Book Review of 'Betrayal and Deceit' by Charles M. Campbell

By Mark Wegierski
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 10, Number 4 (Summer 2000)
Issue theme: "Liberals and immigration reform - can they be recruited?"

Betrayal and Deceit The Politics of Canadian Immigration

by Charles M. Campbell

West Vancouver, BC Jasmine Books

231 pages $14.95 US, $19.95 Canadian

We go about congratulating ourselves for our over-exuberant acceptance of mostly bogus refugees, with the rest of the world snickering at us for the suckers that we are.

-'Report of British Columbia and Yukon

Immigration Staff,' 1994, p.141

(withheld by the Federal Government)

Charles M. Campbell (born 1913), graduated from the University of British Columbia in engineering in 1938. He worked in the Canadian mining industry for thirty-five years, and has served ten years on the former Canadian Immigration Appeal Board, eight of these as a vice-chairman. This book may be seen, in the area of immigration issues, as 'the last strangled cry' of the old Canada. Although Campbell writes with a degree of good cheer and optimism, it does appear, from much of the content of his book, that traditional Canada's situation is all but hopeless.

Unlike its American equivalents (e.g., Peter Brimelow's Alien Nation Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster) Campbell's book has not been published by a major publisher, has not been extensively reviewed in the press, and is not backed by any significant infrastructure of activists, think-tanks, and other publications. In modern times, it is typically the existence of extensive communities of interest (or 'cadres') focusing on major political issues, that is the vehicle for significant political change. In Canada, the various left-liberal structures command resources which outweigh by astronomical factors, those of so-called 'small-c conservatives.'

Mr. Campbell has been fortunate to attract support for his book from some fairly prominent Canadians, e.g., Martin Collacott, former Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon, Syria and Cambodia, and former High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, who wrote a short Foreword.

In his Preface, Mr. Campbell writes that '...[o]ver the sixteen years since 1983, I have gathered related official and semi-official government reports and other documentation, some of it confidential, as well as ministerial statements and press releases. This record of recent immigration history has provided the foundation for this book' (p.viii). The book is well- researched, well-documented and quite analytical. There are footnotes, a bibliography (pp.215-220), and an index (pp.221-231).

Campbell's first chapter, 'Immigration Debate - The Impossible Dream?' points out that immigration policy is virtually never debated in Canada. For example, at the 1991 federal Progressive Conservative party convention, there were at least seven immigration- and multiculturalism-restricting resolutions - e.g., one 'demanding revisions of multicultural policy to foster 'a common national identity for one people living together in harmony as equal citizens loyal to the Canadian ideal' [which] passed at 89 per cent...' (p.8). All these were utterly ignored by the federal Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney - indeed, Mulroney (Canada's Prime Minister, 1984-1993) had been responsible for the greatest immigration increase in Canada's history (from the 54,000 or so of Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau's last year in office, 1983-1984, to over a quarter million persons by 1990). Since Mulroney had carried through the Canada-US Free Trade deal, as well as the countrywide GST (Goods and Services Tax - the Canadian VAT), his was conventionally considered a 'hard-right regime.' Campbell points out that even in the Liberal Party, there were some (e.g., in British Columbia in 1992) questioning the wide- open immigration policies - who were, of course, silenced.

In Chapter II, Campbell considers 'The Five Immigration Myths.' He points out that Canada's immigration has almost always been 'below' 1 per cent of the population (whereas today, Liberal policymakers are trying to elevate the optimum immigration intake to that level). His second point is that Canada, even today, has 13.5 births versus 7.2 deaths per 1,000 population, so it is still a young and growing country, with no real need for immigrants. The third myth is that Canada needs a larger population. The last two myths are that 'immigrants earn more and return more to the Canadian economy than Canadian-born citizens,' and that 'immigrants create more jobs than they take.' Campbell proves his case by breaking out the statistics on average annual immigrant earnings between 'immigrants from traditional countries' and 'new immigrant groups from non-traditional countries.' The average annual income disparity (between immigrants from traditional vs. non-traditional sources) over the 1980-1984 period is over $10,000 (Canadian) ($30,982 versus $20,814) (the average Canadian salary in 1984 was $31,436)(p.21).

Chapter III, 'The Roots of the Problem' looks at the beginning of Canada's immigration woes in the late 1960s. The first three critical years of huge immigration were 1973-1975, when large numbers of arrivals from nontraditional sources were accepted. Then, '[t]he 1976 Immigration Act came into effect on April 10, 1978, and, as amended in 1985 and 1992, applies today' (p.32).

The flaws of the Act were manifest, creating a very generouslyinterpreted 'Family Class' and 'Assisted Relatives' category of immigration, along with a very tightly interpreted 'Independent Immigrants' category, based strictly on the 'points system.' Two other categories which came to be increasingly generously interpreted were the so-called 'Entrepreneur' and 'Refugee' classes. The Family Class/Assisted Relatives category allowed for the entry of a vast number of dubious immigrants, many of whom went straight on welfare, as their family members' pledges to support them for ten years were not enforced by the Canadian state. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of highly-skilled potential immigrants in the 'Independent Immigrants' category, most of these from traditional sources, were turned away.

Chapters IV ('Refugees Canada's Longest Lineup'), V ('A Wide-Open Back Door'), and VI ('Administrative Collapse'), looks at the vexatious issue of the Refugee category, where abuse of Canadian generosity is perhaps most flagrant. Campbell cites the statistics on the refugee backlog in the late 1980s. The first ten countries on the list are Trinidad & Tobago (14,787 persons); Sri-Lanka (11,045); Iran (9,217); El Salvador (7,933); Portugal (5,745); Ghana (5,137); India (3,950); Nicaragua (3,732); Lebanon (3,715); Guatemala (2,992) (pp.90- 91). To what extent can most of these countries be seen as undergoing profound civil disturbances at that time, which would warrant the extension of refuge? The whole process of abuse of Canadian generosity was intensified by the 'Singh' decision of the Canadian Supreme Court, that every refugee-claimant had exactly the same rights as a Canadian citizen, and had to be given an oral hearing to decide his refugee- claim. In the meantime, they would receive welfare, housing, health-care, and other benefits.

Campbell cites The Economist 'Canada's generous refugee system is open to abuse - and foreign crooks know it. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, anyone who arrives claiming to be a refugee has the same legal rights as any Canadian. That can mean a lengthy sequence of hearings and appeals, while the newcomer remains in Canada, living on social benefits ... or crime.'

And meanwhile, what did Gordon Fairweather, the chair of the new Immigration and Refugee Board, say? 'Referring to an immigration organization devoted to assisting Europeans to enter Canada as immigrants ... he took the startling position that ... ‘European immigration is blatant bigotry and the kind of thing people used to say when they said white immigration only. It's something from the past that most of us would want to forget.''

Campbell also makes the point that the Immigration and Refugee Board was staffed almost entirely by pro-immigration activists (such as immigration lawyers) and visible minority group members. He also points to 'The Consultation Fraud' (Chapter VII), where it is always the same left-liberal and pro-immigration groups, that are asked to comment on the government's immigration policies.

Chapter VIII, 'Citizenship Fire Sale,' tears apart the premises of the Entrepreneur category. The abuse of that category is endemic. 'Dr. Roslyn Kunin, spoke at a workshop ...[i]n the Canadian experience, 58 per cent of Entrepreneur immigrants from Hong Kong have fewer than twelve years of formal education... 50 per cent have neither English- nor French-language ability. Her studies had shown that ‘most of the entrepreneurs were teachers or people engaged in other professions from which they were often retired...'' (p.189).

In Chapter IX, 'The Australian Solution,' Campbell points to Australia as an example of a country with a better-managed immigration policy. He is probably being optimistic in his appraisal of Australia. In almost all Western societies today, there is a trend towards weakening control of the nations' borders, and of the embracing of trends such as multiculturalism, political correctness, and minority empowerment. Canada may just be the most 'advanced' of the various Western societies, where notions of traditional nation, family, religion, and strict law and order, are the weakest.

Chapter X, 'What We Must Do,' is a listing of several straightforward proposals in regards to Canada's future immigration policies. They are all commonsense reforms. Campbell is hoping that at least a portion of the civil service immigration bureaucracies can be brought on side, to assist in immigration reform, as some of their members have indeed dissented when special-interest driven government policies went too far. However, immigration reform is increasingly becoming a forlorn hope in Canada. For the last three decades, left- liberalism has advanced in a great, raging tide in Canada, seeking to extirpate whatever residues of 'small-c conservatism' or the old, traditional Canada it could find. Canada has not had a 'small-c conservative' government at the federal level since 1963. Insofar as the ruling Liberal Party (often called the 'natural governing party of Canada') is able to maintain its hold on power, then Canada's identity and immigration crises will continue to deepen.

[This book is distributed by Gordon Soules Book Publishers Ltd., 1359 Ambleside Lane, PMB 620, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7T 2Y9; and 1916 Pike Place #12, Seattle, WA 98101-1097.]

About the author

Mark Wegierski is a Toronto-based writer and historian. He is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.

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