Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's a Good Thing Tim Hudak Wasn't Around When Plavnice Podatransk Came to Canada

The latest Tim Hudak ad focuses on his grandfather, a Czech immigrant who "believed in the value of hard work". There is even a close up shot of his immigration papers dated 1898.

All I can say is that it was a good thing that Tim Hudak wasn't around then, or this man would never have stood a chance, given his attitude toward what he is now calling "foreign workers".

Or imagine if Jason Kenney had been in charge of immigration, instead of Clifford Sifton, who was then Minister of the Interior under Wilfred Laurier.

The Laurier government adopted an open door immigration policy, not only to settle some regions, but to provide labour for railways and mines, and Sifton tackled the task with a vengeance.

Working with companies, aggressive schemes were created to lure "foreign workers" including those of Czech descent. The schemes usually involved partial payment for transport overseas and an offer of cheap land. It's highly unlikely Mr. Podatransk got off the ship and said "what now?"

Jobs were usually waiting for them and all efforts made to help them settle in.

I find it amusing when the new conservatives (neocons) claim to have made it with no help from the government, forgetting about things like public education and universal healthcare.  And while they brag about their heritage and hard working ancestors, they forget that most early immigrants to Canada, arrived under some kind of scheme.

Dalton McGuinty's "scheme" is not designed to lure immigrants, but is still being painted as an attempt to pander to "foreign workers", while many Ontarians are still unemployed.  Non-immigrant Ontarians.  However, the program is only for highly skilled workers, who are currently unemployed, underemployed or precariously employed.

We get to benefit from their skills, instead of riding in their cabs.

And it is only a tax credit.

Personally, I think that all corporate tax cuts should be tied directly to employment.  We keep hearing that giving more money to big business creates jobs, but that has not been the case.  President Obama allowed the Bush tax cuts to go through on that promise, but months later, after tallying the jobs created by giving more money to the rich, it came up flat.  In fact NO JOBS WERE CREATED at all.

The NDP are wisely keeping out of the debate, but Conservatives are whistling a xenophobic tune, beginning with a tweeted campaign slogan: "Hire a foreigner instead of your neighbour"  Another on Youtube includes: "Too bad it’s not for you… 10,000 only for FOREIGN workers. Ontario workers need not apply. You just get the bill."

Randall Denley, running in Ottawa West reminded us that "People who come from other countries, I guess I call them foreigners."  And Peterborough's Alan Wilson wailed that "Some people could lose their jobs and be replaced ... That's something that we really will be opposing. We'll be focusing on our own people here getting jobs." 

I'm glad they cleared that up though, because I now know that "foreigners" can't be my "neighbours", can't live in Ontario, and are not "people here."

I hope they publish a handbook, because I'm confused.  Maybe a little drawing of what an Ontarian is supposed to look like, so I can compare it to images of my neighbours. 

And if they aren't the right colour should I start a campaign demanding that they move?  Maybe burn a cross?

During the peak of the recession when people were losing their jobs at an alarming rate, Jason Kenney allowed an enormous increase in migrant workers.  Where was Hudak's outrage then?

2008, 2009 and 2010 peaked for "temporary foreign workers".  But then Kenney's colleague, Gerald Keddy, suggested that this was necessary because unemployed Canadians were "no good bastards".

You can see why we need a handbook.

But to sum it up.

Immigrants are "foreigners" here to steal jobs from "no good bastards", who may be your neighbours, because those "foreigners" can't be, since they don't really live "here".

Yes Plavnice Podatransk was a lucky man.


  1. NB The ontariopcparty's YouTube channel has disabled rating and commenting on all the videos I looked at.... Cowardly!

  2. The funny part about Hudak's Grandfather commercial is that Czechoslovakia was not formed until 1918 but his papers say 1898. I guess Hudak can rewrite history but he can't out run the history of the great Mike Harris - who makes pregnant Harper look kind.

  3. I wonder if this is the same grandfather who become a union leader in Sarnia. It would be hilariously ironic if it was!