From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What is old is new again

During the building of the Great Railway in the late 19th century, Canada imported thousands of Chinese labourers paying them less than their Canadian counterparts. They were also given the most dangerous assignments  leading them to die in large numbers. Yet despite their contribution to the building of what became the greatest nation building project in Canadian history they were denied Canadian citizenship.

Now fast forward to Canada of the 21st century and as MoS tells us thanks to the Harper Conservatives history does indeed repeat itself.

A Chinese-owned coal mine in northern B.C. knew a pot of gold when it saw one and went for it.   They began by duly advertising their jobs in Canada - at rates $10-17 lower than comparable wages at nearby mines.   But they also stipulated applicants needed to speak Mandarin Chinese.   And then, when all those Manadarin-speaking Canadian miners didn't jump at the chance to get the low-wage jobs on offer, the Chinese moved to bring in 300 Chinese miners.
Go read the rest of MoS's great post  Another Window into Harper's Sleazy Guest Worker Programme

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