Blaine Higgs: Can a leopard change its spots?

Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be?

By André Faust (Nov 21, 2018)

Blain Higgs
Premier Blain Higgs, Photo credit: Charles Leblanc

33 years ago Blaine Higgs while a member of (CoR) Confederation of Regions presented his report to the Advisory Committee on Official Languages of New Brunswick. Blain was less than complimentary to the Francophone population of New Brunswick. 33 years later is patronizing the Francophone population. L’Acadie Nouvelle received a copy of Blaine Higgs handwritten manifesto which was tabled by Official Languages of New Brunswick.

His1985 manifesto titled “Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be? sounded more like Teddy Roosevelt’s speech on the assimilation of immigrants. If you read Roosevelt’s speech and compare it to the Higgs manifesto you will see some similarities.

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” – Theodore Roosevelt 1907

In his manifesto, Higgs was critical of the Federal Government because they were negotiating a dollar and cent settlement with Japanese Canadians to compensate Canadian residents of Japanese origin who were interned at two main camps, Camp P and Camp X, not only adults but women and children as well. The Canadian government also seized their assets, these civilians were not prisoners of war. (“Thematic Guides – Internment Camps in Canada during the First and Second World Wars – Library and Archives Canada”, 2018)

Canada was in the wrong by interning and taking away assets from Canadian residents who were of Japenese origin and not prisoners of war, yet Blaine Higgs opposed compensating the Japanese for the Canadian wrongdoing.

Throughout his manifesto Blaine Higgs, the theme was English only in New Brunswick even though the Canadian charter of rights explicitly says that New Brunswick is a bilingual province.

It is rare that a person will change their core beliefs and take the opposite position.  One has to question the motive behind Premier Higgs for his change of heart.

Here is Premier Blaine Higgs 1985 Manifesto in its entirety


Canadian or French, what are we going to be? Or “Canadians or French, who will we be?


I am native of a small English speaking village located on the Maine new Brunswick border. In this community, I grew up in constant association with American neighbours. It was through this association that I soon came to realize low supportive and proud these Americans are of their country. In an emergency situation, which is when the real test would come, it is easy to see how forcefully with a people would stand united in defence of their country under one flag, one government and one language. This is further illustrated as American, in general, continue to brag about their country and openly state that quotation nothing is as good as the united states quote. Isn’t it wonderful to be so proud of a nation and not ashamed to admit it?

Canada also has this same potential, but we must return to a rational system and get away from the unrealistic fantasies of linguistic rates in all sectors. I challenge each and every citizen in this country to consider their loyalty to Canada as a nation as being first and foremost in their personal gold. We are not and will never achieve such loyalty and unity while at the same time embarking on a course supporting two different cultures.

In our military forces, alone, we have an English and a French division. In the event of a conflict which we must stand together, we could not even communicate amongst the very power which was to defend our country. Even if all the troops were bilingual we would no doubt stand at the front and argue which language the orders were to be given then while the enemy walks over us.

We have, as was recently stated, some 80 different cultures in this fine country. Imagine the chaos if each one of them demanded services in their native tongue and of course, the government in there current accommodating fashion would endeavour to provide it. This May seem, at first glance to be ridiculous to even suggest but consider the fact the Federal government is currently negotiating monetary settlement with Japanese Canadians to compensate for alleged afflictions occurring some 50 years ago. The decision at that time was made in the interests of national defense and it should not have to be paid for by the Canadian Taxpayers generations later. The Japanese Canadian Lobby groups demand repayment monetarily and s reveal their true allegiance to Canada and that is for personal gain.

Returning, now, closer to the homefront we find the French Canadians in Quebec have now illustrated their true allegiance, to Canada as a nation, by divorcing themselves from the majority of Canadians and to alienate these English speaking Canadians in their own province. There is only one clear goal in this pursuit and that is for “French Power” at any cost.

The rest of Canada sits idly by while the Federal government pours millions of dollars into Quebec and elevates Quebec to a status unequalled by another Canadian province. This is all done in the name of keeping Quebec within confederation. We must not continue to cater to the idealist pursuit which will only divide our country. our path is one of divisiveness among our people and if this continues we would be better served to negotiate separation as an alternative which I personally hope is never required.

As stated Quebec has made their stand and that is to be French and French alone. We must recognize and be impressed by their persistence and dedication to the French cause, not the Canadian cause.

It is now time to get to the real issues in question at this time and that is the issue of bilingualism within this already poorer Canadian province of New Brunswick. At this time we are the sacrificial province for the bilingual issue across Canada, as we are the only bilingual Canadian province. It is for this very reason that we must stand and clearly demonstrate the problems which are being created.

Premier Richard Hatfield upon his initial election to office in the late sixties chose at that time to ignore the vows of the majority. Premier Lous J. Robichaud had put forward the proposal for the Official Languages Act just before he was voted out of office and this should have been indicators enough for Premier Hatfield, upon his victory that the majority of people did not support this act. His subsequent re-elections to office should not be attributed as the people supporting his policies but instead the lack of choice in the eyes of the voters for a government which could truly represent them. I feel the name Hatfield has carried him for many years.

Currently, we still have no such party which will listen to the people and take a stand for them, thus the inevitable formation of an Association dedicated solely for the preservation of the English speaking Canadians. Despite the radical image that has been portrayed by the media and the elements of bigotry that have been thrown at this association it is still well supported throughout the province. With re-organization and a clear development of the Association’s goals, we will see it’s continued rapid growth. This could eventually result in the formation of a political party will truly represent the majority.

The Poirier Bastarache Report clearly does not reflect a representative sample of the people of New Brunswick of the people of New Brunswick. It instead reflects the deeply biased viewpoint of the three French authors and the one English author, thrown is as a token gesture, who really is not part of the issue as he is an out of province resident. Many English speaking moderates feel there must be just caused to all of these demands, based on linguistic rights. because of the amount of noise that is being generated. I would like to emphasize, However, that many of these so-called spokesmen for the French minority are on a payroll of some sort to fight for this cause. In many cases, this is a government payroll which means the Canadian Taxpayers is supporting financially those activists who peruse the breakdown of our national unity. In support of this argument,, consider the thousands of dollars that have been spent by the government to finance this report. I was told at the first round of those sessions, by Bernard Poirier, one of the authors, that the cost of publishing of the reports was free of charge. Can you possibly imagine who would be too kind as to published an unlimited supply of these reports absolutely free? The whole issue reeks of below board tactics.

Another issue worthy of note, by those moderate overtaken by compassion for the cause, was on the Federal front. This was regarding the formation of the Canadian Parents for French organization. This was not started and funded by the concerned French Parents as one might tend to believe but organized and funded by the Federal government. Additionally, the Federal government provided assistance for different groups to take the Provincial government to court to face the provision of French education. Is this what unity is all about, the Federal government versus the provinces?

I dismiss the Poirier Bastarache repost as being biassed, unnecessary and not promoting the real needs of the New Brunswick People. I cannot support arguments that New Brunswick residents are suffering because they cannot get service in their mother tongue. The point is the service is being provided. According to the report, only 16% of the New Brunswick population are unilingual French. This would indicate that 84% or approximately 195,000 Francophones in this province can speak English. The existing government policies appear to support the idea that even though a person speaks fluent English they have a right to refuse services in that language. When are we going to grow up and start acting like responsible citizens in the real world?

For the 16% or 37,000 unilingual Francophones in this province, we should develop an English Immersion Program instead of the current French Immersion Program for the estimated 66% or 350,000 unilingual Anglophones. The Anglophone population Have a long-standing history of being compassionate and tolerant of the needs of others especially when these needs are justified. However, in this situation, I feel the breaking point is fast approaching.

Let us now truly examine the cultural motivation of the Acadians. As stated in the report they have a higher rate of unemployment and an average lower income than do Anglophones in the other parts of the province. If I had chosen to stay in my native village I would no doubt have had a much lower income as I would have been unemployed. I instead chose to move to where the work was. I did not feel slighted nor did I feel the government should have provided employment in my hometown. In the case of the northern part of the province, we are dealing with a greater number of people whose jobless rate is abnormally high and the government should show additional interest to stimulate the economy of this region. The private sector must be encouraged to invest in this area. It does not seem likely if industrial entrepreneurs are plagued with language restrictions they will be here to invest. It must be emphasized that the greater number of investors comes from the English speaking sector whether it is foreign or otherwise. The province can not and will not ever function effectively by the legislation of additional burdens on the investment groups.

The money spent by the government to teach everyone French and to duplicate all governmental services could be better be utilized to create jobs and improve the standard of living for the average New Brunswicker especially in the northern part of the province. The formation of a French dual government system as proposed will satisfy only those activists in pursuit of a personal power struggle. Democratically the northern part of the province can elect whomever they choose to represent them and I do not feel the Anglophone portion of the Government will oppose improvements to their economic situation. I do not feel that supply the entire north shore with government jobs is the answer to the economic woes of the region.

I would like to emphasize that I am not supporting bigotry but reality and I am sure that many of the moderates both Anglophone and Francophone will agree.

1) The Poirier Bastarache Report entitled “Towards Equality of Official Languages in New Brunswick” be dismissed in its entirety as being unnecessary and impractical.

2) The government of New Brunswick confront the people of Ne Brunswick with a referendum asking; Should New Brunswick have only one official language and should that language be English? Yes or No. Accompanying information should include the actual costs of the current and proposed duplication.

3) The educational system return to the previously higher standard than now currently being offered.

In place of the French Immersion Programs a qualified level of teaching the French language to be offere3d to all New Brunswick students equally as part of the regular school curriculum.

4) The government stress through the future policies the concept that cultures are a personal issue and in this land can be practiced as a personal basis. From this point on the government will support only once culture and that is Canadian and only the language of the vast majority and that is English.

5) A qualified educational program is set up to teach those unilingual Francophones the English language so they will be able to communicate effectively with government agencies. This does not restrict the use of their mother tongue for any other activity.

6) I urge all New Brunswickers to examine the issues at hand. Look closely at the real driving force behind the French cause and the source of the funds which support it. I do not wish to hold any prejudices toward the Francophones but I Feel our current course is one of division and conflictions. I wish only to return to the system where qualification and ability takes precedence over the language or speaks contrary to the report I do not feel that all Francophones suffer from an identity crisis. I work every day with Francophones who are well qualified and every bit as capable as any Anglophones. They do not need to rely on being hired for a job because they are French but because they are capable individuals and that is the way it should be.

Thank-you
Blaine M. Higgs


Barker’s Point the environmental disaster which has been forgotten about

by André Faust (12/09/1918)

Barkers Point a quaint little bedroom community located on the North-Eastern side of the Saint John River. Employment was readily available in Barkers Point’s golden days. During the sixties and beyond, Barker’s Point was the home for several major employers. To mention a few, Bonar’s bag factory, Abe Levine and Sons were a few that contributed to the economy of Barkers Point.

All most everyone in Barkers Point worked the dreaded Levine’s battery shed. It was almost a write of passage.

The problem that existed for this employer was the amount of contamination that entered the soil and water column. At that time the environmental impact was never understood.

Since then, then the junkyard has changed hands several times. However, it appears that non of the new owners have taken the initiative to clean up the environmental damage that has both alter the natural environment and changed the ecosystem.

One possible reason that the residents of Barker’s point don’t demand environmental Canada to enforce its policies may be because the residents have become desensitized.

Walking around the scrap yard is like going through an unmaintained landfill site. What you see is garbage, old tires, oil saturated ground, and water.

Someone has to take responsibility for the cleanup, and Environment Canada should be made aware of the problem. If Environment Canad is aware then why has there been no action taken?

Eradication of Chronic Homelessness in Fredericton

 

By André Faust

The stereotypical view of poverty and homelessness is those individuals are in that position because they choose to be in that position and therefore deserve to be in that position and pay the consequences of their choice. The reality is, that is not the case poverty and chronic homelessness is not entirely due to the individual character type but more so to do with external factors that the individual has absolutely no control over.

The root cause of this ever-increasing homelessness and poverty is that our current local and global economic system has become antiquated and no longer can meet the social needs of both our local communities and global communities. The longer that this obsolete economy is allowed to continue the greater the number of people will fall into a state of poverty and homelessness and the closer that we will come to the tipping point that even those who a enjoying the great wealth and power will eventually also start to lose.

There can only be two possible outcomes either the economic system evolves and adapts to meet the needs of modern society or the system will eventually collapse in which no one will be spared.

While all the stakeholders in Canada are recognising the symptoms of a dying economy, steps are being made to buy time by developing strategies to address both poverty and homelessness. Hopefully, these strategies will buy enough time to allow the economy to evolve to accommodate the needs of the upcoming generation.

Fredericton the capital city of New Brunswick has put forth a workable strategic plan to eliminate Chronic Homelessness in the city of Fredericton. The mandate of the Mayor’s task force on homelessness was to study the problem and come back to council with a plan of action.

The task force consulted with all the stakeholders, the provincial/federal government, the business community, various churches and non-profits to arrive at a workable solution.

On June 12, 2017, the findings and the solutions were presented to council.
The task force reported that in the long term it would be cheaper to develop stable living accommodations to house the homeless than to have these people living on the streets.

Here are some of the recommendation that was outlined in the executive summary of the task force report.

• Reduce parking requirements for Housing First construction where appropriate as this:
· Decreases development costs
· Increases land available for other purposes that better meets community needs

• Donate or lease surplus city-owned remnant properties where appropriate for Housing First developments:
· Many such areas currently under-used
· Transportation and servicing infrastructure already in place

• Amend the definition of “assisted living” to include “permanent supportive/supported housing” as this will avoid the necessity of rezoning that can be expensive and time-consuming
· Will allow churches to more easily build housing on their own land that can be used for Housing First placements

• Provide Housing First participants with subsidised bus passes
· Helps people access much-needed health and social supports
· Helps access education and employment opportunities
· Incentive to remain actively involved in Housing First program

• Conduct an analysis of best practices and regulatory structures for rooming houses
· Least expensive housing option
· Other benefits could be realised

• Raise awareness about the broad community benefits of affordable housing and Housing First through ‘Yes in My Backyard’ education campaign

• Explore the viability of creating an Affordable Housing Land Trust under our municipal structure

• Conduct a process improvement strategy to make it easier for non-profits to participate in affordable housing development

Jeff Richardson reported that the intent is to build 40 units at cost of 1.4 million dollars. The Housing First Fund has been created and as of date has received $500,000.

The down side is that if the economy keeps degrading it is possible that once these 40 units are completed there still may not be enough units to meet the demand at the time of completion.


The Science Delusion – Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. (born 28 June 1942) is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.

While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.

From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life.

From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project funded from Trinity College,Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Schumacher College , in Dartington, Devon, a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.

He lives in London with his wife Jill Purce and two sons.

He has appeared in many TV programs in Britain and overseas, and was one of the participants (along with Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Toulmin) in a TV series called A Glorious Accident, shown on PBS channels throughout the US. He has often taken part in BBC and other radio programmes. He has written for newspapers such as the Guardian, where he had a regular monthly column, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement and Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to a variety of magazines, including New Scientist, Resurgence, the Ecologist and the Spectator.


Books by Rupert Sheldrake:
A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981). New edition 2009 (in the US published as Morphic Resonance)
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988)
The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God (1992)
Seven Experiments that Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Institute for Social Inventions)
Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network)
The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003)
The Science Delusion (2012, published in the US as Science Set Free)


 

Putin educates Megyn Kelly on Syria, chemical weapons & terrorism

Re-blogged from RT

Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the insinuation by NBC News correspondent Megyn Kelly that the Syrian government was behind the April chemical attack, putting the blame on terrorists who orchestrated a provocation. Using terrorists as proxies is a bad idea, Putin said, pointing out how the US created Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the USSR, only to end up with 9/11.