient', ‘eco-dense’ and ‘green’.
Does Herding and Cramming People Into Big Dense Cities Make Them Greener?
Unfortunately, Mother Nature does not care about ‘per capita’ emissions, but TOTAL emissions, TOTAL energy consumption and TOTAL waste. Reducing per capita waste and consumption by half while doubling the population level is absurd and illogical. Moreover, it is not certain that the Green contention about lower per capita emissions is true. If urbanites in Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto or London, England for that matter, emit less ‘carbon’, what of the carbon emissions and waste that is expended by the offshore factories that export the products that these affluent, green and progressive urbanites consume? Who should be ‘credited’ with the ecological damage----the producers or the consumers? And what about the End of Oil? Since 1976, when the Science Council of Canada warned us that our population level will be constrained by resource limits, scientists like Dr. Michael Healey have argued for a Population Plan for this country that would take those limits into account. Many analysts like Canada’s Richard Embleton and Rick Belfour would argue that viable post-carbon Canadian cities of the future cannot exceed 20,000 citizens---or thereabouts. That would make Vancouver, which aspires to be the “Greenest City in The World”---and Metro Vancouver, greatly overpopulated.
Higher Productivity, Not High Immigration Will Support Our Social Safety Net
But what about that old chestnut, that we need population growth to support our social safety net, and that continued mass immigration will preserve our age structure? Simply put, that argument is dead wrong, and has been demonstrated to be wrong by at least two studies, one done by the C.D. Howe Institute only a few years ago. What will support our aging population is not more people, or more immigrants or even “more young people”, but higher productivity from the people who work, along with perhaps, an upward adjustment in retirement ages. The problem is, population growth demands infrastructure expenditures that otherwise could have been made in improving productivity.
Imported Skilled Labour Sought While Aboriginal Youth Neglected
And speaking of better training, let’s deal with another old chestnut, that Canada has a shortage of ‘skilled” workers. The truth is, we have never taken a proper inventory of our needs. It is just taken as a ‘given’ that we will be favoured with robust economic growth and that its labour appetites must be satisfied by immigration. But what of the Canadians who have wanted the opportunity to be trained but have been passed over for the quick fix of air-lifting skilled staff from overseas? What also of First Nations youth---a vast untapped, neglected and growing demographic? Have they been offered the education, the trade skills that this future economy will demand? National Chief of the Assembly of Nations Shawn Alteo would answer an emphatic “No!”.
How ironic it is that the politicians of all four major parties and the apologists for the Immigration Industry typically invoke the “We-are-all immigrants. Only-the-First-Nations-people-are-true-Canadians” argument to justify their maniacal determination to pursue 1% compounding annual population growth for Canada? It is obvious that the welfare of these “true Canadians” is not among their top priorities. Instead of locating training and educational facilities and opportunities close to native reserves, which for the most part suffer 70-85% unemployment rates and third world conditions, Ottawa hands out temporary visas by the fist-full to workers that foreign corporations find convenient to import.
Big City Mayors Should Follow Rob Ford's Lead
Meanwhile, big-city Mayors like Vancouver’s quintessentially “green and progressive” Gregor Robertson speak with a forked tongue. On the one hand, they brandish census statistics about their cities’ impressive growth as proof that they are livable and attractive, and boast about their efforts to paint this growth ‘green’ with conservation measures and benign transportation decisions which will be quickly erased by that same growth. On the other hand, they whine about the lack of federal funding for immigrant services, infrastructure and traffic congestion to offset the costs of growth. But never once does Robertson, or any Mayor in the land----save Toronto’s Rob Ford---dare to address the source of these problems----immigration-driven growth. Undoubtedly, anyone with that kind of courage would be damned by the media, with the CBC leading the charge.
Still, politicians should note that Ford didn’t suffer any harm at the polls for questioning unlimited growth, did he? Canada's politicians and the media who have been cheering population growth in the last two days should learn something from that.
February 12, 2012
It is logically contradictory for pro-immigrationists to argue that immigrants should be afforded all the rights that people in their adopted country enjoy, then to argue that they do not have the same right to insist on a sustainable population. Do people in a theatre forfeit the right to complain that the theatre or restaurant manager has allowed it to become too crowded, that the number of patrons has obviously exceeded safety?
A great many immigrants have come to understand that mass immigration is bad for Canada, but feel constrained in making their feelings known in deference to a common refrain: “So now that you’re here, you want to pull up the ladder.” One long-time middle-aged friend, whose mild mid-Atlantic accent betrays the fact that he moved to Canada with his parents as a twelve year old, is particularly sensitive to that charge. I don’t think he should be. And I don’t think anyone is right to reproach him for having what they believe to be an “I’m-alright-Jack” attitude.
Club Canada - No second class members
I don’t think an immigrant with or without a foreign accent should be disqualified as a credible critic of immigration policy. Arguments of that nature are the inverse of Groucho Marx's famous remark that he would not belong to any club that would accept him as a member. They don’t make sense. If you were admitted to the club, you are a club member and should have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of other club members. There should be no second-class club members. And all club members should have the right---and the responsibility---to shape and revise club policies including who should or should not be able to join in the future. Maybe club facilities are already over-used. Maybe the club can no longer pay for them. Maybe the club should raise its admission standards. Those are decisions which all club members should have the right to participate in.
Rights and Responsibilities
It is logically contradictory for pro-immigrationists to argue, on the one hand, that immigrants should be afforded all the rights that other Canadians enjoy, but on the other hand, to argue that they do not have the same right to criticize immigration policy as other Canadians have. Do people who enter a theatre or a restaurant forfeit the right to complain at some point later that the theatre or restaurant manager has allowed it to become too crowded, that is, that the number of patrons has obviously exceeded the number the fire marshal has determined as safe? And do not people who feel sorry for those left standing outside in the rain have the option of giving up their seat and leaving the premises so that one of those outsiders may come in and take their place? Who is being hypocritical here?
Beware of overloading
There have been times when I found myself in an elevator that was packed with so many people that my face was almost pressed against the wall. On some of those occassions, when I was within reach of the panel, I pressed the "close door" button in an attempt to prevent more people from trying to enter. Was I being a hypocrite? After all, I too was once standing in the lobby, wanting to get into the elevator, and aspiring to reach a higher floor. How could I have something against aspiring elevator passengers? As I said, I was one myself. Or my father or grandfather once aspired to be passengers of the elevator too, and the door was open for them. All of us, we are told, are from "the lobby" or are descended from people who came from the lobby. We---Canada---- are an elevator of former lobby occupants, as we are reminded over and over again. So we don’t have a moral right to close our doors to people who wish to follow us. Or so goes the reasoning.
Solidarity among passengers
But the point is that once on board, I have a right to safety, and if more people were allowed on the elevator, it would not serve their interests or mine to have the cable snap. And for the record, I am not against passengers who just got on board. I am against any policy that would keep the elevator door open to allow more passengers than the elevator can handle. How many people an elevator can carry is a question that should be informed by scientific analysis. In Canada, 25 of Canada's top scientists---the Science Council of Canada---determined in their Report No. 25 that future resource constraints would make it unwise to go much beyond 30 million people, that we should slow our population growth rate so that there were not diminishing economic returns with each increment of population growth. And in 1997, another group of scientists, led by UBC's Dr. Michael Healey, concluded that Canada needed a "Population Plan" so that our growing urban centres did not inflict the same kind of ecological damage that his team of researchers found in the Fraser Basin. But alas, those warnings have been ignored, and Canada, according to the last two Census reports, has for the last decade, been packing its elevator at a rate higher than any other country in the G8 group.
I am for closing the elevator door. But what if I closed the door because I noticed that most of the people in the lobby were non-white? What if I closed it because I am a bigot? That may be a bad reason, but it wouldn't discredit the most relevant one----that the elevator has a limited carrying capacity. Bad character does not preclude correct judgment. The right decision can be made for the wrong reasons by wrong-headed people.
Some bad reasons for overloading Canada
Imagine though, if someone had a vested interest in cramming as many passengers as they could into that elevator. Imagine if some were able to charge elevator entrants a fee. Imagine if some on board were salesmen who thought that they would have more opportunities to sell more of their products if more potential customers were allowed to come in. Imagine if some were temporally blind and thought that the elevator had more space than was safely available or that they couldn't understand that the law of gravity and other biophyical laws trumped all other considerations . Imagine if some believed that there might be a technological advance that may increase the capacity of the elevator. ("Some one will think of something, after all, they always have..). Imagine if some were Greens who told us that the elevator could take on more people if only we weren’t so greedy and went on a crash diet and lost weight. ("Move over, squeeze tighter, and keep on squeezing so that more and more people can share our bounty") And imagine further if these people with a vested interest in packing the elevator with more people noticed that most of the people in the lobby were non-white and that the best way to get them in was to accuse me and those like me who would close the door of being right wing looneys, racists , xenophobes or bigots.
Your right and duty to speak up
You really wouldn't have to imagine that scenario, would you, because as a resident of Canada with a ring-side seat to political correctness, censorship, blacklisting, character-assassination, guilt-by-association, and the social ostracism of those who challenge orthodoxy, you would realize that you are seeing it unfold before your eyes. Our political culture is inimical to reasonable discussion and education in the fundamentals of math and logic.
The truth is, in Canada it is socially outrageous to state that, like elevators, theatres or restaurants, Canada has a limited carrying capacity. There is a limit to growth. And somehow, when immigrants say that, it seem s even more outrageous. It shouldn’t be. Speaking the truth never should.
February 11, 2012
Martin Collacott from the Fraser Institute looks at whether meaningful immigration reform is finally coming to Canada - video newslink.
Canada has even higher immigration numbers than Australia and its refugee rules are almost open house. These problems have been known for years, but, due to the presence of a huge growth lobby, almost all democratic demand for a slow down has been suppressed, unrepresented and sidelined.
"Common Dreams" is one of the plethora of so called "progressive" organizations that masquerade as grassroots movements of opposition to the corporate agenda---except that part of the corporate agenda which is most vital to corporate ambitions: the unfettered movement of capital and PEOPLE across borders. Apparently, to be "progressive" in America is to support the displacement of indigenous workers or the suppression of their wages through the relentless flow of cheap imported labour---legal or illegal. It is an attitude common to even to those in the Occupy movement . Such is the perverse mentality of a generation that has been fed a sanitized version of history purged of the anti-immigration sentiments expressed by icons like Caesar Chavez, black Congressional Rep Barbara Jordan and the founder of Earth Day, Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson. Forty years ago, a progressive was someone who understood that population growth was bad news for both for the environment and the working class. Today, like so many other words, it has come to mean something entirely different, and the cause it serves has become obsessed with fund-raising.
Dear Common Delusions:
So "we need each other", do we?
Maybe you need me, but I don't (expletive) need you and your open-borders gospel.
Why don't you respond to my emails? Cat got your tongue? Or could it be that you haven't got any answers, or any justifications for supporting the corporate agenda---that is----the free unfettered movement of capital AND PEOPLE across borders. Your brand of "progressivism" is a JOKE. Trouble is, I stopped laughing decades ago because I heard the punch line 500 times before. Moreover, the joke is in bad taste because the environment bears the brunt of it.
Shock me by actually replying to my emails. Am I talking to a machine or a brick wall?
How many of your solicitations must I reject before you stopping shaking your tin cup at me?
What that reader in California---that guy on social security who praises you for your outstanding job in ignoring the elephant in the room----really needs is not "Common Dreams" but common sense------ an organization which will stand up against amnesty, the Dream Act and the deliberate unenforcement of federal immigration law. Does half of Mexico have to move to California before this 'progressive' reader you refer to understands that MORE PEOPLE=SMALLER PER CAPITA SLICES OF THE RESOURCE PIE? It is obvious that you are not going to help him reach this understanding. Your focus is on the equal and fair division of that pie. News flash---- the pie is shrinking and your recipe ----"social justice"----will not sustain everyone indefinitely.
You complain that Republican Congressmen and Senators are in denial about climate change. Why are you in denial about overpopulation? How can you achieve a sustainable America when you turn a blind eye to rampant ongoing population growth? There are 100 million more consumers in the United States now than there were when Nixon left office. Do you think that the country can absorb another 100 million in the next forty years and still reach that progressive utopia you dream of?
I don't need you because we already have enough money-grubbing green-left NGOs on the landscape to soak up our dollars and aggressively misinform us.
Try finding a niche that no one else fills. Try being the first "progressive" entity to tell progressives the truth about limits. Try telling them that confiscating the wealth of the 1% would only provide temporary relief and respite from the remorseless rise in the underlying resource costs that will shrink the economy and shrink the budget for all the entitlements you think are our birth right. Try replacing the dated rhetoric of the sixties civil rights movement with the language of hard numbers and logic. Try educating your readership with the instruction of Bartlett's 16 Laws of Sustainability and the insights of William Catton. Try teaching the fundamentals. Try telling them that it makes no sense to negotiate for the politically possible when what is required is the ecologically necessary. Half-solutions are not solutions. I get enough emotive sentimentality from Chris Hedges and his legion of clones and groupies. I don't need your green delusions and McKibbenisms.
There is another Californian who you need to hear from, but he's not on your subscription list: Sgt. Friday. Just give him the facts m'am. Just the facts.
(Note: Sgt. Friday was the star of a weekly TV police drama, set in L.A., called "Dragnet". His trademark expression---when interviewing victims and witnesses --was, "Just give me the facts m'am, just the facts.")
On 30/12/2011 10:02 AM, Common Dreams wrote:
> Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
> December 30, 2011
> Dear Tim,
> It’s a fact: our readers sustain us.
> Two days ago, I received this nice note from a reader in California:
> “You do an outstanding job. Congrats and thanks. Keep it up. Unfortunately I am retired on Social Security. I need you more than you need me.”
> We need each other.
> We Can't Do It Without You!
> I know that many of our readers are unable to financially contribute right now. And that’s OK. We need to take turns taking care of each other.
> I really hate to ask our readers for contributions. But I know that if we didn’t ask for help, we wouldn't survive.
> And it’s the end-of-year gifts from our readers that sustain us through the year. Right now, with only 2 days left in 2011, we are $18,000 short of reaching our critical goal.
> Can you make a tax-deductible contribution right now?
> 2012 promises to be a turning point year. We will be here for you.
> And, with your help now, we will still be here for you when you are retired on Social Security.
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How ironic. A party that poses as the vanguard of democratic reform denies its own membership the chance of greater democratic participation. Why?
An Apparent Contradiction
What’s this? A political party that has always claimed to be the spear-head for the democratic reform of Canada’s electoral system junking an experiment in internal party democracy? A political party that has argued for proportional representation in parliament but has abandoned a process that would ensure proportional representation of all strands of opinion within its own ranks as reflected in party policy? A political party that prescribes more democracy for Canada but not for itself?
Welcome to the Green Party of Canada (GPC). A party that in 2004 set up a participatory Web-based process for broad-based policy development that would invite and permit rank-and-file members to determine party policies. Forget stacking meetings and microphones, forget slate voting for convention delegates, forget the standard sordid trademarks of traditional party politics. At long last, here was a political party that would give ordinary party members a direct say in choosing the policies which their party would run on. The initiation of this “Wiki’” process---as it was called----was a de-facto declaration by the GPC of trust in democracy, of faith in its own members, best summarized by Chairman Mao’s famous invitation to members of his Chinese Communist Party. “Let a hundred flowers bloom and a thousand thoughts contend.”
The trouble was, when the people spoke, the leadership didn’t like what they heard----so they pulled the plug on democracy. Obviously the people need to be “educated” before they can be trusted. The party leadership knows best.
The Trouble With Encouraging Democracy Is That Party Members Take It Seriously
In 2004-5, the Green Party brass discovered that “empowered” members can use their new-found power to vote for politically incorrect and inconvenient policies. And none was so politically incorrect and inconvenient than a policy that was articulated in a position paper entitled “A Strategy for a National and International Canadian Population Policy”. It was a policy that would have required the GPC to “provide the strong political leadership needed to create a credible population policy” for the country “and undertake an initiative to educate Canadians about the acute dangers of overpopulation and to build public participation and support for a population policy.” Particularly incendiary was “Position 5”, which stated that:
“The Green Party of Canada should advocate steps to slow the growth of population in Canada pending the development of the information base on carrying capacity and the completion of public consultations, and press for measures to increase international aid to those overpopulated countries that have or are willing to adopt policies to lower fertility but need assistance to develop and implement such policies.”
The paper also offered the view that It went on to argue that “As Canada will have a very slow natural population growth rate without immigration for about the next fifteen years (Statistics Canada), one measure to slow population would be to bring immigration to levels in place prior to 1989” when “Canada adjusted its intake of immigrants according to its ability to absorb and provide suitable employment.” The paper noted that since 1990, when the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney aspired to match the Liberal Party target of one percent annual population growth for the country, immigrants fared significantly worse than other Canadians, while prior to that, the reverse was true. “This”, the authors observed, “may suggest that Canada has reached its carrying capacity. For as long as an ecological surplus exists, additional population seems to increase wealth, but when carrying capacity has been exceeded added population causes a rise in poverty levels.”(William Catton).
Bottom line: “Canada needs to develop a population policy that links human numbers in Canada to the long-term carrying capacity of Canadian lands and boundary waters taking into consideration the needs of other species and the biodiversity required for a healthy ecosphere.”
The People Have Spoken--- Don't Let It Happen Again!
This was dangerous stuff to the party hierarchy----but apparently not to the majority of participating party members, who voted 56% for its inclusion into party policy. It was that fact, rather than the policy proposal itself, which scared the pants off those who feared that their career prospects would be sunk by a democratic torpedo from their own membership. As Tony Cassils, the chief architect of the collaborative effort to formulate this policy, recounted,
“Recommendation 5 caused some unease, especially among the members of the GPC who were candidates in ridings because they feared, probably correctly, that they might be pilloried by other parties for seeming to favour a slowing of immigration. By early April 2005, fearing that the population plank might win approval, they came up with an idea to sever the population plank and make a separate one on immigration. ....Eventually , the GPC simply shut down the Wiki process for policy development. I fully understand the anxiety that Recommendation 5 engenders in GPC candidates and I believe that this is the reason that any thought of population stabilization in Canada is suppressed by the GPC. ...Elizabeth May shuns any mention of limiting population growth.”
Anti-Immigration Views Must Be Quarantined
In retrospect, this suffices to explain why in November of 2008, following the federal election, Eric Walton, Erich Jacoby-Hawkins and others in the ruling GPC clique reacted with reflexive alarm when they learned that all those who had stood as GPC candidates were recipients of a questionnaire sent out on behalf of Biodiversity First ---an organization (of which I was ‘Vice President’) that challenged mass immigration-driven population growth in Canada for its negative ecological impacts. They were quick to advise these candidates not to answer the questionnaire nor to communicate with BF, interpreting it as a classic “divide and conquer” strategy. But given recent history, when a majority of GPC members had indicated support for BF’s aims in the Wiki experiment, it would probably be more accurate to say that party heavyweights were desperate to quarantine our views because they perceived them as a deadly virus that might infect their membership should they be exposed to our perspective. After all, the fact that just three years earlier 56% of grassroots participants approved of a plank to limit population growth---including immigration, was proof enough to them that our ideas would have traction in the Green Party at large.
Elizabeth May A Perfect Fit For A Party Phobic About Population Concerns
This fear pre-dates May’s ascension to the GPC leadership, but her arrival certainly gave it impetus. It is clear that May’s leadership fits perfectly with the ruling clique’s determination to make political expediency and political correctness---rather than ecological correctness---the priority of the party. Elizabeth May was tailor-made for this crew of fake greens, as she auditioned for the role when she lead the Sierra Club of Canada and passed the screen test with flying colours. When Paul Watson and a group of dissident Sierrans threatened to restore the goal of sustainable population for America to the policy books of the Sierra Club of the United States, May threatened to change the name of her sister organization in Canada if they were successful. Since then she has consistently characterized immigration concerns as "trivial" in importance and maintained that urban sprawl fed by exploding population growth can be cured by good "land-use" planning, despite the fact that local zoning is under the jurisdiction of local governments bought and paid for by developers, as Professor Robert McDermid has documented in "Funding City Politics". She remains oblivious to the fact that mass immigration has, in the past two decades, accounted for four times as much GHG emissions as the Tar Sands development, and clings to the delusion that population growth can be 'de-coupled' from carbon emissions and ecological degradation.
The Futility Of Fighting From Within The GPC
Despite May’s make-over of the GPC, it still is not a cohesive and monolithic bloc. Large pockets of the party are not afflicted by population-denial and the opportunism of their leaders. Nevertheless the ruling clique have succeeded in enveloping the party with a cordon sanitaire of filtered information and are slowly but surely creating a party in their own image, much like the Pods in the sci-fi classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” succeeded in replicating the form and shape of human victims. It looks like a Green Party and walks like a Green Party, but when you look into its eyes no one is home. Its policy pronouncements give the game away. This party is Green in name only. Those who would reveal themselves as unassimilated by the governing ideology, who would attempt to play the population card, are destined to be marginalized and driven out with discouragement. As Erich Jacoby-Hawkins told one of them on March 6th of 2008, “...you’ll find the existing progressive consensus (beyond the Green Party) is towards more open immigration, not tighter, so you are bucking the trend on this issue----so to follow your own Lakoffian advice, you would need to be the one to acquiesce at this point.” Translation: Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
A National Tragedy
The hijacking of Canada’s Green Party by population-denialists is more than a tragedy for the GPC. It is a tragedy for Canada. For if the Green Party will not be truly green, who will?
As that policy position paper of 2005 stated, “Canada needs leadership for the age of ecology from the green parties, not the myopic managers of the old-line parties who act like it is “business as usual “, while paying lip service to the notion of sustainability and to other environmental issues.”
November 25, 2011.
October 31st, 2011, was a "teachable" moment, one of those moments that come so infrequently that they must therefore be seized and exploited to the fullest extent to increase public awareness. That was the day that, according to demographers, we reached an awful milestone, the day that our species became 7 billion in number. If you expected David Suzuki to use that event to highlight the problem of overpopulation, your expectations would have been cruelly dashed. Dr. Suzuki instead chose to spout the Monbiot line. Overpopulation is not the problem, you see. Its overconsumption by you know who.
Suzuki Repeats The Monbiot line
This article is for Suzuki-cultists who have been trying to tell me that finally The Great Man "gets it", that underneath it all, he really does understand that overpopulation is a key driver of our predicament. Wrong. He is a unreconstructed Monbiotist pure and simple. October 31, 2011 was arguably the most significant day in human history, the day we reached the 7 billion population mark. That was the day for Dr. Suzuki to step up to the plate and talk about overpopulation. Instead, he chose to repeat the tired old party line of soft green environmentalism and Hartmanite feminism. Next time greens want us to join their parade on climate change, keep that in mind. http://www.straight.com/article-519421/vancouver/david-suzuki-overconsumption-not-overpopulation-biggest-problem
Try this experiment. Phone his foundation and ask why they don't devote space to population issues. The answer I got was "We don't have the resources to deal with it." The David Suzuki Foundation is purported to have a $7 million annual budget. One would think that they could find a few bucks to bang the population drum, but then again, that would scare away a good part of their donor base, a base that includes the Royal Bank of Canada, Encana natural gas, and American corporations with commercial motives to shut down their Canadian competition.
As Steve Kurtz, a long-time population activist in Ottawa----now a resident of the United States---remarked: "He suckered me when I read some interviews or articles during the past year. But I won't be fooled again." Suzuki is good at customizing his interviews according to what he thinks that particular audience wants to hear. If an Australian audience wants to hear that Australia is overpopulated, he will tell them so---as he has. But we will not get on the CBC and tell Canadians that Canada is overpopulated, as he has done in more cloistered quarters or while overseas. Yet his fawning fan club in CBC-land lauds him as a man of integrity and courage, and the Great Canadian Myth persists, a myth swallowed whole by adoring fans in Australia, America and across the world.
Don' t Choose Fake Environmentalists For Heroes
Suzuki and the environmentalists are a waste of time. For them, the "P" in IPAT is a sop thrown out to appease our sensibilities, an inconsequential nuisance that they have to deal with but wished they didn't. Window-dressing. If you need to worship a Canadian environmental hero, try world-acclaimed wildlife artist Robert Bateman or Captain Paul Watson. Both of these men are aware of the 'raging monster' of human overpopulation and not afraid to say that it is running amok right here in Canada. To my knowledge, they are the only Canadian celebrities on the landscape who deserve to be called 'environmentalists'. As the term is presently used, an environmentalist is someone who attempts to manage the environment to accommodate relentless population growth, while a Malthusian would attempt to reverse population growth to accommodate the environment. Environmentalists---so-called---are essentially "growth-managers", not growth-stoppers.
By the way, if you want to understand the impact of overpopulation on biodiversity, take a look at Dave Foreman's latest book, "Man Swarm". This is what people like Suzuki, Monbiot and McKibben need to talk about----especially on days that have great demographic significance.
Measuring The Suzuki Legacy
If you want a measure of the Suzuki legacy, try to understand what impact he has had in shaping the mind-set of environmentally conscious people in his own community (mine). The Sierra Club here is a dominant force in this area, and conducts lectures and film nights through-out the year to "raise" our consciousness. They have a monopoly on the environmental conversation, and David Suzuki is a central figure in their pantheon. On one cold day in December of 2009, a cluster of local Sierra Club members stood in the parking lot of the village shopping centre with placards demanding meaningful action at the Copenhagen meeting on climate change. Their signs carried phrases like "Stop at 350" and "Stop Global Warming". Good on them to give up a weekend afternoon to make a statement about our environmental crisis. But on October 31st of this year, they were nowhere to be seen.
Instead, I met one of them in a local store dressed in a costume. When I asked her why she was dressed that way, I got the answer I expected, "It's a very important day, it's Halloween!" I replied that it was indeed, a very important day---- but not for that reason. She reacted with bewilderment. "Why?". I then began to tell her that it was the day that demographers estimated that we passed the 7 billionth mark, that our population number was now seven times what it was in 1800, that it had increased 250% in my lifetime, and that there are now more children born in one day that there are primates in the world. She cut me off to object that we need more children, and that if we lived more simply, there was more than enough to go around. "We need to grow our own food and get off the grid". In other words, hers was the programmed response that one gets from almost anyone now in her subculture. It is the typical catechism one hears from environmentally-conscious under-30s. Overpopulation? Maybe, but if we "empower women", dump capitalism, live like Ghandi, and share the wealth, overpopulation will take care of itself. Besides, birth rates are falling, aren't they?
Thanks For Nothing
So thank you Suzuki. Thank you Sierra Club. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for two decades of aggressive misinformation. Thanks for being the Pied Pipers who led an entire generation astray. Thanks for being Missing-in-Action on October 31st and blowing another "teachable moment". You are worse than useless, you are dangerous. Corporations have the environmental movement they paid for. One that manages dissent rather than directs it toward crucial targets. One that, to use Thoreau's words, "hacks at the branches of evil rather than striking at its roots."
November 5, 2011
Sierra Club motto: "Let's cut our per-capita consumption in half so we can allow the population to double."
On October 29, CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks featured two guests to discuss the world at 7 billion people, Robert Engelman, President of the Worldwatch Institute in Washington and Madeline Weld, President of the Population Institute of Canada.
The United Nations estimates that on October 31st, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Although the actual number is not certain, it does underlie the fact that our population is growing at an alarming rate. It took until the early 1800's to reach the 1 billion mark, but the last 50 years alone have seen the births of 4 of the total 7 billion This rapid increase raises the question, how many more people can the earth sustain? Or have we already surpassed the earth's capacity? Among the many people asking questions like this are Dr. Madeline Weld, President of the Ottawa-based Population Institute of Canada, and Robert Engelman, President of The Worldwatch Institute in Washington. They discuss how various factors - including access to contraception, the empowerment of women, poverty, consumerism, and the environment - apply to our population growth, now and in the future.
"The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical concept." - Edward O. Wilson, in The Diversity of Life. "In this essay, Madeline Weld uses Canada as a case study of how and why global overpopulation is inextricably bound up with mass immigration. In her words, “Canadian policies create positive feedback loops for population growth...and environmental destruction....both at home and around the world....Immigration to the West can be a fertility stimulant for people who retain pro-natalist norms and perceive an improvement in their economic prospects. Thus immigration doesn’t just increase the number of people in the high-consuming destination country, it also increases the total number of people in the world over what it would have been had the immigrants stayed put.” Tim Murray.
The global population situation
Demographers tell us that a boy born in the rural village of Uttar Pradesh in India will become the 7 billionth person on Earth on October 31st. That the date marking this occasion is Halloween seems eerily appropriate. And there's more to spook us. For a long time we had been led to believe that the global population would probably peak at 9.2 billion in 2050 and then slowly decline. But now the UN Population Division says we're looking at projections of 10, 12 or even 15 billion (1). That comforting "myth of 9 billion" was based on the assumption that fertility rates in developing countries would steadily drop to those of industrialized countries. But they are staying much higher, especially in the poorest countries, known as the "least developed countries" or LDCs in United Nations parlance. They are growing at a rate of 2.3% annually, giving them a doubling time of just over 30 years. The world as a whole is still growing at 1.2% each year, with its two UN-designated components, the "more developed regions" and "less developed regions" (of which the LDCs are a subset) growing at 0.3% and 1.4%, respectively (2). Because the rate of population growth has slowed, we have allowed ourselves to become complacent, thinking that the problem of absolute numbers would solve itself. It won't—at least not in a humane way. We are still adding close to 80 million people to the human family every year. Which explains why there are 85 million Ethiopians and 9.4 million Somalis in the famine-stalked horn of Africa right now, up from 42 and 6.5 million, respectively, in 1984, when starving Ethiopians were fed with the help of the appropriately named charity Band Aid. Projections for 2050 are 174 million and 23.5 million, respectively (2).
Whether we actually go rocketing ahead to those two-digit billions is another question entirely. Our species is in severe overshoot, a plague on our planet devastating the very resources and biodiversity it depends on. Human overshoot was enabled by cheap, plentiful, transportable, storable, and versatile oil (energy, fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, plastics and more). But it looks like we're at or very close to peak oil. The downslope to which we are inevitably heading promises to be a ride with the infamous four horsemen, given that we're also at Peak Everything: oil, soil, fisheries, and the non-renewable natural resources on which our civilization depends.
What is Canada doing to support international family planning?
In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his maternal health initiative as part of the G8 summit that was held in Canada that year. First reports suggested there would be no support for contraception despite the fact that pregnancy and abortion are major causes of mortality and morbidity in poor countries. In response to a public outcry, the government relented on contraception (denying that it had even intended to exclude it) but specifically ruled out support for abortion services. The Harper government has not provided any funds to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (which had previously received up to $10 million annually) for the past two years. It could be that the IPPF's statistics are just too bothersome. In the spring of 2010, while the Harper government was being elusive about contraception, the IPPF produced a report called "Contraception at a Crossroads" which documents the devastating impact of inadequate support for contraception (3). More than one-third of pregnancies in developing countries are unintended. If the unmet need for contraception were met, 52 million unintended pregnancies would be avoided each year. In 2005, 536,000 women died from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes. Unsafe abortions kill 65,000 to 70,000 women each year and leave another five million with temporary or permanent disabilities.
But inadequate support for international family planning didn't start with Harper, he simply made a bad situation worse by playing to his religious power base. The Canadian International Development Agency, which provides aid to developing countries, has never made family planning a priority and certainly never a condition for aid. It is almost impossible to get straight numbers from CIDA about how much it actually spends on contraception, which is often hidden as a component of other projects and intertwined with spending on prenatal and postnatal care, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, managing complications from (illegal) abortion, and other reproductive health matters. A CIDA population specialist in the Africa and Middle East branch, who retired a few years ago and who seemed alone in his concern that population growth needed to be addressed as an issue in itself, once told us that he estimated that family planning made up only 1% of CIDA's budget. He also told us that a population strategy for foreign aid was being developed before the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994, and was to be unveiled afterwards. To his disappointment and ours, the strategy never saw the light of day.
Developed countries in general seem to be missing the point as well. According to a Canadian Senate Committee report of February 2007, 45 years of total development aid to sub-Saharan Africa totalling $US 575 billion has left people worse off in many places than they were 50 years ago (4). The report states, "Since its inception in 1968, CIDA has spent $12.4 billion in bilateral assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, with little in the way of demonstrable results." Interestingly, while the authors address many of the problems that leave Africa mired in poverty—corrupt governments, a food supply that can't keep up with population growth, a youthful population, very high unemployment, low literacy levels, and environmental degradation—they do not mention population growth as a problem per se and do not list stemming population growth among their proposed solutions. In this regard, they are implicitly accepting the prevailing dogma that development can succeed in the absence of population control, which their own report shows has failed over the past 45 years.
Canada's inaction in the context of religious interference, social justice ideology, and wishful thinking
Probably no power on Earth has done more to subvert international family planning efforts than the Vatican, as documented in the works of Stephen Mumford (5). The Vatican has abused its "observer" status since the inception of the United Nations to make the World Health Organization drop contraception a component of its international health programs, similar to immunization, and to block any other initiatives on family planning. Its destructive intervention at the Cairo conference in 1994 was extensively covered by media reports of the day. The Vatican also interferes in family planning efforts by individual governments. In 1993, the British medical journal Lancet published a Zimbabwean doctor's criticism of Catholic and Islamic interference that thwarted access by poor women to contraception in developing countries (6). The doctor's call to all health workers in affected countries to write to the Vatican or appropriate Islamic authorities was endorsed by the journal's editors.
In 1995, not even a year after the Cairo conference, Canada abruptly cut off its longstanding support of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Given that Canada had endorsed reproductive rights in Cairo and that then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was known to be pro-choice, this came totally out of the blue and blindsided the IPPF. I was told by four independent sources that this sudden defunding was the result of pressure from the Vatican via the bishops of Quebec. In November of 1995, there was to be a referendum on Quebec's separation from Canada and the outcome was dicey. (In the end, the 'No' side won by a razor-thin margin.) My sources told me that the Quebec bishops told the Canadian government that they would encourage voters to vote 'Yes' to separation unless Canada defunded the IPPF, which it duly did. I can only speculate about the accuracy of the allegations of my four sources (at least three of which were very well-placed to know) but I find them credible. In any case, Canada quietly reinstated its support of the IPPF the years that followed.
But it's not just the religious right that hampers access to family planning. Surprising as it may seem, so does the feminist and social justice left. While non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of this slant declared themselves in favour of universal access to contraception and abortion at the ICPD, they derailed any direct targeting of population growth by linking such activities to indifference to women's rights, racism, and eugenics, playing right into the hands of the Vatican and its "pro-life" and Muslim allies. As a result, the weak and wishful language on population of the Programme of Action that arose from the Conference dissipated whatever political will there might have been to stem population growth. Funding for contraception as a percentage of all population assistance plummeted from 55% in 1995 to 5% in 2007, with actual spending falling from $723 to $337 million (7). At the same time, funding for the much more heartwarming objective of treating AIDS skyrocketed. According to the UNFPA, in 2008, funding for family planning was $4 billion below the target set at Cairo, while spending on AIDS was $7 billion above target (8).
A 2006 article in the Lancet states that the link between high fertility and rapid population growth, on one side, and barriers to socioeconomic development was broken at Cairo (9). It points out that rapid population growth presents a far greater threat to poverty reduction in most poor countries than does AIDS. The "grotesque distortion of priorities" in Niger is given as an example. That country faces "possible catastrophe because of rapid population growth" but holds more meetings on sterility and sexuality in elderly people than on population or family planning. The article calls for reasserting the economic rationale for family planning "that was muted at Cairo" and for breaking from "the prevailing international discourse that cloaks family planning in terms of reproductive and sexual health, a habit that obfuscates rather than clarifies priorities." It mentions the suspicions that a focus on family planning as a development intervention will arouse due to the "high-pressure semicoercive past tactics of some Asian family planning programmes," but says these suspicions need to be addressed "by emphasising that no contradiction exists between a respect for reproductive rights and a renewed sense of urgency in family-planning promotion." The article says that "[m]ost poor countries already have population policies in place but need encouragement from development agencies to implement them with conviction and commitment." What is currently missing is political will, it says.
Had the Cairo conference of 1994 achieved its objectives, there would have been no need for the UN to set the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 (10). In keeping with the blindness on population growth that is a hallmark of our times, the eight MDGs, whose target date is 2015, were silent on that very subject. A 2007 report by an all party parliamentary group in the UK stated "The evidence is overwhelming: the MDGs are difficult or impossible to achieve with the current levels of population growth in the least developed countries and regions" (11). A Save the Children policy brief of 2010 stated, "rapid population growth rates and high fertility rates correlate closely with high rates of maternal and child mortality and most of the countries that are furthest from achieving the Millennium Development Goals have high rates of population growth" (12). In a nod to reality, in 2007 the UN introduced a target of universal access by 2015 to reproductive health care (note the cautious language) under the fifth MDG of improving maternal health.
In 2011, achieving the MDGs seems as elusive as achieving the goals set in Cairo. And yet, the development cart remains firmly stationed in front of the population horse, not least with CIDA.
Population growth in Canada is also booming
While Canada is unwilling to take pragmatic steps that would make universal access to birth control a reality rather than a pious wish, its own citizens have ready access to birth control and face no restrictions on abortion under criminal law. (However, women who can't afford to travel and live in a region with inadequate service may have no access in fact if not in law.) For several decades, Canada has had a total fertility rate (TFR) below the replacement number of 2.1. And yet, its population growth rate of 1% annually is much closer to that of the less developed regions (1.4%) than of more developed regions (0.3%). How can that be?
Canada is ramping up its own population growth with a misguided policy of mass immigration, which I discussed in a 2009 article in Humanist Perspectives (13). This policy was started under Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government in the early 1990s and was continued unabated by his Liberal successors and Stephen Harper's Conservative government. Of Canada's 34 million people, 7 million are immigrants (14). With Canada's low birthrate, its population would have stabilized at about 27 million with immigration closely balanced with emigration. Instead, our 34 million are projected to increase to over 44 million (2).
Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, all of the parties will tell you that immigration, by which they mean the mass immigration of the last few decades, is necessary for Canada's economy. Its sacred cow status was evident in a debate of party leaders held in April, 2011, prior to Canada's federal election. No leader suggested reducing the flow of immigrants. The NDP's Jack Layton and Liberal Michael Ignatieff both seemed eager to open the door wider and bring in more "family class" relatives of immigrants. The only concern of separatist Bloc Québecois leader Gilles Duceppe was that immigrants to his province become French-speaking Quebecers. Prime Minister Harper rejected accusations that he cut back on "family unification" and boasted about keeping "a vigorous and strong and open-door immigration policy during a recession". A pre-election advertisement sponsored by the Conservative party boasted that the "Harper Conservatives Welcome Highest Number of Immigrants in History." Indeed, despite an unemployment rate of 8% or more, Canada's intake of newcomers (sum total of immigrants, refugees, temporary workers, students, and others) did actually increase under Harper. In 2010, Canada took in 281,000 immigrants, another 182,000 as temporary foreign workers, and is also host to 218,000 foreign students (15). It should be noted that temporary workers are often anything but temporary. If successful in Canada, they are a preferred source of immigrants by the government. Green Party leader (and, after the election, its only MP) Elizabeth May was excluded from the debate but praises Canada's "great multicultural experiment" and has never advocated a reduction in immigration.
In Canada, the mass intake of immigrants as essential to our economy intertwined with the embrace of multiculturalism has become sacred doctrine by the ruling class of politicians and liberal elites. The reality is that many recent immigrants fare poorly in the Canadian economy and, according to a study published this year, receive $18 to $23 billion more in government assistance each year than they pay in taxes (16). While that study focuses only on the economic cost of Canada's policy of mass immigration, there are also, as discussed below, significant environment impacts and social costs arising from poverty and lack of integration.
How Canadian policies create positive feedback loops for population growth
Canada is doing far too little to support international family planning and is subverting its own low birthrate with a policy of mass immigration. The bogus economic arguments used to justify this insanity were discussed in my earlier article. Yet some argue for this policy from an ecological perspective. Most of the world's "biodiversity hotspots" are in poor countries, the argument goes, and by alleviating population pressure there, we are helping to protect their ecology, which is more critical than Canada's. Other people favour the mass intake on social justice grounds. With its high per capita consumption and greenhouse gas production, Canada is a major contributor to climate change and should compensate by taking in those fleeing the environmental consequences, they say. In reality, Canada's high intake of immigrants drives population growth and environmental destruction both at home and around the world.
Inadequate support for family planning drives population growth abroad:
It is obvious how inadequate funding for contraception results in an inadequate supply. Hundreds of millions of poor women who do not want to become pregnant are not using birth control simply because they can't get it. But supply is just one side of the problem. The preference for large families is another. The number of children desired is declining in most of the developing world but remains very high in some regions. In western and middle sub-Saharan Africa, an average of 6.0 children are still desired. In southern and eastern Africa, the mean number desired is 4.5. In contrast, in Asia and North Africa the average is 2.9 and in Latin America and the Caribbean, 3.0 (17). By refusing to endorse national or international initiatives to promote smaller families and proclaiming that couples should "freely and responsibly" choose the number and spacing of their children, the Cairo conference's Program of Action left poor women at the mercy of cultural norms favouring pronatalism, patriarchy, and the subjugation of women. The high birth rates that continue almost unabated in the poorest countries are accompanied by a falling probability of a decent standard of living. This creates pressure for migration both to the West and to neighbouring countries that are often poor themselves. At the time of writing, starving Somali refugees are streaming into refugee camps in neighbouring Kenya, which is not well equipped to handle them.
The examples of Thailand, the Indian state of Kerala, and Bangladesh illustrate that government policies can cause birth rates to fall dramatically without the need to resort to the sort of coercion used by China and invoked by religious and social justice opponents to blacken the very idea of population control. The example of Bangladesh illustrates that birth rates can fall dramatically in poor countries before they have achieved a substantial level of wealth. On the flip side, the skyrocketing populations of oil-rich Arab countries illustrate that, contrary to the demographic transition theory, declines in population do not automatically follow an increase in wealth.
Canada should make contraception an integral part of its foreign aid and target countries that have implemented effective and ethical policies of population control.
Canada's immigration policy drives population growth and environmental degradation at home:
In Virginia Abernethy's fertility opportunity hypothesis, which is supported by many empirical examples, couples often have more children when they perceive that their economic opportunities are expanding (19). This was seen in the postwar baby boom and is evident in oil-rich Arab countries. Immigration to the West can be a fertility stimulant for people who retain pronatalist norms and perceive an improvement in their economic prospects. Thus immigration doesn't just increase the number of people in the high-consuming destination country, it also increases the total number of people in the world over what it would have been had the immigrants stayed put.
Mass migration has had a profound impact on Canada's environment. Most immigrants settle in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, and all but a handful in metropolitan areas. Only 7% of Canada's land surface is suitable for agriculture, and a much smaller proportion is "class 1". In Ontario, 18% of class I agricultural had been converted to urban uses by 1996 (20). We are also destroying much of the unique fruit growing farmland of the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. In addition to paving over our food supply, we are devastating our ecosystems, particularly in the growth belts of the BC lower mainland, the golden horseshoe region of Ontario, and the Great Lakes?St. Laurence Basin.
A 2008 report by the US Center for Immigration Studies showed that, on average, immigration to the US increases a migrant's greenhouse gas production by a factor of four, even with a relatively low standard of living in the US (18). The values for Canada would be similar or possibly even higher, given our colder climate and greater distances. As far as the atmosphere is concerned, immigration to Canada turns low resource and energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters into high consumers and emitters.
You might think that environmental groups and the Green party would squawk about driving up the population of one of the highest consuming and greenhouse gas-producing countries in the world while destroying its farmland and wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. The environmental movement tends to be silent on the population growth that undermines all efforts at conservation, reducing consumption, and capping greenhouse gas emissions. The simple-minded mantra of the mainstream environmental movement can be summed up as, "It's not the numbers, it's how we live." As Paul Ehrlich has said, this is like focussing only on one side of a rectangle when calculating its area.
While politicians of all stripes pay lip service to the environment, they all also endorse mass migration to Canada. Not one of them has come up with a strategy to reduce our ecological footprint in the face of an ever-increasing number of feet. Nor will they, because that is impossible.
Canada's immigration policy drives population growth in the countries of origin:
Not surprisingly, many people are eager to leave the deteriorating conditions in poor countries. A Gallup survey conducted in 2010, based on interviews with over 347,000 adults in 148 countries representing 95% of the world's population, found that some poor countries would see their adult (15 years +) populations reduced by half if everyone who wanted to leave could do so (21). Haiti would see its adult population fall by 56%, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and "Somaliland Region" by 46%, the Philippines by 22%, and Egypt by 8%. If everyone who wanted to go to a specific destination were able to do so, Canada's population would increase by 160%, while those of New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia would grow by 184%, 150%, and 148%, respectively. The hypothetical population change accounted both for those who would leave and who would arrive. The ranking of countries from the most popular would-be destination (Singapore, +219%) to the one most eagerly deserted (Sierra Leone, ?56%) reveals a great desire to leave countries with rapid population growth and high rates of poverty. Yet, under current conditions, the benefit of mass emigration for poor countries would be fleeting. In the absence of culture change, their high growth rates would quickly replace the emigrants, economic inefficiency and corrupt government would continue and things would soon be right back to where they were. At the same time, the destination countries would be swamped and rendered dysfunctional.
Data on remittances sent by emigrants to their countries of origin reveal the extent to which emigration allows business as usual to continue back home. Remittances prop up unsustainable population growth in inefficient economies and let corrupt governments that fail to provide adequate services and infrastructure for their people off the hook. In 2010, there were about 215 million international migrants (double the number in 1985), and the remittances they sent home, about $325 billion, were 3 times larger than total official development aid (14, 22). In 24 countries, remittances were equal to more than 10% of the GDP; in some cases, over one-third. Because informal channels are often used and the amounts transmitted not recorded, the actual remittance flow is believed to be substantially greater than official numbers indicate.
The extent to which governments depend on remittances to ease the pressure on themselves is illustrated by the Philippines, whose government calls its emigrants "heroes of the nation." No wonder. At its current growth rate of 1.8% annually, the Philippine's population of 93.6 million will balloon to 146.2 million by 2050 (2). The Philippines sends over one million workers abroad each year and receives remittances equivalent to 10% of the country's economic output (22). As it happens, the Philippines are now Canada's top source of immigrants and Filipinos in Canada send back $1.5 billion annually (23). For the Vatican, this is a win-win situation. While devout politicians are trying to kill an initiative by the Philippine government to (finally!) make contraception available to the poor, Filipino immigrants to Canada, most of them Catholic, help boost the flagging fortunes of the Roman Catholic church here. Canada's role is reminiscent to that of an enabler.
What is true for the Philippines is true, to a greater or lesser extent, for many developing countries. About one-tenth of Egyptians and Haitians also live outside of their country of birth. While these developing countries catch themselves some breathing room, the people they 'export' compete with workers in the receiving countries, especially those at the lower end of the economic scale and young people looking for entry level jobs. This is not a problem for the businesses that benefit from cheap labour, developers, bankers, or the "immigration industry"?lawyers, consultants, settlement agencies and others. Politicians in receiving countries can also benefit, through both financial support from economic interests and votes from ethnic blocs. Apparently, some politicians, including Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour Party in the UK, see nothing bizarre in bringing in immigrants who receive welfare and then send remittances to their country of origin, calling them heroic. Ms Harman also derided "those who said we should look after our own first" (24). Judging by their immigration policies, this attitude seems to be shared by politicians on the UK, Canada, Australia, and the US.
Mass immigration, security, and social cohesion
Mass immigration has impacts on security. Pakistan has long been one of the top ten source countries of immigrants to Canada. Both it and neighbouring Afghanistan are terrorist havens. Of the 20,000 migrants who came Canada from these two countries between 2001 and 2006, only 1 in 10 were properly vetted (25). This lack of due diligence, along with Canada's generous policy of family reunification, makes it not at all improbable that we will bring in someone eager to destroy us. Our misguided policy of multiculturalism works against the integration of immigrants whose value system is based in religion and tribalism and is often antithetical to Western values. Newcomers from such cultures tend to cluster in ethnic enclaves where these values are retained and reinforced with marriage partners imported from the homeland. In 1981, there were 6 ethnic enclaves in Canada (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver), where ethnic enclaves are defined as communities with 30% or more of the population from one visible minority group; in 2001, there were 254 (26). Not surprisingly, Canada has produced some homegrown would-be terrorists, including Momin Khawadja and some of the Toronto 18, along with the immigrant variety, such as Ahmed Rassam.
Canada is not alone in its ideological embrace of multiculturalism. Several European countries have brought in large numbers of migrants from very different cultural backgrounds with no desire to integrate. As in Canada, they often bring marriage partners from the home country, which, along with a high birth rate, has created ethnic enclaves existing as parallel societies within the host country, some becoming no-go zones for the native population. Three European leaders (France's Sarkozy, Germany's Merkel, and the UK's Cameron) have declared multiculturalism to be a failure.
At the risk of appearing to engage in "Schadenfreude", the recent riots in Britain almost seem like the just desserts of a country that has engaged in a policy of mass immigration starting in 1997 under Labour Party leadership, in order to, as confessed last year by Andrew Neather, former Labour Party speechwriter, "make the UK truly multicultural" and "rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date," with those who expressed reservations dismissed with utter contempt as racists (27). According to US sociologist Jack Goldstone who spoke on BBC radio's "4's More or Less" program on August 12 and analyzed the causes of the recreational thuggery and looting in several UK cities, there is a clear link through history between rapid population growth and social unrest, seen in events like the French and Russian revolutions and now in pockets of society with immigration-driven population growth and many young people unable to find jobs. In the London suburb of Tottenham where the riots started, Goldstone found that the population had grown by nearly 8%, three times the UK average, between 2000 and 2005, with a high percentage of new immigrants and young people (28). David Cameron's Conservative Party appears to be reaping what Labour has sown, yet has been timid about reducing immigration, no doubt hampered by the spectre of accusations of racism.
Population growth and conflict
As evidenced by the violence in many struggling countries (e.g., Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti), the concept of human rights falls by the wayside when too many humans are fighting over dwindling resources. Each year, the Fund for Peace ranks countries according to their "vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal deterioration." The Fund's Failed State Index, published in Foreign Policy, is based on 12 indicators, each with scores of 1 (best) to 10 (worst), aggregated into a single score. A country with a score of 120 would be falling apart by every measure. In the first listing in 2005, only 7 countries had scores of 100 or more. In 2010, there were 15 (29). The higher scores for countries at the top and the doubling of countries with scores of 100 or more indicate that state failure is spreading and deepening.
Ranking on the Failed State Index is closely associated with rapid population growth (30). For 2010, 15 of the top 20 failed states had population growth rates between 2 and 4% a year (i.e., doubling times of 17 to 35 years). In 14 of the top 20, at least 40% of the population was under 15, an indicator of likely future instability. Nineteen of the top 20 failing states depend on the UN's World Food Programme for food. The deterioration of economic infrastructure—roads, power, water, and sewage systems— is another feature of failing states. And all of the top 20 countries are depleting their natural assets, such as forests, grasslands, soils, and aquifers, to sustain their rapidly growing populations. Failing states are highly likely to experience a breakdown in law and order and the loss of personal security. The conflicts in a failing state often spread to neighbouring countries, as when the genocide in Rwanda spread to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where at least five million people lost their lives. In these situations, women often face vicious discrimination and brutalization. Not coincidentally, the DRC is now known as the rape capital of the world.
The failure of Canada and of the international community in general to adequately support family planning therefore contributes to conflict and war.
The human population is in overshoot and indications are that it is heading for a crash. Focusing on development while ignoring population growth has failed and will continue to fail, as shown by the increasing number of failing states. By not making population control an integral part of an overall development strategy, Canada is contributing to global population growth and conflict. By driving population growth at home with a policy of mass immigration based on false economic arguments, Canada is destroying its own environment and long-term agricultural capacity as well as turning low consumers and greenhouse gas producers to high consumers and emitters. Because fertility rates often increase when people perceive more economic opportunity, immigration to Canada could be contributing to global population growth. Remittances from immigrants in developed countries constitute a large part of the GDP of many developing countries. These remittances help prop up inefficient economies and buy time for corrupt governments, allowing business as usual, including high fertility rates, to continue for longer.
Canada's policies are making a bad situation worse. Canada should seek to stabilize then reduce its own population. Given our low birthrate, this could easily be achieved by drastically reducing immigration levels. Canada should make international family planning a priority in its foreign aid and make ethical and efficient population control policies a condition for aid in countries with high fertility rates.
(1) United Nations Population Division. 2011. World Population Prospects. The 2010 Revision. Press Release, 3 May 2011.
(2) UNFPA. 2010. State of World Population 2010. New York: United Nations Population Fund.
(3) International Planned Parenthood Federation. 2010. Contraception at a Crossroads. http://www.ippf.org/NR/rdonlyres/44A072FB-E35E-4BD7-8983-BC0BB91682DA/0/ContraceptionAtaCrossroads.pdf.
(4) Senate of Canada. The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. 2007. Overcoming 40 years of failure: a new road map for sub-Saharan Africa. http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/391/fore/rep/repafrifeb07-e.pdf
(5) Stephen Mumford's books include: American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984); The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986); and The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996). Mumford's CV and links to some articles can be seen at http://www.population-security.org/mumford_bio.html.
(6) Verkuyl, D.A.A. 1993. Two world religions and family planning. The Lancet 342(8869): 473?475.
(7) Deen, T. 2009. Global financial crisis threatens family planning. Inter Press Service News, April 1. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46357
(8) UNFPA and PRB. 2009. Healthy Expectations. International Conference on Population and Development, 15 years later. New York: United Nations Population Fund and Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/publications/healthyexpectations
(9) Cleland, J, S Bernstein, A Ezeh, A Faundes, A Glasier, J Innis. 2006. Sexual and Reproductive Health 3. Family planning: the unfinished agenda. Lancet 368: 1810?1827.
(10) See information about the Millennium Development Goals here http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/mdgoverview.html
(11) Report of Hearings by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health (UK). January, 2007. The Return of the Population Growth Factor. Its Impact on the Millennium Development Goals. http://www.appg-popdevrh.org.uk/Publications/Population%20Hearings/Summary%20Update%2009%20FINAL.pdf
(12) Save the Children policy brief from March 2010 can be seen at http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/54_10773.htm.
(13) Weld, M. 2009. Canada’s policy of mass immigration: hoary myths and unasked questions. Humanist Perspectives 41(4): 22?29.
(14) World Bank. 2011. Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. 2nd Edition. http://issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/978082138218
(15) Bissett, J. 2011. Immigration isn't as beneficial as politicians claim. Calgary Herald, May 20. http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Immigration+beneficial+politicians+claim/4814381/story.html (James Bissett is a retired ambassador and the former executive director of the Canadian Immigration Service.)
(16) Grubel, H. and P. Grady. 2011. Immigration and the Canadian Welfare State. Fraser Institute, Vancouver. http://global-economics.ca/immigration-and-the-canadian-welfare-state-2011.pdf
(17) Westoff , CF. 2010. Desired Number of Children: 2000-2008.US AID Demographic and Health Surveys Comparative Reports No. 25. http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pub_details.cfm?ID=987
(18) Kolankiewicz, L. and S. Camarota. 2008. Immigration to the United States and worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Washington DC: Center for Immigration Studies. http://www.cis.org/GreenhouseGasEmissions
(19) Abernethy, VD. 1999. A Darwinian account of the fertility opportunity hypothesis. Population and Environment 21(2): 119?148. http://www.springerlink.com/content/t54243kh15r60775/
(20) Statistics Canada. 2001.Urban Consumption of Agricultural Land. Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin Vol. 3, No. 2 (September 2001), Catalogue no. 21-006-XIE.
(21) Esipova, N, and J. Ray. 2010, August 20. Migration could triple populations in some wealthy nations. #10;<p>(22) Population Reference Bureau (US). 2011. Remittances and the recession's effects on international migration. <a href=" www.prb.org="">www.prb.org/articles/2011/international-migration-recession-remitttances.aspx
(23) Friesen, J. 2011. The Philippines now Canada's top source of immigrants. Globe and Mail, March 18. www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-philippines-now-canadas-top-source-of-immigrants/article1948315/
(24) Walters, S. 2010. Harriet Harman praises 'hero' immigrants who send welfare handouts home. Daily Mail (December 12). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337876/Harman-praises-hero-immigrants-send-welfare-handouts-home.html#
(25) Stoffman, D. Truths and Myths about Immigration. In: Moens, A. and M. Collacott (Eds.) 2008. Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States. Fraser Institute. http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5220J.pdf
(26) Hou, F. 2004. Recent immigration and the formation of visible minority neighbourhoods in Canada's large cities. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 11F0019MIE — No. 221 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2004221-eng.pdf
(27) Philips, M. 2010. The secret plot to destroy Britain’s identity. Daily Mail (February 24). http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=718
(28) Information about the BBC report is from an email of August 15, 2011, from my population activist colleague Brian McGavin in the UK.
(29) Failed State Index 2010. See The Failed State Index is created by Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace
(30) Brown, L. 2011. World on the edge: how to prevent environmental and economic collapse. Chapter 7. Mounting stresses, failing states. Earth Policy Institute.
In the TV debate of April 12, 2011, the leaders of Canada's four parties with parliamentary seats demonstrated that beneath the phony left-right dichotomies, parliament is ideologically monolithic in the most important sense. All of them believe in the necessity, desirability and possibility of continuing economic growth, and that immigration-driven population growth is its necessary concomitant and driver. But how could it be otherwise? Politicians do not effect change, they respond to it. And the environmental movement---and its political arm in the NDP and the Green Party, has done nothing to create a constituency of awareness that population growth in Canada is unsustainable, an awareness that if widely shared, would compel political parties and their leaders to address it. Most culpable is David Suzuki, who could move mountains if he would publicly say what he has said of Australia: that in relation to our resources, we are in serious population overshoot.
Protecting Nature While Ignoring Immigration?
Take a look at Nature Canada's website http://www.naturecanada.ca/election2011.asp, and their "questions to ask " politicians in this federal election, and then you will understand what is wrong with Canada's environmental and conservation movement. They have taken the "P"( for population) out of the IPAT equation, the foundational formula of the environmental movement in the 1970s, essentially, environmental impact is a function of population levels and average consumption of each individual. Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club, the Green Party of Canada and the fake greens in the NDP all would have you believe that we can add 350,000 consumers to our population every year, year after year--- one metro Toronto every decade----without negative ecological impacts! And if challenged, they will tell you that we can shoe-horn tens of millions more into this country by strict land use planning (aka "smart growth"), preserve greenfield acreage and minimize their energy use. Aside from the fallacy of this contention, it is intellectually dishonest. Land use planning is in the hands of local government, and as Professor Robert MacDirmid of York University has documented in "Funding City Politics", local governments are controlled by developers.
Here are some questions to ask Nature Canada and their politically correct green clones:
1. Why won't you, Canada's green NGOs?make public your corporate funding sources? Why do you hide your corporate benefactors from your own members?
2. Why do you accept money from corporations like RBC, the Toronto Dominion Bank, the Walton Group, Encana, Atco etc etc? What do they want from you? What have you not said or advocated in return for their patronage? What is the going rate for your silence?
3. Can you explain the 'coincidence' that you have not taken on immigration-driven population growth in Canada when that is a major goal of corporations like RBC who fund you?
4. Can you seriously argue that we can "decouple" population growth in Canada from environmental degradation, from farmland and habitat loss and carbon emissions?
5. Why have you not pushed for an environmental assessment process for the government's immigration and pro-natalist policies? Do you honestly believe that renewable energy can be "scaled up" to meet the demands of a Canadian population that grows at over 1.08% per annum? Do you understand what exponential growth is? If you think a population level of 34 million for Canada is sustainable, at point would you concede that it isn't? 44 million? 54 million? 84 million? At what point along the road to ruin would you be prepared to call for a Population Plan for this country, as did Dr. Michael Healy and his UBC research team in their federally commissioned report, “Prospects for Sustainability”. As the Science Council of Canada warned in 1976, Canada must limit and stabilize its population.
Population Myopia Is An Outrageous Omission
The population-myopia of Canada's environmental movement is an outrageous omission that smacks of political correctness and outright corruption. Species loss is not something that only happens in some distant wilderness. The real killing fields are right here on the perimeters of Canada's growing urban centres. That is why Walton International, a land banking corporation, finds that it makes good business sense to give donations to Nature Conservancy for high profile land acquisitions far away from the farmland that Walton likes to purchase at the edge of cities like Calgary. When that land is rezoned to 'urban' use and housing development, Nature Conservancy stays mute, as it has when other patrons like RBC underwrite urban sprawl or bankroll the tar sands. Then, when Nature Conservancy "saves" a wetland or valley 500 miles away, these corporate donors can share the bragging rights. The new parkland is then declared parkland "forever". Forever, that is, until oil hits $250/barrel or minerals critical to our economy are in desperate shortfall. Until then, however RBC, the TD bank and Shell Canada can show off their credentials as good green citizens and paragons of corporate social "responsibility".
Where can nature be found on the ballot? Why won't Suzuki speak out against Canadian population growth?
Nature Canada implores us to "vote for nature" in this election. But where, on any federal election ballot in any constituency, can "nature" be found? The counterfeit "Greens", along with the NDP and the Liberals, actually want to hike Canada's immigration quota from its current 285,000 to 340,000!!!! Canada already vies with Australia for the dishonour of having the highest per capita immigration intake in the world, and has the highest population growth rate in the G8 group! Privately, according to some sources, David Suzuki has called this process of converting third world immigrants to "hyper consumers" in Canada as "madness", but will not say soon a major media outlet. He has, however, bravely gone on ABC radio in Australia to tell Australians that Australia is overpopulated. But Australia already has Tim Flannery and the Australian Conservation Foundation to tell them that. Will we have to invite an iconic Australian environmentalist here to say the same thing about Canada? In what way has Canada not overshot its carrying capacity to the same degree as Australia? Why the silence, Dr. Suzuki? Why be frank 'down under' but be seized with demographic lockjaw in your own country? Does the David Suzuki Foundation customize its policies to suit its benefactor, RBC, whose Chairman Gordon Nixon has lobbied for an immigration intake of 450,000?
Nature Canada is right in one important respect. In their words, "we cannot afford to allow nature and the environment to be ignored." So why are they ignoring population growth?
Nature Canada Asks Us To Ask the Candidates
What will you do to make sure Canada does a better job of enforcing our laws to protect wildlife like caribou, whales, and migratory birds?
How will you make sure nature is really protected in all federal parks and protected areas?
What will you do to protect more lands, waters, and oceans for nature and future generations?
How will you do a better job of using federal regulations and environmental assessments to prevent environmental disasters?
My hard-earned tax dollars are going to subsidize big oil and gas companies and our Canadian lakes are being handed over to mining companies to dump their waste. What will you do to end these dirty subsidies?
What is your party’s plan to really move Canada to a green economy powered by renewable energy?
Canada urgently needs an ambitious national plan to protect nature for wildlife, for us to enjoy, and for future generations. What will you do to show national leadership and give Canada an ambitious vision and a plan to protect nature for all?
Tell Canada’s leaders where you stand – vote for nature in 2011!
Suzuki says Australia is overpopulated:
David Suzuki - Interview with radio station 6PR, 22 Sept 2006:
Suzuki: You know I was shocked to find that you have got a Minister in the Federal Cabinet here (Treasurer Peter Costello) who is encouraging Australians to have more and more children. Why? Because everybody thinks that in order to keep the economy growing forever you have got to have a growing population to keep that economy growing.
And so no one ever asks what is the cost of adding more people to Australia, a country as far as I am concerned that is already overpopulated because the demand of each Australian is so great?
Journalist: So you are saying Australia is overpopulated?
Suzuki: You bet.
Postscript: The National Leaders Debate of April 12, 2011
Last night a TV debate was held between the leaders of Canada's 4 main parties. All of them proceeded on these assumptions:
1. Continual economic growth is necessary, desirable and possible.
2. A growing population is necessary to fuel economic growth.
3. Continued high levels of immigration are necessary to replace and increase our existing population level.
The only difference between them was whether a higher or lower proportion of those immigrants should be drawn from the "family class" category. And even here, Prime Minister Harper argued that his government had remained faithful to the concept of "family reunification". Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe joined the chorus in favour of more and more immigration, but stated that multiculturalism "does not fit Quebec", which has a duty to ensure that immigrants be fully integrated into a francophone society that represents only 2% of North America's population.
Needless to say, none of the leaders questioned the justice or the sense of pro-natalist policies and child-benefits packages, or the lunacy of the Quebec government subsidizing couples' IVF treatments to the tune of $7,000 a piece.
And it should be added, that Green Party leader Elizabeth May would have been in emphatic agreement with these leaders had she participated in the debate.
We are passengers on the HMCS Ecological Titanic led by a captain and aspiring captains who believe that we should pick up more passengers, and remain ignorant about the perils ahead. Has anyone one of them read James Howard Kunstler, or Richard Heinberg, or Michael Ruppert, or even one article in the vast archive of material that is available on overshoot?
April 13/ 2011
Unstoppable waves of migrants, overcrowding, displaced workers
uncontrollable crime, an alienated youth culture without hope and "one of the most divided and unequal ... countries in Europe", ---is this portrait of contemporary Britain a picture of our own future?
Let the British Poor Eat Cake
Wendy Kellett has a vision of what is to come. And it is a nightmare.
Speaking of her native land, the United Kingdom, she writes that:
“This is now one of the most divided and unequal-and overcrowded-countries in Europe. Unemployment amongst the young is rising; poverty amongst childless adults of working age is rising; immigration continues unabated-driving down wages at the bottom. The real value of incomes has fallen steadily in the past couple of decades, primarily affecting those with the least. Property values have soared, driven by speculation, a deregulated financial sector and increasing pressure on land from development and population growth.
The ‘toffs’ have no idea, or no concern, for what the less fortunate are experiencing. (They will find out, sooner or later.) Their attitude was typified by the chief executive of the Barclay group, Bob (deep-pockets-my-bonus-is-bigger-than-yours) Diamond when he defended the remuneration culture of the UK financial sector before the Commons Treasury Select Committee on bank bonuses. Diamond declared that ‘There was a period of remorse and apology; that period needs to be over.’ I must have missed the remorse and the apology. Diamond rejected the demands of MPs that he forgo his 2010 bonus, which could amount to $8 million.
So it’s business as usual for the greedsters, able to continue unabashed-- courtesy of the publicly funded rescue package---all gain, no pain. The pain is borne by the young, the unemployed, the sick, the disabled, the impoverished, the homeless and the millions of workers who are seeing the value of their wages plummet.”
An Archipelago Of Rich Enclaves In A Sea Of Crime And Poverty
The UK has become what John Kenneth Galbraith said of America, a nation where “private affluence co-exists with public squalor”. By 2015, she predicts, we will see a UK where
“Rising inequality, matched by population growth, will exacerbate the divide between rich and poor and a demoralised and resentful public will be increasingly numbed by diversions like sporting events, celebrity television and political messages which skilfully demonise the poor and needy. Entrepreneurial types will no doubt turn in ever greater numbers to drug dealing, people smuggling and black market supply of now-unaffordable goods beyond the reach of many. Mass migration from Africa and the Middle East will continue , driven by climate change, poverty and population growth. The rich will continue to move into gated enclaves and religious groups will fill the gaps left by vapourised public services : I suspect that ,increasingly, we shall see whole areas dominated by different faith groups.”
Canadian Youth Alienated And Embittered
I replied that this unfolding tragedy sounds very much like what is occurring in North America.
“Sounds a lot like Canada. The United States is even worse. The gap between rich and poor has grown dramatically since the 80s. Now Canadian cities are being to resemble American cities as they were 20 years ago. We have a social safety net that they don't, but the level of services are dropping like a stone. What Galbraith said of America is now true of Canada. The working class has been pauperized, caught in a squeeze play between the outsourcing of good-paying manufacturing jobs and the "in-sourcing" of cheap imported labour which has driven down the wages of displaced blue collar workers and their children, who must compete for the McJobs of a growing low-wage service sector.
Many of these kids have degrees and are trying to work off student debts in the five figures flipping burgers or selling cars for chump change while politicians bemoan the plight of immigrants with degrees who can’t find employment relevant to their field of study. No wonder that so many young people are still living with their parents. The more removed the wealthy become from the masses, the less empathy they have. But incivility, hostility, rudeness, and hostility are bubbling up among the young. In the 60s our fault was our naive idealism. Theirs is their unapologetic cynicism. On the CBC today, I heard the testimony of a bus driver who saw five black female teens on his bus threaten an elderly white lady because she was "looking at them". This kind of incident was unknown in Canada in my time. But it is common now. People are alienated and angry and they are lashing out at the wrong targets.”
The Lost Generation
Wendy also observes the same youth alienation in the United Kingdom.
“I see blank ,sullen incivility on the faces of many of the young : disturbing but explainable. They are fed a diet of, to quote REM : 'shiny, happy people' on the telly, who are famous for being famous, and whose fatuous remarks beggar belief. I suspect that the young know, perhaps subliminally, that they have no stake in the present and no expectations of the future : nihilism; anomie and disengagement are the result.”
It is clear that what we are witnessing--- in the so-called affluent societies---- is the emergence of a Lost Generation----alienated, hostile and withdrawn---immersed in a digital technology that has become both their defining trademark and their sanctuary from a world beyond their control. We are witnessing a systems collapse and the unravelling of Euro-American civilization. As Yeats said in his epic poem, “The Second Coming”, the centre cannot hold.
January 26, 2011
The Second Coming
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
In Growth We Prosper
There is an unrelenting media campaign to tell Canadians that we must grow our population. We need more babies and more immigrants or very bad things will happen. But there are voices that question this assumption. They are heard on the streets, in the pubs and at the dining room table. But they are seldom heard in the media. Especially not on the airways of the CBC, that vehicle of growthist PC propaganda which all taxpayers are forced to endow.
It has been quite the year.
First the host of CBC radio's "The Sunday Edition", Michael Enright, declared on his June 7th program that Canada needs immigration-driven population growth in order to "prosper". Many of us, like Brishen Hoff, wanted to know what Enright meant by "prosper". As Hoff then asked, "Does Enright think that prospering means converting hundreds of thousands of hectares of Canadian land from biodiverse ecosystems into new roads, subdivisions, clearcuts, malls, parking lots, and open-pit mines to accommodate about 250,000 additional immigrants every year? Does that make life better for the average Canadian? Has real wealth per Canadian increased?"
Then a week later the print media gave the University of Toronto's Irvin Studin, editor-in-chief of "Global Brief" a platform to promote his vision of a Canada of 100 million people-- the Superpower of the century. No submissions for op-eds of equivalent space that would contest his arguments were permitted. Not one. Not in any major media outlet. Nor were any one of several known letters-to-the editor critical of his stance published.
How the CBC Manages To Talk About Demography Without Questioning Population Growth
Then in September, CBC Radio announced that the flagship morning show, "The Current" would be featuring a series of programs about the "seismic" demographic shifts that are occuring in Canada that will "change our work, our health, our families and our politics". The series would not ask if we could resist these changes, or how we might do so. And most conspicuously, not once would they interview a guest who challenged the assumed need to grow our population.
Demographer David Foot set the tone on the September 7th program by arguing that we seek the counsel of demographers so that we may "plan" for a future, which as we are constantly told about growth, is inevitable. Population growth and change is not something we can do anything about. We just have to make the right adjustments. On September 8th, the next day, the CBC then declared that the growing ranks of centenarians was something "worth celebrating"---something re-affirmed on the September 21st segment of the series about "super-centenarians", when listeners were told of the "exciting' , albeit costly research that will help us live beyond 110 years of age. On the 16th, The Current informed CBC listeners that the government of Quebec had spent some $25million this year to cover the cost of several fertility treatments in an effort to hike the province's birth rate, which they said---without challenge--is "crucial" to the province's future. The Quebec College of Physicians made the argument that money would be better spent on fixing what is already an overburdened system---but that was an argument about priorities and not about the underlying assumption that Quebec needed to boost its population. The October 4th show dealt with the old ogre of an aging population, and two days later the burdens of caregiving to elders was discussed. On October 7th, crocodile tears were shed about how changes to the Citizenship Act were impeding the ability of overseas Canadians to pass on their citizenship to children they had outside the country. Another program was devoted to the issue of when--- not if--- couples should have their children. No one spoke of the alternative of adopting one of the 36,000 Canadian children still without a permanent home. The "Shift"---as the series was called---was all about promoting more births, extending the lives of very old people and encouraging immigration. The phrase "carrying capacity" was never heard.
Resistance is Futile. We are the CBC
Meanwhile, "The Sunday Edition", hosted by Michael Enright---remember, the host who asserted that immigration was necessary for Canada's "prosperity"--- gave Irvin Studin 23 minutes of air time to re-iterate what he said in the print media four months before. Only this time Studin was congratulated for doing his bit to grow the population after proudly announcing the birth of his child. I then twice challenged the executive producer of Sunday Edition, Marjorie Nichol, in the interests of balance--to offer equivalent time to a contrarian view, even supplying her with the contact numbers, biographies and posted arguments of three capable and articulate people in the population stabilization movement. But even that was not enough to spark their interest or wake up a journalistic conscience for fair play. But then, what should one expect. I was dealing with CBC Pravda, after all. I might as well talk to my plants.
Now, if this five-month propaganda barrage was not enought, Global TV is announced that beginning Monday evening, November 9th, they will be running a two-part segment about "Making Babies"---designed to offer help and advice to couples who want to produce more unnecessary Canadians by artificial means.
At What Point Will The Media Question Growth?
The obvious question is, "At what point in history will the mainstream Canadian media consider the possibility that Canada already has enough people on its hands?" That there is no law nor reason why any country should feel obligated to "replace" its unsustainable population level?That a 'youth quake' of immigrants or newborns will not arrest the aging of our population nor pay for their pension or medical benefits? That the infrastructure costs of servicing a growing population exceeds their economic contributions? That great majority of immigrants will lack the skills to pay the kind of taxes it takes to subsidize the provision of the government services they demand? That a country without a population plan that is not properly debated with all options on the table is like a blindfolded man walking toward a cliff?
At what point will the CBC honour its mandate to offer a microphone to all strands of Canadian public opinion, a public that pays taxes to this "peoples'" broadcasting corporation for that right? Will that point be when oil is at $200/barrel and we are at 44 million, or when it is at $300/barrel and we are at 54 million? What is your bid----64 million? 64 million, is there anyone who will say 74 million? 64 once, 64 two times, 64---wait, Mr. Gordon Nixon of the Royal Bank says 74 million. Do I hear 84? Yes, Elizabeth May of the Green Party raises her hand for 84 million consumers whose ecological impact can be "de-coupled" from the environment. Its 84 million now--- Ms. May has raised the bar so that Canada can persist with what she calls its "Great Multicultural Project". It doesn't matter if we trash the environment and reduce Canadians' per capita share of resources as long as we are more diverse in our poverty! Wait--- Mr. Studin says 94 million! Now Mr. Gordon Nixon of the Royal Bank counters with 99 million potential bank clients! Now Irvin Studin shouts "100 million"! Whoppee, the sky is the limit! We are going to the mountain top! Mr. Studin may not get their with you kids but, you'll get there! Its 100 million, going once, going twice---- SOLD!"
Studin's Mad Dream Prevails
Congratulations Mr. Studin, your mad vision of a Canada in ridiculous overshoot wins the day! As you argued on CBC radio, at 100 million we will have the political leverage to promote our progressive environmental policies to the rest of the world! We can show the rest of the world how its done! Just look how we are doing that now! We've covered 20% of our Class One farmland with subdivisions and put 500 species at risk in the process! Thanks to post-1990 hyper-immigration we have developed more square kilometres in farmland than the Alberta Tar Sands project has despoiled boreal forest! This is only the beginning---think now of our potential! Not only will we live like Ghandi, as Elizabeth May prescribes, we'll do better than that! We'll live like cavemen! Consume less and less, squeeze tighter and tighter and move over for more and more migrants! By tripling our population by century's end, we can absorb 46% of the number of people the planet adds to its burden in just one year! It all makes so much sense----no wonder the media doesn't want anyone to challenge Irvin's dream.
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