An interesting comment was passed along in the office regarding the apology Premier Christy Clark didn’t make about the head tax on Chinese workers back at the turn of the century.
The comment was — is an apology insincere if it doesn’t come with cash attached?
First, we cannot be responsible for the laws and actions which took place before most of us were born. And second, an apology is an apology and should not be tied to a cash settlement. If that logic were used around the world, countries would be paying out money to people wronged in some way ever since money was used as legal tender, maybe even before. Perhaps a few goats or a chicken or two to appease, if we go back far enough.
Most countries have a long history of ‘fluctuating’ borders and you cannot make up for the sins of the fathers. Some things just have to rest. We are not saying what happened to the Chinese or the immigrants aboard ships that were turned away is right or even just, but how far back does the hand of justice go? And why is it only money that soothes the injustice?
If we want to apologize in some way, then perhaps we should be thinking about the actions we are taking today. Let’s ensure there is equality in all things and we get about half way there. We can only change what we do today, not what was done yesterday or what will be done tomorrow.
Canada is a place people want to immigrate to. We have a standard of living which many would cross oceans in leaky boats to have. There are lots of issues swirling around immigration and foreign workers and we must ensure we accept people who want to come here for the right reasons — they want to be Canadians.