This is a guest column; ‘Mihael Willman’ is the pseudonym for a concerned Canadian – Jeff Goodall
by Mihael Willman
On the eve of his first official trip to China, Canadian foreign minister John Baird announced that he, and by extension the government of Stephen Harper, had come to the realization that ’China is incredibly important to our future prosperity’
This statement begs the question, important in what way?
1. As a trading partner? According to latest statistics, Canada’s trade deficit with China is $31.6 billion in China’s favour. We import $44.4 billion worth of goods from China and export only $12.8 billion. Unless you are a graduate of the discredited ‘new math’ program of the late ’60s and early ’70s, it is evident that China is the primary beneficiary in this relationship. Ottawa would like to double trade with China by 2015. What is not specified is which, our imports from or exports to China, or both. Even if it is exports alone, and imports remain stable, we will remain in a negative position with a nearly $20 billion trade deficit.
2. As the primary source of immigrants to Canada over at least the last twelve years? Since 1999 nearly 400,000 people from the People’s Republic of China have been accepted as immigrants to Canada. A good portion of these are older or elderly parents and grandparents, a possible future burden on our already over-burdened healthcare system. Enjoying the free benefit of something they have never contributed towards. A clear benefit to China, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.
3. As the country whose state-owned companies are eager and willing to take all those successful mines and Canadian-owned companies off our hands? Investment by Chinese state-owned companies in Canadian mines, the Alberta oil sands, etc., is already in the billions of dollars. According to John Baird, “Canada is emerging as a destination of choice for Chinese investment and Chinese investors and we welcome that.” Wonder where this process will end, with the complete takeover of all of Canada by foreign investors, with China in the lead? So much for not being prepared to sell out our principles for the ’almighty dollar’. Instead Ottawa appears to be prepared to sell the country instead!
4. As the country of origin of many of the operators of illegal marijuana grow-ops? All one has to do is check the names of those arrested for this crime and, with rare exception, they are Chinese names! Not to be forgotten are those drug traffickers who managed to obtain visas to Canada, courtesy of the Canadian High Commission to Hong Kong, and subsequent immigration status, even though their criminal records were known to consular and immigration authorities! The 2004 CTV W5 report entitled ’Corruption and cover up – Protecting Whistleblowers Who Protect the Public Interest’, reported on Lee Chau Ping, ’a notorious drug trafficker who is known as the Ice Queen.’ When her drug labs were raided by police in 1992, she got on a plane to Canada where she was granted immigrant status, despite her lengthy criminal record, because she was prepared to invest $170,000 in a fast-food franchise in northern Saskatchewan. Or was it because of a bribe paid to a strategically placed official in immigration? As the proverbial leopard rarely changes its spots, she was probably back to her original occupation of drug trafficking in no time. When police started to investigate her activities, she disappeared, and today may be anywhere in Canada continuing her illegal activities under another identity.
5. As the country where most of our manufacturing jobs have gone to? How many of our manufacturing jobs have disappeared abroad, primarily to China, because of the greed of company CEOs for greater and greater profit at the expense of local jobs? It is these members of Canada’s business community who are constantly pushing for a better relationship with China. So they can transfer what is left of our manufacturing sector to China, for their own monetary benefit?
6. As the manufacturer of all the electronics, most of the clothing, shoes, toys, including just plain junk, crowding store shelves in Canada? All one has to do is look at the ‘Made in China’ label on the majority of goods. Who cares if the manufacturing sector totally disappears in Canada, at least we will have cheap goods in exchange. Definitely not benefiting Canada and Canadian workers.
7. As the country whose millionaires and wealthy citizens are buying up million dollar homes and condominiums in major Canadian cities, pushing the prices out of reach of more and more Canadians? The only beneficiaries here are the developers and real estate agents. While some may claim that there is a job boom in the construction industry, a large number of these are foreign workers, frequently working without the protection accorded Canadian construction workers.
8. As the source for all those post-graduate students Canadian universities are falling over themselves to give scholarships to? Why bother helping deserving Canadian students, when we can win brownie points with foreigners and get good, card-carrying communist-party members for the same price?
At present we have 60,000 Chinese students studying at Canadian universities and Baird and company would like to see this number increased. How many of these Chinese students are in receipt of Canadian university scholarships? How many Canadian students are unable to attend our universities because these same Chinese students are taking the available places? How many of these same students will then be offered immigration status and good jobs, because according to Stephen Harper they would be a great asset to this country with their Canadian education? What about Canadian university students, are they not an asset to this country? Apparently not!
9. As the country, despite its enormously superior wealth, which is prepared to accept our continued foreign aid?
If one were to put all the above-mentioned statistics on a chart with one column entitled ’Benefits to China’ and the other ’Benefits to Canada’, the former would be full and the latter virtually blank. And yet, Canadian politicians continue to make their pilgrimages to Beijing, cap in hand, from a self-imposed position of inferiority. This position was particularly reinforced by the Chinese communist leadership, when China’s premier chastised Stephen Harper on his official visit in 2009 for not visiting China sooner.
And yet China is in greater need of Canada and other western nations to continue maintaining the lop-sided balance of trade deficits in its favour. If the balance of trade were equalised, then it would no longer be the growing economic powerhouse it is now. For this reason it is to China’s advantage to maintain the myth that it is important to Canada and other countries, and not the other way around. Unfortunately, it appears the Conservatives have now bought into this myth.
If Ottawa is eager to turn us back into hewers of wood and carriers of water, and to sell off this country to foreigners, lock, stock and barrel, then China is definitely of strategic importance to Canada.
May God save us from such misguided thinking! Failing all else, it might be advisable to start thinking about emigrating before this process runs its course.