Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Vancouver Sun has commented on the auditor general's report. They conclude that immigration needs an overhaul. But their recommendations rest on this fatally obsolete conception: "we need a clearer mission. What kind of immigrants should we be seeking to keep our economy growing?"

More economic growth? Have these people heard of climate change, biodiversity loss and peak oil? Do they really think that economic growth can continue---or must continue---ad infitum? Yes, sadly they do, along with all political parties, the Conference Board of Canada, and every Chamber of Commerce in the country.

As we are but seven weeks from the New Year, I would propose a contest. Let's pool our archive of idiotic remarks made in 2009 from as many jurisdictions as we can and award a trophy to the winner. Lets make December 28th the deadline for submissions. Here is mine:

Campaigning against the new comprehensive goods and services tax introduced by BC Premier Gordon Campbell, the "HST", NDP Opposition leader Carole James stood on a stage alongside a former nemesis, right-wing populist and former Premier Bill Vander Zalm, and declared to a raucous crowd, "The Campbell government's HST tax will slow economic growth at the very worst time." Which begs the questions, "Is there ever a bad time to slow economic growth? Is it good to re-fuel a runaway train so that it can resume its reckless speed toward the cliff? Should we try to "fix" the system, or change it?"

The NDP answer was given by federal leader Jack Layton last year in a speech in Toronto, "growth is good, so long as it is shared." But rather than working to share growth, it would best if social democrats would work to see that people would equally share unemployment in the form of a shorter work week. People would work less, buy less and pollute less. Full employment, poverty reduction and environmental protection can be all be accomplished without economic growth, which is failing to achieve those goals and failing badly.

Tim Murray
November 7/09

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