Friday, July 15, 2011

Notes from the Leper Asylum - Part IV

Barbadian-Canadian Relations Notes

Barrow, Errol*. “A Role for Canada in the West Indies.”  International Journal: Canadian Institute of        International Affairs 19 (1964): (Barbados Archives).

“*Premier of Barbados. This article is a slightly revised version of an address at a conference on ‘Commonwealth Partners in the West Indies,” held at Fredericton, N.B., October 25-27, 1963, by the Fredericton Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and the University of New Brunswick.”

·         Errol Barrow:
·         What the average Canadian can do to help the West Indies (p.172):
o   “Keep coming down to our area in ever increasing numbers; and he will never need the rigours of the winter to impel him in our direction after he has been there for the first time.”
o   Treat the West Indian student and West Indian visitor to Canada, “with the same candour and friendliness that West Indians extend to Canadians in the West Indies”.
·         Economics (p.172):
o   “Canada-West Indies relations…economies are entirely complementary.”
·         British government pushing for closer ties to Canada in the West Indies (p.174-175):
o    “Canadians are better disposed to the Caribbean than he could ever convert the British people to be.”
o   Canadian trade with the West Indies voluntary or coerced by the UK?
·         Rum sales (p.177):
o   1950s: Barbados imports of rum near 1,000,000 gallons
o   Canada put on import taxes and wanting to refine rum in Canada
o   Sale of Barbadian rum to Canada thus declining in the 1950s onwards
·         Banks (p.178):
o   With the exception of Barclays Bank, banking business is “carried on exclusively by Canadian concerns”.
o   Canadian banks throughout Barbados and exclusively involved in Barbadian finance and commerce
·         Barrow asking for Canadian foreign investment and Canadian immigration of businessmen and investors (p.180):
o   “Discover some kind of activity that would have afforded them the privilege of living for an indefinite period of time in the West Indian islands, even after they may have retired from their businesses in Canada.”
·         Barbados sticks to “traditional [trading] markets” in Canada – ie flour (p.183)
·         Barrow asking for Canada, Canadian businessmen, Canadian Government to look at the similarities (parliamentary, colonial, English language) of the Canadian-West Indian link before looking elsewhere (South Asia) for investment
o   Drawing on Canadian-West Indian historical ties and common Commonwealth kin to propel future foreign relations and foreign partnerships
·         Immigration (p.184):
o   “One of the more vexing problems of the relationships between this country (Canada) and ours (Barbados and the West Indies) is the question of immigration.”
o   ***“…I am not satisfied that on the question of immigration the Canadian government has ever led from anywhere but far in the rear of public opinion.”***
o   1962: only 1500 West Indians to Canada out of a total of 75,000 immigrants
o   Even following the “official” de-racialization of Canadian immigration
·         Climate (p.184-185):
o   West Indians prefer Canadian winters over English summers:
o   “One must therefore conclude that the West Indian would sooner come to Canada than go to Britain.”
o   Throws the idea of Canadian Climate Discrimination against Blacks right in its face
o   “To be brutally frank, there is a feeling that in view of the large influx of unskilled Italian and other European immigrants coming into this country, there is either tacitly or explicitly some element of discrimination against the West Indian immigrant.  There is no point in telling us in the West Indies that you have unemployment up here if you introduce into this country people who cannot even speak English or French, and who have no skill at all; and at the same time you cream off from the West Indian economy only the highly skilled, the professional and the technical workers that we so badly need for our industrial programme…Our skilled, our technical and our professional people are the people you are welcoming now with open arms; and at the same time you are introducing into this country large numbers of people who will probably have to spend two or three years even to begin to understand how to order a loaf of bread or to speak to a taxi driver; and the people who are so culturally close to you in many respects are kept out.”
o   The only difference being their colour.  Very well said and self-explanatory.  This quote will appear verbatim in my dissertation.  A Barbadian Premier told off the Canadian government in Canada on how it selects immigrants.  Essential saying that Canada would prefer to take White European rift raft over overqualified Black West Indians.  And when they do select West Indian immigrants (even as domestics through the Domestic Scheme as my dissertation will show which the case was predominantly in the 1950s), they take the most qualified Barbadians that are needed to push forward an emerging new nation-state.  It was not a Brain Drain, but a calculated population rape.  Racism and discrimination is the only true explanation for a view of White Canada that was supposedly abolished in 1962 by Ellen Fairclough.  The Mudsill Theory in full effect.  Only the best and the brightest Barbadians were accepted and tolerated as unequals and inferiors in Canadian immigration policy.  If that’s not racism and discrimination, I don’t know what is.


  1. That last quotation is a slap in the face to Canadians who believe that racism is dead. Numbers don't lie!

    This dispatch from the asylum is the most interesting yet!

  2. Better than an incoherent rant about nothing.