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How does Chinese treatment of Tibet differ from treatment of native born Canadians?

The following was first published by Dan Murray of Immigration Watch Canada (www.immigrationwatchcanada.org) on 31 March 2008, with the title "'Free Tibet'? Of course. But equally important, free Canada". (Dan Murray is not related to Tim Murray, also of Immigration Watch Canada).

"Free Tibet"? Of course. But equally important, free Canada.

This week, a number of Canadians have enthusiastically greeted Statistics Canada census figures which state that the number of visible minorities in Canada continues to increase. Last week, the same group was expressing indignation and moral outrage at China's repression of Tibet. There is a contradiction between cheering Statistics Canada immigration figures and expressing disgust with China's repression, a significant part of which has been accomplished through immigration.

Immigration is a major issue in Tibet and Canada

(1) Although recent media focus has been on China's violence in Tibet, it should have been on one of the main causes of the violence. Han Chinese immigration into Tibet has been a major cause. The Tibetan government-in-exile has stated that immigration from China has been used to culturally and economically overwhelm and marginalize Tibet's host population.

Most countries in the world, including Canada, are very sympathetic to the Tibetan point of view and most are calling upon China to make amends with Tibet. But, it is impossible to imagine Canada or any other country telling Tibet that making amends means that Tibet should accept Han Chinese immigration so that Tibet can become more diverse and multicultural. In fact, no suggestion could be more nonsensical because, to most world observers, it is clear that China has used immigration as a weapon in its past and that it is doing it again in Tibet.

According to Denny Roy, co-author of "Ethnic Conflict In China: The Case of Tibet", and others, China's disrespect for Tibet has been blatant. China has regarded itself as a superior "older brother" which had entered Tibet to look after a backward "little brother". To China, Tibet was quaint, but really a feudal society in need of change. China's government has regarded all religion as an opiate. In dealing with formerly-theocratic Tibet, it has done what it could to eradicate Tibet's Buddhist religion. The Tibetan government-in-exile alleges that China systematically destroyed 6000 Buddhist monasteries and temples, under-funded and secularized Tibet's traditionally religious schools, and promoted the degradation of Tibetans by making cheap alcohol available. China has also interfered by appointing in 1995 the Panchen Lama, second to the Dalai Lama in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism---after the Dalai Lama had already appointed someone else to that position.

But the overwhelming of Tibet's host population through immigration of Han Chinese has been the supreme cultural insult and humiliation. Accurate population figures are difficult to obtain, but the Tibetan government-in-exile and a number of Tibetan experts claim that China has moved significant numbers of its Han majority into Tibet in order to outnumber native Tibetans and achieve China's ends.

Here are two questions for Canadian media commentators, academics, immigration industry representatives and politicians who are cheer-leading announcements that over 16% of Canada's population is now visible minority immigrants and that soon it will be 20%:

(a) If cultural overwhelming of a population is wrong in Tibet, how can it be right in Canada?

(b) If some Canadians are morally outraged at immigration events in Tibet, and are willing to say "Free Tibet", why are they not saying "Free Canada"? Or, more specifically, why are they not looking at the near-overwhelmed or already-overwhelmed host populations of Toronto, Markham, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Richmond, and many other places in Canada and saying "Free Toronto", "Free Vancouver"? ...

It is true that in Canada's past, there have been times when the population in some parts of Canada has been overwhelmed by immigrants. However, because Canada's immigration levels have risen and fallen, people have adapted. But the difference is that today, Canada remains in an abnormality in its immigration history: 18 years of uninterrupted high immigration levels. Those levels show no sign of abating, the inflows have done minimal adapting, and parts of Canada have been overwhelmed-----a demographic situation much like that in Tibet.

Tibet and Canada have been economically exploited

(2) According to "Ethnic Conflict In China: The Case of Tibet", China's motive for getting a stronger hold on Tibet is brazenly economic and exploitive. China is interested in using Tibet as a buffer between itself and India. It also wants Tibet's forests and mineral resources. In addition, it covets Tibet's open spaces to dump its own wastes and those of other countries. Understandably, Tibetans claim that China has treated Tibet as a place to be plundered.

China began that process in 1950 when it invaded Tibet. It kept military and civilian officials there to administer the country. But later it used a variety of economic incentives to encourage Han Chinese to settle Tibet. The Han who have gone there permanently have transplanted their foreign culture on Tibetan soil. Those Chinese who go there temporarily summarize their attitude towards Tibet in one expression: "Thin on arrival; fat on departure." One Chinese official described China's practices in Tibet as "plain colonialism", but his views have been unrepresentative and largely ignored.

Like the Han Chinese who have gone into Tibet, most immigrants to Canada come here for economic reasons. Substantial evidence which should have restricted that motive was the Economic Council of Canada's major study in 1991 which declared that immigration produces virtually no economic benefits for our host population1. In fact, Herb Grubel, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University, calculated that "For all of the immigrants who arrived during the 13 years before 2003, the cost in 2002 alone is estimated to be $18.3 billion." The $18.3 Billion figure represented over 10% of all federal spending in that year. It is assumed that this pattern continues today.

Even clearer evidence of exploitation of Canada is that most of the 600,000+ people who have used our refugee system have done so for economic reasons. Contrary to what Citizenship and Immigration has told us, up to 80% of these 600,000 claimants have been allowed to stay here. Although the politically correct are now marvelling about the growth in visible minorities, many other Canadians will ask a big question. Why should Canadians be celebrating the fact that a significant number of the visible minorities in Canada today have either entered Canada fraudulently through the refugee claimant system or have been sponsored by a refugee claimant who entered Canada fraudulently?

Equally blatantly, large numbers of visible minority immigrants have abused Canada's Family Class programme and the Investor/Entrepreneur programme. Why should any Canadians be celebrating the presence of large numbers who have done that?

Canada's Employment Equity programme, now in effect for 20 years, is a more sinister kind of economic exploitation. One part of the programme has favoured visible minority immigrants and has caused untold economic damage to many Canadian-born. It has denied employment to white males and given that employment to visible minority immigrants (including the ones who have arrived fraudulently). Undoubtedly, a number of the immigrants who have jobs in Canada's private and public sector have them legitimately. But the blunt truth is that the very existence of that programme casts a suspicion on all visible minority immigrants who are now employed in both the public sector and many parts of the private sector. Here is the inevitable question: Did they receive their jobs because of merit or because of discrimination against people born in Canada? What Canadians (or Tibetans) would celebrate the arrival of people who have caused them the denial of a job?

Attention please

(3) Undeniably, the Tibetan government-in-exile is using the Beijing Olympics to press its case for outside help against China's exploitation and abuse. Up to now, it has not received the attention it has wanted. According to this government, the majority of the businesses in many Tibetan cities are owned by Han Chinese and recent Tibetan protests have targeted those businesses in reprisal. According to that group, China has killed 1.2 million Tibetans in a wide variety of methods such as shooting, disembowelment, crucifixion, beheading, starving, drowning, etc. in successive waves of repression.

Obviously, Canada has not experienced this kind of violence. But it is no exaggeration to say that, like Tibetans, many Canadians feel that the immigrant overwhelming of their cities has been a cultural embarrassment and humiliation. To most Canadians, some immigration is acceptable and most will treat visible minority immigrants well. However, only the most obsequious tolerate becoming a minority in their own country. That is a key issue in the entire immigration argument in Canada and in Tibet.

Our House of Commons Standing Committee on Immigration seems completely oblivious to this and other real issues. On March 31, at the first of a series of its cross-Canada hearings in Richmond, B.C., most of the committee members demonstrated that they were going to use the so-called "worker shortage" in Canada's west to maintain and accelerate Canada's absurdly-high immigration levels. Unemployed, underemployed or welfare recipient Canadians in Canada's east or west and the cultural, economic and environmental interests of all Canadians are irrelevant.

If any committee members proclaiming a significant worker shortage had been asked to produce evidence to substantiate their claims, they probably could not have done so. To most committee members and to many of the carefully chosen so-called "stakeholders" who spoke to them, Canada could not get enough immigrants. And the faster they got here, the better.

To any observer of that spectacle, if Canada wants to commit suicide, who could do a better job of accelerating the event than many on this committee?

Most of that group, and others who have cheerled Statistics Canada figures this week, ignore the origin of Canada's immigration quagmire: Immigration Minister Barbara McDougall's crass, yet historic, immigration policy statement in 1990. That assertion was that the Progressive Conservative Party would raise immigration levels at that time in order to compete with the Liberal Party for the immigrant vote. Its own studies, which advised it not to do this, were to be tossed aside.

If Canadians think China's motives for overwhelming Tibet are crude and brazen, who in Canada can be classified as more politically crude and brazen than McDougall, all of the federal governments since 1990 who have maintained a senseless immigration policy, all the politicians from other parties who have supported it, and Canada's immigration industry?

It never had to be this way. Understandably, Canada has a deal with most of the post-1990 immigrants. But it doesn't have one with all the illegals here now and all those others who have entered Canada fraudulently.

And it certainly doesn't have any obligation to continue the post-1990 immigration disaster.

"Free Tibet", they say?

Of course. But equally important, Free Canada.

Footnotes

1. See also the Optimum Population Trust's media release "House of Lords’ immigration report “forgets environment”". [back]

Also of possible interest

Barbara Kay: Multiculturalism was Canada's biggest mistake, 9 April 2008

Barbara Kay: Multiculturalism is an invitation to fragmentation, 8 April 2008