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Everything posted by turningrite

  1. And in other news, Trudeau was apparently in N.B. yesterday touting the success of Canada's Syrian resettlement program. Really. (See link below.) These presumably are the same Syrian refugees whose progress and circumstances in Canada were/are not being tracked according to an assessment issued by the federal Auditor General not much more than a year ago. Is our refugee program and more broadly our immigration system not simply a propaganda tool for the federal Libs at this point? There's little evidence to suggest that there's any inclination at the federal level to rationally evaluate these programs. Trudeau's approach seems to be one of telling us 'don't worry, be happy' and certainly don't raise your concerns in public. How many people can Trudeau fool and for how long where immigration is concerned? https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-trudeau-warns-voters-to-be-wary-of-fear-mongering-about-immigration/
  2. How would you know who I know or don't know? Are you psychic? You've now fallen into the trap of pursuing an 'ad hominem' critique so I'm not sure there's any point in further responding to you. And, again, you have not in any concrete fashion responded to the issues I've posed although you do appear to be dissembling at this point, suggesting that you will spend time "defending Muslim progressive reformists." Who and where are these people? Where are their scholarly works and the movements that support and defend them? I've named a couple of fairly prominent Muslim progressive critics, who've raised their voices at considerable risk to themselves. So far, though, I haven't seen any evidence of an emerging Muslim version of the Enlightenment in the West, or elsewhere.
  3. And despite your deluge of words, including puerile rhetoric (i.e. "Get phacking real."), you continue to fail to respond in any concrete or factual context to my principal contention. You have not referenced any broadly-based or influential Muslim document or movement that attempts to publicly reconcile the differences between Islamic ideology and Westernism. There are quite likely moderate Muslims who privately accept Western perspectives. Too often, however, those who try to raise criticisms of Islamic ideology must seek protection for so doing, as reportedly has the young Saudi women who was recently accepted for resettlement by Canada. More famously, Muslim critics of mainstream Islamic thought and practice, like Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have publicly expressed their views at the risk of facing serious backlash and even danger for so doing.
  4. That's not entirely accurate. The Proclamation of 1763 effectively grants aboriginals the right to negotiate land claims on Crown territories. The SCC has in fact followed the constitutional model fairly rigorously in this regard. It's stopped short, however, of recognizing any right to an indigenous veto, particularly regarding resource projects that cross lands claimed or legally recognized as indigenous territories, thus affirming the overriding principle of Crown sovereignty. The recent indigenous blockade in B.C. was broadly backed by a cross-section of indigenous activists across Canada who seek to utilize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Trudeau government too hastily signed, to override the SCC's somewhat restrictive delineation of the meaning of indigenous title and replace it with the broader "consent" model included in UN Declaration. The federal government needs to simply state that the Canadian constitution is the relevant document governing the evolving relationship between Canada and its indigenous populations. The lack of clarity will not serve any useful purpose. Meanwhile, symbolic gestures like acknowledging historical title, while perhaps quaint, seem to serve little useful purpose other than to advance an ideological perspective that isn't entirely accurate and could dangerously raise expectations among indigenous populations. We got a taste of this in the response to the Colton Boushie / Gerald Stanley case in Saskatchewan, where some indigenous representatives outright stated that they don't recognize the validity of Canadian law. If that's the starting point, actual reconciliation is an impossible goal.
  5. Well, you've lost this battle as McCallum reportedly backed down today, essentially admitting that it was not appropriate to his role to contradict government policy. This should have been clear to any objective observer from the outset.
  6. 1.) Of course you can. It might not be preferable to stop it completely but it utterly and legitimately falls within the jurisdiction of sovereign states to regulate immigration levels. 2.) Well, Milton Friedman held that open borders, which he favored, cannot be maintained along with a social welfare state. I believe it's a sage observation. As for your reference to Hong Kong, you need to acknowledge a bit of reality. Almost half of Hong Kong's population lives in housing that's either fully or partially government-subsidized. I believe the extent of public housing subsidy is even greater in famously free market Singapore. Governments in those two places have figured out that the private sector cannot in an economically prosperous area that attracts large numbers of outsiders efficiently meet housing needs. The growing angst in Canada about immigration might subside substantially were the government to acknowledge the impact of immigration on housing affordability in cities like Toronto and Vancouver and were it to remove welfare incentives that attract often economically marginal migrants.
  7. The guy convicted on drug charges is likely legitimately a criminal both in Canada, where I believe he has a prior record, and China. I believe he was convicted and imprisoned in China prior to the Meng skirmish. But appealing his sentence and summarily condemning him to death on the basis of no apparent new evidence clearly appears to be a retaliatory action. And it's widely believed both in Canada and internationally that the two Canadians being detained for being "foreign agents" are in all likelihood being held as political pawns as a result of Ms. Meng's arrest in Canada.
  8. Other than for your first sentence, I agree with much of this. The housing shortage in Toronto, where I live, is one generated mainly by artificially-generated and sustained demand and not one of supply per se. Also, private sector investment has been displaced from the traditional rental housing sector to the condo development sector, where quick profits are more easily and quickly made. Governments could have used taxation tools to address some of this problem, however there's been little willingness on the part of the traditional mainstream parties to do so. And, most importantly, immigration policy could and should have been adjusted in such a fashion as to ameliorate negative market implications, which have on the other side of the coin been a boon for speculators and profiteers. Part of the problem, of course, is that Canada doesn't recognize housing as a social or human right despite the fact that international obligations appear to suggest we are bound to do so. The private market, as it turns out, can't be expected to effectively solve social problems, and especially ones created by government policy, but if the political will exists to do so it can be incentivized to avoid making such problems worse.
  9. Recognizing and upholding the rule of law is a principle that's ingrained in most intelligent students throughout our education system. Clearly, you don't believe in our legal system and don't respect our complex relationships with other states, and particularly the U.S., which is our closest neighbour and largest trading partner, after all. If you think I like dictatorships, you clearly don't read my posts. Trudeau, on the other hand, and presumably the apologists for China's position on the Meng matter, quite admire that country's "basic dictatorship." I respect China's right to its sovereignty and to assert its legitimate interests. I'm not a fan of its mercantilism nor of its disrespect for international norms relating to intellectual property. Nor am I a fan of its dictatorship. The American agenda in all of this might well be problematic but Ms. Meng is being detained under circumstances highly preferable to those faced by the apparently innocent Canadian hostages being detained in retaliation by China. And she will be afforded the benefit of due process of law, something not guaranteed to anyone by China's regime. So maybe you need to get some perspective on principles here. We'll see if the Americans can demonstrate that they have a legitimate case against Ms. Meng but it's China's reputation that has suffered globally as a result of its heavy-handed response in this matter, whatever the admittedly arguable legitimacy of the American extradition request.
  10. The link between the homelessness problem and "irregular" migration in some of Canada's large cities is so obvious that it's difficult to fathom any effort to suppress the connection. But higher immigration levels, combined with influxes of temporary foreign workers and foreign students, have in general had broadly negative impacts on housing affordability in Canada's larger cities. The price of rental housing in Toronto, for instance, has been constantly bid up by increased demand, mainly due to immigration and foreign workers and students, over the past decade or more. In the very ordinary housing complex in which I live, rents for new tenants have risen by at least 50 percent over the past decade. And Ontario's bizarre "above guideline" rent increase system has been used by landlords to force rents up for sitting tenants at rates higher than the inflation level. So, landlords are scooping up the cash on both ends without much if any effort on the part of government to sustain any semblance of affordable private market rents. In my complex, many long-term neighbours, including seniors, have simply moved, some to areas outside of Toronto. I'll tell any candidate who tries to tell me at election time that they actually care about housing affordability without being willing to address the immigration issue that they're lying.
  11. I recall that he was flailing as Trudeau's immigration minister. The "consultation" on immigration went badly and McCallum kept on touting broad-based support for the Lib plan to dramatically increase immigration levels when no such support actually existed. I'm not aware of his personal problems or whether these might have played a role in his banishment to Beijing. Trudeau probably saw it as an easy gig for McCallum because the government's general approach to relations with China was characterized by obsequiousness. But there's an expression about the best laid plans going awry, isn't there? Sometimes basic dictatorships tend to inconveniently act like, well, plain old dictatorships. Trudeau and McCallum should have understood this. It's no credit to either that they apparently did not.
  12. I think the "acknowledgement" movement is an example of governments and civil society employing a 'low hanging fruit' approach to reconciliation. It costs nothing and supposedly sets a good example for the youngsters. My bigger concerns rest in the realities that the approach is anti-historical and 'contra proferentem' in many respects. History can't simply be reversed. Further, the legal basis of the relationship between Canada and its indigenous populations was set out in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which explicitly remains in the Canadian constitution. The Proclamation effectively asserts Crown sovereignty over indigenous lands and in return grants aboriginals limited rights and privileges. There's little doubt that Canada's end of the bargain hasn't always been well met but this doesn't negate the essential impacts of a deal that although unilaterally imposed more than two centuries ago by the British Crown explicitly remains the law of the land. The problem with the recent approach to reconciliation is that it muddies these waters and in so doing generates unrealistic expectations. The gulf between those expectations and harsh realities is a recipe for further conflict.
  13. 1.) I'm not sure what principles you're talking about here? We have an extradition treaty with the U.S. which compels us to comply with a process negotiated far in advance of the Meng affair. If the U.S. is abusing that process, in particular by attempting to exert extraterritorial authority over matters that don't properly fall within the ambit of the treaty, as appears to be suggested in McCallum's comments, then we'll have to iron the situation out with the Americans in due course. What good will throwing a hissy fit and ignoring a valid treaty do right now? 2.) Sorry to tell you this, but this conflict has nothing to do with your own personal and family relationships. But it's not at all clear what you mean by "our relationship with the governments of the US and China are an entirely different matter." Are you using the term "our" in the personal or collective sense of the term? Countries, of course, can have disputes while their respective citizens can get along quite well. My family is half-American and we survived the free trade spat between the Trump and Trudeau governments without fighting about it. But then, neither country arbitrarily detained and held in cruel captivity any of the other side's citizens to use as leverage to get their way. 3.) My comments relate to McCallum's role as ambassador. In this position, he's not an "elder statesman" as you believe and his role doesn't confer any authority to speak his own mind on matters of government policy without the government's consent. Trudeau is a weak leader and perhaps he's afforded his ambassador to China license to muddy the waters on Canada's view of the the growing China-U.S. conflict, which is at the heart of the Meng affair. But he should have resigned if he wanted to speak from a pulpit on principle because it now it appears that Canada, as represented by the conflicting positions of its PM and ambassador, is speaking out of both sides of its mouth on this matter, which could well serve to undermine our legitimate interests where both the U.S. and China are concerned. 4.) My views on this do not in any way suggest that I'm a fan of Trudeau, which you'd know if you were aware of my other posts on this site. Trudeau's a naif where China is concerned. I don't have the foggiest notion what he thinks of President Xi, but Trudeau has made it clear that he admires China's "basic dictatorship," a fact that likely conflicts with majority opinion in Canada. This dispute has certainly taught us an awful lot about the true nature of that basic dictatorship and undermined China's reputation both in Canada and elsewhere in the West. If that's an outcome the Americans sought, they've played their hand very well here.
  14. The Trudeau government knows this issue could be problematic for it in an election year so is apparently trying to generate the impression that things are under control. I've been startled at the degree to which MSM outlets are giving the government a free pass on this. Toronto, for instance, which is experiencing a period of brutal weather after a mild start to winter, is now facing a growing and tragic homelessness crisis. According to one report I heard on a TV news broadcast this week, the size of the chronic homeless population has increased by about 40 percent over the past three or four years. Yet, in the coverage of the homelessness crisis, news outlets no longer seem to link the lack of affordable and/or emergency housing to the influx of newcomers even though this link was made during the initial phase of the Tweet-generated "irregular" migrant fiasco. P.S. In its lead editorial this morning, the Toronto Star did note near the end of a long analysis that refugee claimants now occupy 40 percent of Toronto's emergency shelter beds.
  15. Um, if you don't understand the seriousness of the problem, should you really be commenting about it on here? According to legal commentators on news programs this evening, McCallum's intervention is unprecedented and clearly problematic, particularly in that it appears to contradict the Trudeau government's position that the Meng case is simply a "rule of law" matter. I too think that Trudeau is weak but McCallum's news conference today could undermine our multifaceted and complex relationship with the U.S., an alliance that remains much more important to Canada at this point in history than is our relationship with China. We civilians can make whatever comments and express whatever opinions we wish on these matters. Ambassador McCallum's interpretation of Ms. Meng's situation, however, as illustrated by his public comments on the matter, seems to pretty clearly side with the Chinese government's position over the highly publicized stance of the Canadian government. He's publicly undermining the credibility of his own boss. What usually happens in such circumstances?
  16. Apparently, you didn't read my post or if you did you're trying to sensationalize your objections to anybody who doesn't support your views. I made my points of reference quite clear in noting the very real and substantial differences between Western ideals that flow from the Reformation and Enlightenment, particularly relating to the separation of church and state and the right to criticize religious institutions and orthodoxy, and modern Islamic social and political ideology as delineated in the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (1990), a document supported by almost four dozen Muslim-majority countries representing the vast majority of the world's Muslims. (The Cairo Declaration is easy to find online.) Do you have a substantive argument to counter this dichotomy? All you've offered is a weak and generalized rebuttal based on your own anecdotally-justified perceptions. You need to do better. Please provide references to documents and/or organizations that promote a more moderate and Westernized form of Islam that are seen as generally influential among Muslims.
  17. I edited your long post in order to distill the message you appear to be trying to make. The difference between Islam in general and the West, of course, is that we in the West experienced the Reformation and the Enlightenment. These two movements dramatically reshaped the relationship between Western populations and religion. Although the process was often slow and uneven, it became possible in the West to criticize religious power and orthodoxy and the principle of the separation of church and state became established. There has been no similar evolution in Islam, particularly if one is to cite the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (1990) as broadly indicative of the gulf between Islamic and Western social and political thought. Radical fundamentalism, of course, is clearly a challenge to the Western ideals of individualism and the separation of church and state, but fundamentalist ideas also permeate mainstream Islamic thought and belief. I've met only a couple truly secularist Muslims, for instance, one who renounced her religion after moving to the West and the other was gay. I think that unless and until an alternative form of Islam emerges that accommodates Western values and beliefs, intractable cultural differences will render it difficult to easily integrate Islam into the Western mainstream.
  18. There has been much media commentary on the very issue of China's belief that Trudeau and Canada are weak. The vacuous Trudeau, of course, has been so obsequious in courting China that he probably expected to be rewarded and being slapped around by the Chinese must sting at this point. And we have the former (mediocre, in my opinion) immigration minister repackaged as our ambassador to China, who's mainly mimicked Trudeau's approach. Now, reportedly, McCallum is giving Ms. Meng advice on how to navigate the extradition process, which is astonishing. I'm sure the Chinese can afford Canadian lawyers to handle Ms. Meng's legal issues. So, unless McCallum is telegraphing the Trudeau government's preferred outcome here, why is McCallum doing this? And doesn't such interference suggest that the actual "rule of law" isn't a principle the Libs necessarily want to see upheld. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-canadas-china-envoy-john-mccallum-says-huawei-executive-has-good/
  19. Trudeau's post-national state ideas are just pure hypocrisy. In reality, he's an ethno-racial-cultural tribalist, an ideology that underpins Canada's bizarre and extreme version of multiculturalism.
  20. Personally, I don't care where immigrants are from provided they are employable from the time they arrive. The best approach would be to link entry with employment offers as the current points system simply doesn't work. And the sponsorship program for family members should be stripped back to include only the spouses and children of independent, employable immigrants. No grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers or cousins should be admitted unless they can demonstrate their economic value to the Canadian economy. Finally, the refugee category should include only genuine political refugees, perhaps granting temporary asylum for a period of up to, say, three years to determine whether circumstances have changed in refugees' homelands and allowing those temporarily admitted to apply for permanent status after the initial asylum period is served if they can demonstrate that they've adapted and integrated economically. First and foremost, immigration should operate to benefit Canadians and the Canadian economy.
  21. There's a lot of truth in that. I'm not at all surprised that many Chinese-Canadians oppose illegal migration as presumably most in that community arrive/d in Canada through legal channels. Also, my impression of the Chinese is that they are quite economically conservative (i.e. sensible). I used to work with a woman who had immigrated from China who expressed surprise at the extent of reliance on public programs by some immigrants. She once asked me: "Why does the government let them come here if they're not here to work?" She noted that a public housing project near her home was occupied almost exclusively by fairly recently arrived immigrants, a circumstance she found bizarre, opining that no sensible country would allow this. I told her she should talk to the MP about her concerns but noted that she wouldn't likely get a supportive response if her MP was Lib or NDP.
  22. And many of the potheads aren't impressed either as pot legalization hasn't been very, well, efficient. Okay, part of the problem rests with the provinces. Many believe Ontario's rollout has been a boon for the traditional illegal distribution industry. And Trudeau has done nothing so far to resolve the issues faced by those with minor pot possession records. Further, legalization has been accompanied by the implementation of a new and rather draconian impairment testing regime that many believe won't stand up to a Charter challenge.
  23. It's clear that many countries and/or global leaders don't respect him. Look at the India debacle. Look at the way he's been treated by China despite his obsequious overtures to that country and the "basic dictatorship" he so admires. And Trump obviously holds him in contempt. It's difficult to think of a major regime that really respects him.
  24. Respectful and clear headed? He recites progressive bromides to such an extent that MSM commentators, like Chantal Hebert, have noted that he and his party should ditch their annoying habit of pontificating. He's a terrible speaker when asked to respond to difficult questions. And when members of the public raise difficult topics he can be quite reactive. Look at the way he made a fool of himself with his "Peoplekind" comment, which made him a global laughingstock, and the incident in Quebec last summer where he angrily attacked a woman for raising the thorny border security issue. I see Trudeau as a lightweight. Hopefully voters are more clearheaded this year than was in the case in 2015, when he was given the benefit of the doubt and centrist voters had tired of Harper. Sunny ways has lost his shine so maybe somebody else can more credibly use the halo he seems to love to don when campaigning.
  25. And yet they're so unhappy. Quite odd, right?
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