Did you know that our shiny new, Canada-is-back Liberal government has set a new goal for the number of immigrants we will accept this year?
That number is 320,000 immigrants and refugees, a third more than last year and the highest since we were luring unsuspecting Scotsmen and Irishmen and Eastern Europeans to settle the West in the early part of the last century. That’s a lot, but fortunately Canada is a big, still mostly empty country. Old school Canadians aren’t reproducing at the clip necessary to sustain our toy and snack food industry, the thinking goes, so we need to bring in newbies. According to the government, the top countries of origin for immigrants to Canada are the Philippines (is there anybody left in that country?), India (no population shortage there), China (see: India), Iran (seriously?) and Pakistan. In sixth place is the United States of America. Being in the Top 10 is not bad, but there is a huge drop off in numbers. For example, more than 40,000 newcomers from the Philippines came to Canada last year, while the number of Americans that arrived here was a puny 8,400.
I have a suggestion for Immigration Minister John McCallum. You want to boost immigration numbers quickly, and as easily as possible? Here’s your chance.
By Tuesday evening, there could be a rush of applications to Canadian consulate offices in the U.S. If Hillary Clinton becomes the new president (presidentress?) of the United States, the number of potential applicants should be quite small; Republicans will be too obsessed with overthrowing the Clinton presidency to think about anything else. But if that other guy wins – you know, the racist, sexist, xenophobic, lying, bullying, cheating fraud – the lineups outside Canadian consulates could stretch for blocks.
This is a chance for the Liberal government to entice thousands of their kind of people – well-to-do liberal types – to cross the border. A Donald Trump presidency would shock and disgust untold millions of Americans who will wonder if they have a place in their country anymore. If Trump wins, the Trudeau government should take out full page ads in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe extolling the virtues of the Great White North. I’d reprint hundreds of thousands of copies of The Economist’s cover story of last week, “Liberty moves north” which was a well researched but still quite loving look at Canada. Take out TV ads on MSNBC, filled with the usual glorious images of this great country. Hey, I’ve even got a few slogan ideas:
“Canada. You know you’re thinking about it.”
“Canada. Where you belong.”
“Canada: Different, yet the same.”
“Canada: Not as cold as it used to be.”
“Canada: Better beer, legal pot … what more could you want?”
For a limited time, I’d waive any service charges for American applicants. I’d fast track any applicant who agreed to leave their handguns behind. I’d create a new category, American political refugee, just the way we used to let draft dodgers into the country. There would be no need to teach them English. We wouldn’t have to retrain their doctors.
If we want immigrants, we’ve got a potentially huge pool of easy-to-assimilate Americans just across the border. Maybe they just need a little nudge.
Free beer, maybe?
Cops spying on journalists
- Freedom of the press is under assault on Canadian soil. It has been revealed that police in Montreal, and the Quebec provincial police force, obtained permission from lenient judges to obtain the records of calls made to newspaper and TV journalists. Were the reporters suspected of being terrorists, or members of organized crime? Nope. They reported on corruption within the ranks of the Montreal and Quebec provincial police forces, and the cops got the information in order to root out the journalists’s sources. It is shocking that a democratic country would allow its police forces to spy on journalists who were doing their job.
Dave Broadfoot, 90, one of the great, original voices of Canadian comedy. Broadfoot was a regular on the radio (and much funnier) version of The Royal Canadian Air Farce, where he created a number of great Canadian characters – hockey player Big Bobby Clobber, the Honorable Member from Kicking Horse Pass, and Sgt. Renfrew of the Mounted. A genuine Canadian comedy voice.