This government under Steven Harper is continuously using Australia as an example of countries we respect in terms of refugee policy and immigration policy and in fact has been fashioning our policies to become if not exactly in their image, than at least as close as we can get to the part in their history that permitted the legal use of immigration policies and laws for the sole purpose of keeping the purity of the countries white European heritage, culture and religion, (For Australia that meant British). Prime Minister Steven Harper is on record as saying this in his speech about, ‘Real Canadians’.
Jason Kenney, Vic Toews, John Baird, Steven Harper and Peter MacKay keep talking about how they respect the rich history of Australia in terms of immigration practices, and the treatment of its aboriginal population, so I thought I would go take a look at Australia’s history regarding these two things and see exactly what it was that the Harper government liked so much, that they just had to change Canadian law and policy in these two areas, to be like them. What I discovered right off the bat was like everything else this government tries to take from another country’s history and apply to Canada’s present day situation, it is guilty of taking the worst of Australia’s history on immigration and aboriginal policies and laws to emulate; a part of its history that even the Australians had to admit was racist and have been fighting hard to change, in the face of international and United Nations condemnation.
Before writing this article I knew that Australia had once had a, ‘White Australia Policy‘, that meant that Australia intentionally favoured immigration to Australia by white people from Britain and strongly discouraged non-whites. I however did not know that it started as far back as 1840 and remained like that until after the 2nd world war, when it was dismantled only in stages, the final stage only coming into effect in 1975. During World War II, many non-white refugees entered Australia. Most left voluntarily at the end of the war, but many had married Australians and wanted to stay. Arthur Calwell, the first immigration minister, sought to deport them.
The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 placed certain restrictions on immigration and… for the removal… of prohibited immigrants. The Act drew on similar legislation in South Africa. Edmund Barton, the prime minister, argued in support of the Bill with the following statement: “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of the Englishman and the Chinaman.”
Attorney General, Alfred Deakin said he believed that the Japanese and Chinese might be a threat to the newly formed federation and it was this belief that led to legislation to ensure they would be kept out: “It is not the bad qualities, but the good qualities of these alien races that make them so dangerous to us. It is their inexhaustible energy, their power of applying themselves to new tasks, their endurance and low standard of living that make them such competitors.”
In 1901 the Australian parliament passed the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901. The result of this legislation was that 7,500 Pacific Islanders (called “Kanakas”) working mostly on plantations in Queensland were deported and entry into Australia by Pacific Islanders after 1904 was prohibited.
The Paris Peace Conference
At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference following World War 1, Japan sought to include a racial equality clause in the Covenant of the League of Nations. Japanese policy reflected their desire to remove or to ease the immigration restrictions against Japanese (especially in the United States and Canada), which Japan regarded as a humiliation and affront to its prestige.
Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes vehemently opposed Japan’s racial equality proposition. Hughes recognized that such a clause would be a threat to White Australia and made it clear to British Prime Minister David Lloyd George that he would leave the conference if the clause was adopted. When the proposal failed, Hughes reported in the Australian parliament:
“The White Australia is yours. You may do with it what you please, but at any rate, the soldiers have achieved the victory and my colleagues and I have brought that great principle back to you from the conference, as safe as it was on the day when it was first adopted.”
Australian Prime Minister Stanley Bruce was a supporter of the White Australia Policy, and made it an issue in his campaign for the 1925 Australian Federal election stating, “It is necessary that we should determine what are the ideals towards which every Australian would desire to strive. I think those ideals might well be stated as being to secure our national safety, and to ensure the maintenance of our White Australia Policy to continue as an integral portion of the British Empire. We intend to keep this country white and not allow its people to be faced with the problems that at present are practically insoluble in many parts of the world.”
No less than 3 prime ministers of Australia have fought for the institution and the keeping of the, ‘White Australia Policy’ and now we have a prime minister of Canada taking us in that direction as he uses his majority status to make policy changes much like Australia’s protectionist governments. It has taken over 25 years once it was decided that this policy was wrong to make it illegal to discriminate by basis of ethnicity when dealing with who may immigrate, or who can gain refugees status in Australia, yet the leaders and the members of Canada’s federal government think that this is a country who they should fashion Canada after and by virtue of their majority government no one is in a position to stop legally.
Well next I took a look at how the Australians treat their aboriginal people, and just like Canada the Australians are guilty of still treating their aboriginal people horrifically and like Canada has received condemnation from the United Nations and the international community, which fall on deaf ears. Australia too thinks that it can say I am sorry to their aboriginal people and despite nice words, apologies and things made to make Australia look good from others looking in, continue the horrific treatment of their aboriginal people in reality; just like their biggest fan Canada. In the area of aboriginal rights we as a country thanks to this conservative government led by Steven Harper will continue to abuse and mistreat our First Nations people, and use Australia as an example of another democratic respected country that does the same thing, as though that makes it right. I have posted this article in its entirety so that you can compare the tactics of the Harper government to that of the Australians and get an idea of just how racist the Harper government is and how it seeks to put forward its worst and the most racist of ideologies and policies and back the use of these practices by sighting precedence in the history and practices of other racist supposedly democratic countries such as Australia.
UN ‘shocked’ at Australia’s treatment of indigenous people
Posted 17 August 2010, 17:52 AEST
A traditional owner from Australia’s Northern Territory says the world was shocked to hear how the Australian Government treats its indigenous people.
Reverend Doctor Djiniyini Gondarra says many aspects of the government’s intervention in aboriginal communities was heavily criticised. [ABC] (Credit: ABC). Reverend Doctor Djiniyini Gondarra, from the Arnhem community of Galiwinku, has just arrived back from the UN’s International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.
Doctor Gondarra says many aspects of the government’s intervention in Northern Territory aboriginal communities were heavily criticised. The intervention legislation was a package of changes made to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures in 2007.
It included the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act, for measures to go ahead.
“This particular measure to do with the northern territory emergency response and other things that are related to aboriginal people the committee actually challenged and said yes this is not a special measure and really totally a racial discrimination to the first people.” The Federal Government says the Racial Discrimination Act will be reinstated at the end of the year.
We in Canada have entered a dangerous time as a country and as a people, because Steven Harper and his government seek to take this country and Canadians back to a time in our history that was darkened by racist and supremacist ideology, laws and practices. There has not been one immigration bill passed, not one bill dealing with the rights of the First Nations and not one foreign aid policy that has not smacked of colonialism and a sense that one, race, one religion and one political ideology is best for all and all of those things are steeped in our European history which was rich with racism and supremacist ideology. At a time in the world’s history when nations and people are trying to do their utmost to shake off the stench of their vile racist and supremacist pasts Harper, Toews, Kenney and MacKay and all of their minions are glorifying the most disgusting, shameful and racist parts of our Canadian history and heritage and use the worst parts of our allies history to turn our wrongness into a right, by showing we are not the only country to behave in this manner as though two or more wrongs make a right.
I think given what our rich Canadian heritage has meant, still means and will mean in terms of racial equality for all, multiculturalism and religious freedom and respecting the indigenous people of this country, has been found to be lacking we should adopt a new way of being that does not glamorize and seek to go back to a time of colonization, but seeks to join the modern world as it tries desperately to embrace the new world vision of equality for all, justice for all a sense of global commonality.
Note: I listened in amazement as Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism talked casually about sending people with dual citizenship found guilty of terrorist acts, or other acts he refers to as heinous, which amounts to being found guilty of any crime that is punishable by a 2 year jail sentence, or more by a person granted entrance to Canada as a refugee, a landed immigrant, or a dual citizen, whether or not the infraction is in said person’s past, or in their present, whether or not the infraction was a violation which occurred in Canada, or not back to face possible death sentences, or torture as a result of Canada’s deportation of them to the country of their origin. Jason Kenney did not stop there, when asked who he and his government were targeting next in this witch hunt designed to rid Canada of a certain types of refugees and undesirables according to his government policies, he made this comment, ‘Now that the Muslim Brotherhood have come to power in Egypt, I think that all those who were in that organization that came here on refugee claims, or because their live were being threatened should be overjoyed to return to their own country now that their side is in charge of the government’. This to me is the targeting of a certain race, a certain religion and paves the way for Muslims who do not agree with the Western Alliances choices in resolving the Middle East Conflict to be removed from Canada legally. If not why not let them return home on their own if this is their choice, like any other refugees now Canadian citizens after a favorable regime change in their homeland, or have permanent status are allowed to do, or stay here if that is their wish? Why is Jason Kenney and his department actively seeking ways to force them back to where they came from? Why did Jason Kenney make this off the cuff, Arrogant statement that showed his total disregard for some human life? This singling out of persons because of race, creed, political affiliation is racist at best and has no place in Canada. If Jason Kenney and his government like the Australian way of doing things and are not happy with the way Canada and Canadians do things, why do not they just get up and immigrate to Australia and leave us Canadians with our values free of all the supremacist attitude? I fear some members in the conservative party would not find it such a great place to live in if they had to do it.
Research and Historical facts and quotes taken from:
Fact Sheet 8 – Abolition of the ‘White Australia’ Policy
- White Australia policy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- UN ‘shocked’ at Australia’s treatment of indigenous people, Posted 17 August 2010, 17:52 AEST
- UN to review Canada’s human rights record (trunewsmedia.wordpress.com)
- Canada’s treatment of aboriginal people faces global scrutiny (updatednews.ca)
- ‘Tragic’ number of aboriginal children in foster care stuns even the experts (calgaryherald.com)