By Barry Golson
“We want Mexico to look like Canada. It’s so wealthy and stable, we barely know it’s there most of the time.” —Stephen Haber, director of Stanford University’s Social Science History Institute.
Ottawa, Nov. 5, 2009
The House of Commons in Canada’s Parliament today passed its final legislation of 2009, a controversial bill to strengthen Canada’s border with the U.S. The bill calls for erecting a wall across the continent from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, similar to the wall and demilitarized zone at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“Illegal American immigrants continue to take Canadian jobs,” said the Hon. Dashell Samuels, Minister of Public Safety. Samuels cited the estimated 10 million American “illegals” who “mow our lawns and bus our tables at below the minimum wage,” disrupting the Canadian economy.
As widely reported, since the Great Canadian Oil Discovery of 2007, Canada’s minimum wage has risen to $80 an hour (in Canadian dollars, now worth $3.60 USD), while median personal income in Canada has risen to $385,000 per capita. As a result, American illegals have been surging across the border to take work that Canadians are too busy with their investments to do themselves.
The Hon. Lawrence Harmon, Minister of Transport, also announced today increased security at all Canadian airports after the hijacking of a New York-to-Toronto United Airlines flight last week by job seekers from Massapequa, Long Island. This follows the near-drownings last month of six Vermonters who attempted to run their powerboat up Niagara Falls.
Robert Grenville, head of Ottawa’s Civil Liberties for Immigrants group, opposed the bill’s passage, saying, “Just because Canada now produces two-thirds of the world’s oil is no reason to demonize illegals. Americans are hard-working, semi-educated, and often honest people. We have a moral responsibility, as the world’s most prosperous country, to create a legal path to citizenship for those now within our borders.”
Grenville’s remarks were promptly denounced by Quebec MP Francois LeGros as “l’amnestie infernale,” and he again called for the deportation of all undocumented Americans.
In the U.S., Pat Buchanan renewed his call for military intervention in Canada to take over the giant oil fields “for the common good” and to create lebensraum for lightly-complected Christo-Americans, “like the swell folks I grew up with.” This echoed Lou Dobbs’ on-air declaration that he favors using America’s own Mexican illegals as “cannon fodder” in an invasion of Canada. Both Dobbs and Buchanan have announced that, in the event of a U.S. takeover of Canada, they support frog-marching Quebec’s French speakers to special Berlitz camps for English immersion classes.
Meanwhile, in Alberta and Manitoba, armed members of a vigilante group calling themselves Minute Mounties have been patrolling the border, many taking potshots at Americans trying to sneak across in their aging SUVs. But one volunteer, Edmonton sheep rancher and philanthropist Joe Bartlett, said he was a “compassionate conservative” on U.S. immigrants.
“I can’t really blame them,” he said. “If you had a country to the north paying 10 to 20 times your wages, wouldn’t you want to find work there?” He paused to lock and load his rifle. “Still,” he said, “this is the Canadian dream. Let immigrants find their own dream, eh?”
Barry Golson is the author of Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico. (Scriber, Nov. 2006)
The book was developed from an article in AARP magazine, for which Golson was awarded the Lowell Thomas Travel Writing Award in 2004.
The book’s website can be found at gringosinparadise.net.
Currently the founding editor of ForbesTraveler.com, Golson is the former editor in chief of Yahoo! Internet Life, the former executive editor of Playboy, TV Guide and World Press Review.