English translation: Chinese Canadians, Use Your Vote to Fight against the “Asian Invasion” Expression
The debates about immigration in this year’s federal election, which were not intriguing, suddenly caused an uproar due to the "Asian invasion" theory from the Canadian Alliance candidate Betty Granger. The issue is not if the political party chooses to support or oppose the immigration policy. The theory exposes some Canadians’ mentality of self-protection, accepting the benefits brought by the immigrants on one hand and reluctant to let the state carry out its’ duties to immigrants on the other. Knowing this, the Chinese Canadians have to vote for their own position.
Apart from the political platform, the parties in this year's general election did not add much ink to the immigration issue. "How to do it in the future" has become a hot potato, and all parties are sensitive. Granger’s shocking words are not simply a superficial debate on anti-immigration or not, but show a narrow, deeply rooted mentality. Now a political party can deny the contributions of immigrants to Canada, including the Canadian Alliance. It recognizes that Canada is a country of immigrants. The Party leader Stockwell Burt Day Jr.'s newly launched "Opening the Door to Reform" immigration platform is really close to the immigration program of the Liberal Party. As to how to accept what types of immigrants, how to carry on the responsibilities related to immigrants and refugees to Canada, these are unresolved questions. The answers of the parties are quite different from each other.
No matter whether Granger’s talks represent the internal agreement or personal opinions of the Canadian Alliance party, the fact that it was expressed at this critical moment undeniably shows that it represents a part of public opinion and a long-standing view of some Canadians. From previous consultations about the immigration policy to discussions of immigration groups of certain political parties, it is obvious that there are very few Canadians who totally oppose disallowing new immigrants. However, some Canadians want Canada to only absorb immigrants who are young and strong with high knowledge and skills to contribute to the future development of Canada. When talking about the responsibilities that immigrants and refugees will bring to the state, including social services, education, health care, etc., they tend to simply criticize the new immigrants for adding the burden on Canada. The mentality is to seek only the benefits and refuse to be responsible.
At the dawn of the new century in the global village, Canada seems to increasingly lack competitiveness in absorbing technically skilled and business-minded immigrants. The United States, Australia and the European Union are actively absorbing new immigrants to enhance their national strength. But the number of new immigrants in Canada in recent years has dropped far behind the peak number at the beginning of the 1990s. And the number of annual immigrants to Canada is now generally less than 20,000, far lower than the targets of Immigration Canada. Therefore, some arguments that have attacked the current immigration policy in the past few years and demanded a reduction in the number of immigrants have become baseless. However, another set of irresponsible arguments was re-introduced, such as the theory of the Asian threat.
It is clear from the incident of the "Asian Invasion” theory that political parties are more concerned about the votes rather than the dispute. Granger indicated that she was forced to withdraw from the election by the Canadian Alliance leaders so as to prevent other candidates of the party from encountering opposition on the west coast. The importance of ballots from minority groups shows here. But it is a pity that the Chinese Canadian community has shown indifference to votes and elections. In many local constituencies where Chinese Canadians reside, the turn-out rate of Chinese voters is less than 10%. Even though they are enraged, the people are still negligent to vote. If we continue to do so, the political parties seem overestimate the reaction of the Chinese Canadian community regarding the anti-immigration talks. It is now a top priority for the Chinese Canadian community members to cherish their ballots to vote for their own rights.
(Reported by Wang Xunlei)