‘Idle’ needs modern Gandhi

Wilhelm Waldstein voices his support for the Idle No More movement.

Dear editor,

This is the time for all Canadians of good will to unite in their support of First Nations and Chief Theresa Spence, who underwent a hunger strike hoping to bring the attention of the world to the plight of many of her people.

It seems it will take a Canadian Gandhi, using the methods he employed at his time against the colonial masters in India. We need to remind ourselves that it did not take guns and violence but peaceful demonstrations and hunger strikes and defying the salt laws and reminding the people of that great land not to buy any British Empire-made textile goods. (Gandhi used the spinning wheel for one hour each day, to make a symbolic point.)

In the case of India and the British Empire it turned out to be a win-win situation. India became a democracy with English as the dominant world communication language.

What is needed for our isolated Native communities from coast to coast and from the USA/Canadian border up to the Arctic Circle are manufacturing plants and/or small shops to produce “essential goods and services” everyone needs.

I am reminded of a recent news item regarding Bolivia. Bolivia has lithium deposits. The world needs lithium to produce batteries and wants that lithium, and now the people of Bolivia say, “Show us how to make batteries so we can process our own lithium.”

Should this, and many other examples, not be a lesson for Canadians? Why, for instance, export all the raw materials?

Keep the oil in Canada and build the plants here that need that oil to run the plant, and, close to home, keep the raw logs in Canada and process them into lumber and furniture and then export the higher value goods to the world.

As R.B. Bennett said in 1935 at a re-election rally: “Canada with unemployment is like a young man (or woman) on welfare. It doesn’t make sense.”

It takes land and resources for human beings to exist, and Canada has all of that in plenty. Let’s dust off the books by E. Fritz Schumacher: Good Work, Small is Beautiful, and Guide for the Perplexed. He points out what the world needs is essential goods and services, and not an economy that produces anything under the sun to ‘make money’ and then forgets to distribute that money evenly to everyone, like our native population in these isolated communities, helpless by themselves and deprived of the huge land area it once took to support their age-old life style of hunting, fishing, gathering and barter.

What it takes is good government to act and not to be locked into a modern life-destroying defense industry, creating jobs for city people and forgetting that to employ everyone in the country we must put the brakes on the goods imported and start producing for ourselves what we need, from what goes on the table in agricultural products to building material to building homes and furniture and clothing, and that takes more of a ‘command’ economy and not a free-for-all global ‘anybody can dump their cheap goods on us’ economy.

As Schumacher pointed out, any item imported that could be produced in the country that consumes it, no matter how cheap, will always be too expensive if it keeps local people unemployed and idle. Let’s get at the root of the problems and find out why so many of the aboriginal people are not working, and then act accordingly and use a command economy approach to correct the problems — problems that should not be problems in a land- and mineral- and oil resource-rich country like Canada.

Idle no more.

Wilhelm Waldstein

Port Hardy

 

Just Posted

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Shoebox Project: Local women in need to enjoy shoebox gifts

This year over 500 gift filled Shoeboxes were delivered in Campbell River and the North Island.

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Most Read