After receiving the following letter, Senator Larry Campbell’s personal secretary contacted me for further clarification. I responded to her satisfaction. Yet the good Senator has chosen not to reply. Why would he? His standard reply is “I don’t like racists”. That was his last brilliant salvo. His first was “It is always nice to hear from the racists”. I wonder if he would take that approach if his doctor tried to persuade him to change his living habits by producing a lab report that indicated that his cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels were at levels dangerous to his health?
“I don’t like lab technicians”.
From: Tim Murray [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 3:48 AM
Subject: Two questions
Dear Senator Campbell,
A few questions, sir.
It has come to my attention that you dismissed a $2.4 million federally commissioned report conducted by 23 UBC academics because, “it’s ten years old”. The report in question found that the Fraser River Basin had almost three times as many people as sustainable, and if nothing changes, things will worsen. The principal investigator, Dr. Michael Healey of the Institute for Resources and Environment, concluded that since many other Canadian urban centres were suffering a similar fate, the development of a Population Plan was necessary for the country.
How can such a finding be dated? Are you suggesting that there are less people in the Fraser Basin now than when the report was released almost 12 years ago? Has the addition of another three million Canadians since that time made the kind of environmental degradation described in the report less serious?
My second question is this. Suppose the author of this report, or any report or conclusion like it, is discovered to be a racist. Suppose he hates people of colour, children, puppies, kittens and little old ladies. Suppose he is just an all-round nasty guy. How does that discredit his findings? What bearing would his motives have on the data he presented or the methodology by which was collected and analyzed? Suppose your favourite mechanic concluded that your car needed an engine rebuild. Would you reject his diagnosis because you learned that he was a member of the KKK? Even if a compression check vindicated his assessment? The UBC academic team said that there were too many people in the Fraser Basin, and by extrapolation, the rest of Canada---a conclusion that the Science Council reached in 1976. At the very least, they cautioned, we should develop a plan that establishes Canada’s optimum number of people. Is there something inherently ‘racist’ in that? If it was “racist”, would that mean that any discussion about Canada’s carrying capacity or criticism of immigration policy is racist?
You have stated that you don’t like “racists”. I would be interested to know what your definition of a racist is. There are a lot of people I don’t like either. But I nevertheless concede that my disliking them does not have much to do with whether they are right or wrong.
Quathiaski Cove, BC
Conclusion: Why do we bother trying to educate politicians? Their very vocation is to play to the gallery. To seek popularity rather than truth. Ten percent of the critical swing seats in parliament are won and lost by appealing to the powerful, well-organized ethnic lobby, who have the ear and sympathy of the media. Why would they risk their chances of securing that vote by listening to the shrill but uncommon voices of anti-immigrationists? To them we are the looney fringe. Senator Campbell needs to get 10,000 letters like this one, not two or three. And even then, it would likely not be enough. Tim