Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Douglas Todd: Defending Canada's 'slipping' sovereignty
Douglas Todd: Defending Canada's 'slipping' sovereignty
“People are upset because locals are being forced out of the housing and rental markets by ridiculously inflated prices, much of it coming from the wealthiest one or two per cent in Mainland China.”
UBC law professor Joel Bakan, creator of the acclaimed financial documentary, The Corporation, says 'in the past 30 years of economic globalization there has been an attack on the idea of the nation state.'JASON PAYNE / PROVINCE VANCOUVER SUN
“This is Vancouver and Canada — and it’s a free-market economy. No one can stop it.”
Many Canadians share Yang’s resolute free-market worldview, which maintains the unrestricted movement of money and migrants is not only inevitable, but moral.
Whether it’s related that Yang has recently been accused of threatening the life of an ethnic Chinese Vancouver homeowner on behalf of her Mainland Chinese clients, the realtor’s vigorous defence of the unregulated market carries clout in high places.
Supporters of Yang’s view, called neoliberals, include development industry lobbyists who claim the B.C. government’s new 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver residential real estate contravenes the North American Free Trade Agreement.
They’re attacking the tax on foreign owners even while unrestricted economic globalization is increasingly being hammered in other parts of the world, including even in the U.S. — by Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) and, mildly, by Hilary Clinton.
In many ways, economic globalization runs against the principle of national sovereignty.
And Canadian sovereignty has been increasingly under threat, particularly since former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the first U.S. free trade deal in 1988.
At that time, The Vancouver Sun ran a six-part series on the pros and cons of free-trade ideology. Most on the left opposed it because it gave away too much Canadian control over labour standards, resources and environment regulations.
But today the voice of Canada’s centre-left has largely grown silent on sovereignty.
UBC political scientist emeritus Philip Resnick says much of Canada’s English-speaking centre-left (unlike in Quebec) now puts most of its energy into supporting “cosmopolitanism.”
Indeed, Canada’s most vigorous centre-left defenders of sovereignty are literally dying off — such as the late Canadian Encyclopedia publisher Mel Hurtig, who said “I’ve spent an entire life battling like hell against the sellouts in our country.”
A truly sovereign country, Liu suggested, would impose a variety of regulations to curtail runaway property speculation by offshore rich, regardless of where they come from.
Even though the Chinese consul-general appeared to waver on the details of B.C.’s 15 per cent tax in a news report Friday, most of the world’s countries, especially China, have a variety or rules and taxes to restrict foreign ownership.
That’s what’s happened even among Canada’s NAFTA partners, the U.S. and Mexico, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Switzerland and a host of other countries.
But Canada, under Justin Trudeau, is going the opposite direction, with the federal Liberals in China this week welcoming more “free trade” with the populous country, as well as a doubling of Chinese newcomers to Canada.
Christy Clark reacts to pressure for more sovereignty
UBC law professor Joel Bakan, creator of the acclaimed financial documentary, The Corporation, says “in the past 30 years of economic globalization there has been an attack on the idea of the nation state.”
However, the nation-state, Bakan said in an interview, remains the key structure through which a people can create a democratic community, with all its attendant regulations to protect the common good of its citizens.
In what was for her a sudden turnaround, Clark imposed the 15 per tax on foreign buyers in reaction to the winds of political change sweeping Metro Vancouver, not to mention large swaths of the U.S. as well as Britain and Europe.
More average people are realizing economic globalization creates winners and losers — and that they’re the also-rans.
In B.C. an Angus Reid poll rang a sovereigntist chordwhen it revealed 90 per cent approved the tax. The tax represents a 180-degree turnaround for Clark, who has until now been actively wooing foreign real estate investors.
Still, regardless of Clark’s motives, her government’s latest gesture strikes a small blow for what she is now turning into a “B.C. First” campaign theme, which ostensibly protects regional sovereignty.
To be sure, promoting sovereignty can come with a potential downside.
As Resnick says, “nationalism has a Janus face.” That is, like the two-faced ancient Roman god, it can have negative and positive aspects.
The dark side of nationalism is the chauvinism of Naziism and Japanese imperialism, and the truly racist outbreaks that have occurred in countries such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Russia, China, India and elsewhere.
“But the more positive face of nationalism is it gives people a sense of rootedness,” Resnick said. “People are upset because locals are being forced out of the housing and rental markets by ridiculously inflated prices, much of it coming from the wealthiest one or two per cent in Mainland China.”
If the money was flooding in from Caucasian-majority countries such as Russia or Britain, Resnick says residents of Vancouver or Toronto would still be justified in wanting action to curtail it.
“It’s affecting the lives of people who would normally be putting their roots down here,” Resnick said. “Citizenship matters. Like it or not, people identify with people they are like and with whom they share a common space.”
But the sovereignty discussion, especially in higher education, Resnick said, is often stifled by fears of falsely being labelled “racist” (which is properly defined as discriminating against members of an ethnic group based on a sense of superiority).
Left and right can stand up for sovereignty
One of the paradoxical things about the concept of sovereignty, says Bakan, is that support for it can come from both the left and the right.
Politicians like Trump, as well as Euro-skeptics in Britain, Europe and elsewhere, are becoming more nativist, meaning they want public officials to favour native inhabitants rather than foreign migrants or foreign wealth.
But left-wing politicians in Greece, France, Germany and the Nordic countries are also increasingly worried about globalization, because they realize free-trade ideology weakens regional welfare societies.
In Britain, Bakan says there was little question during the Brexit debate that “globalization had led to a lot of job loss, poverty and dislocation — not only for poor people, but for what used to be the middle class.”
While Bakan acknowledged the liberal-left is often distracted by identity politics related to ethnicity, he notes some left-wingers still lead battles against free-trade deals, such as the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The UBC professor-filmmaker echoed Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz, who wrote this month that globalization will only benefit most members of a nation if it puts strong social-protection measures in place.
And that requires a sense of sovereignty. Nations, provinces and cities are virtually the only bodies that can provide citizens with education, health care and redistributed wealth for the disadvantaged.
A 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver is just one way — out of many more pieces of legislation still required — to protect those who already live and work in Canada.