Vancouver: IT is possible. How? Because the Chinese are growing faster, they are growing richer and what is more the rate of natural growth of the white population has been falling to historically low levels.
Is the West then threatened by the ?Yellow Peril?? This was once the fear?that the yellow race would overwhelm the white man by the sheer force of their numbers.
Today the west no more talks about this ?Yellow Peril?. In fact, it has established close relations with Japan and China which could have posed a challenge to the West. The West has no desire to take on Japan, or China for that matter. In fact, Japan has nearly won entry into the white man'sexclusive club.
Today the real ?threat? comes from immigration. About 15-20 million people are on the move yearly for new pastures. Two countries?China and India?account for the larger part of the migration. And they move most of all to the developed countries of the west. Canada is the new attractive destination. It already takes more immigrants per capita than any other developed country, says Canada'simmigration minister. But he also admitted that immigrants with a PhD are plying taxis in Canada! This is true of Toronto, one of the largest cities of this country with a high density of Indian population. But with all that, Canada alone can accommodate more immigrants.
To this is to be added the problem of discrimination. David Miller, mayor of Toronto, admits that his mother, an Irish lady was told by the Canadian authorities: ?You are not qualified to teach in Canada?. She was a qualified teacher in Ireland for several years! After this one can well guess the lot of the Indians!. The Indians are in a worse plight. Canada does not recognise any of the Indian academic degrees. They are compelled to appear for special examinations. Does this provide guarantee of equality? Not really. Mike Colle, Ontario'scitizenship minister has something to say on this: He says ?Some of the educational institutions that exist in India (for instance IIT, IIM) are above and beyond the Canadian Universities and Institutes?.
Like other European countries Canada resisted immigration and assimilation. The whites wanted Canada to remain Anglo-Saxon. Canadian immigration policy just began in 1967. Earlier there had been waves of Chinese labour, and then of Indians. The Chinese were the worst sufferers of anti immigration legislation. Today they are one of the most affluent, especially those who came from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Buddhist temple in Vancouver built by the Hong Kong Chinese Buddhists is almost an architectural marvel. Today the fear is of the Chinese, that they would emerge as the largest and most powerful ethnic group in Canada. The Chinese global expansion thus continues.
They are already entrenched in Malaysia and Indonesia. In Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore they form the majority. They may well dominate the ethnic groups in Canada in the next decade or two. The real resistance to the Chinese can come only from the Indians who are at present holding the most skilled jobs.
It is clear that Canada will have to do a delicate balancing exercise. The Economic Council of Canada has put the permissive level of immigration growth at one per cent of the population. That is 300,000 immigrants a year.
Visible minorities are on the rise ?from 11.7 per cent of the population to 13 per cent of the population (2001 figures). In Richmond, a major town of Vancouver, the Chinese form 57 per cent of the population, up from 49 per cent five years ago.
Like Britain and USA, Canada too tried various assimilative theories, but nothing has worked. Multiculturalism postulates the preservation of some aspects of immigrant culture and communal life within the context of Canadian citizenship.
Indian migration to Canada began from the turn of the last century. In 1914 there was the episode of the ?Komagata Maru? when the Japanese ship carrying 376 Indians was turned back. It was in 1947 that Indians were allowed to vote. In 1979 the Indians were no more than 5600, engaged mostly in timber trade. Their number has gone up by leaps. Today Sikhs are to be found in large numbers in agriculture. They are perhaps the most prosperous.
The minorities are concentrated in a number of provinces and cities. Thus 40 per cent of Toronto'spopulation are minorities, the Indians being very numerous. 30 per cent of the population of Vancouver constitutes minorities. Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary are cities with substantial minorities.
Migration has become part of globalization. It is a force to reckon with. There can be no going back on this. You can draw your own conclusions.