Letters to the Editor for Dec. 17

Letters to the Editor on Donald Trump's recent comments and the state of B.C. lumber

Letter to the Editor re: Donald Trump

What follows is not simply a case of name-calling (as it was back in the day, when anyone politically left of centre might be referred to as a Commie rat-bastard.)

But Donald Trump is a Nazi.

All the signs are there: the racist rhetoric encouraging those who theorise about an Aryan-American master race; the hyper-nationalism; the glorification of the military; the worship of power encapsulated in the fuhrerprinzip, the ‘one leader principle’.

Trump has also conjured up the spectre of the Nazi gegenreich; literally an ‘against nation’. In the same way that the Nazis made Jews a collective scapegoat and compelled them to wear the Star of David, Trump wants American Muslims to be marked so that non-Muslims can project their self-hatred onto an identifiable minority.

Trump hasn’t suddenly appeared out of some political desert, however. He thrives in the hothouse of an extreme right-wing Republican Party – which has belatedly issued a primer for the other Republican presidential hopefuls entitled ‘Observations on Donald Trump and 2016’.

It admits that he is ‘a misguided missile’ but at no time does it unequivocally condemn his ignorance, his bigotry, his racism, his flagrant lying. Instead, the author writes: “Understand the points Trump makes…and ride the wave.”

Unfortunately we have our own extremists who have slithered through the door cracked open for them by Stephen Harper’s anti-Muslim ‘wedge’ campaign during the federal election. They harass and assault Canadian women wearing symbols of their faith and, just as the Nazis scrawled Juden raus on synagogues, they stain Canadian mosques with their feculent graffiti.

And back in the USA, Trump’s Republican supporters are already talking about a boycott of ‘non-Christian’ businesses.

With Tennessee’s Republican Caucus leader Glen Casada desperate to “round up” that state’s Syrian refugees (all 30 of them), and Jerry Falwell Jr. talking in Lynchburg, Virginia about “killing Muslims”, how soon can we expect Trump to encourage an anti-Muslim cristallnacht, a repugnant repeat of the November, 1938, ‘night of crystal’ when shards of glass from Jewish store windows glittered on Nazi sidewalks?

JC Vallance,Fernie, B.C.

 

Letter to the Editor re: B.C. Lumber

When Christy Clark said she would make a new softwood lumber agreement with the United States her top priority with a new federal government, New Democrats voiced support. We believe that a vibrant forest industry is vital to our economy. Forest dependent communities in the province, B.C. forest companies, and those over 25,000 citizens directly employed in the forest industry deserve strong support.

Unfortunately, either Premier Clark forgot to mention it, wasn’t very forceful in making the case for softwood lumber, or the new prime minister simply ignored her.  There’s no evidence that trade consequences for the softwood lumber industry have registered with the federal government.

The premier writes mandate letters to her new ministers. Those letters express the most important and urgent priorities of the government and order the minister to act on them.

The new prime minister’s long mandate letter to the federal minister of international trade fails to mention the trade consequences of softwood lumber at all.

It talks a lot about the Canadian-European Trade Agreement and about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It talks about the auto sector, about clean technology, about energy, but doesn’t include the words “wood,” “forest” (or “forestry”), “timber,” or “log.”

Forest-related products remain British Columbia’s largest single export, with a value of nearly $13 billion in 2014, which is more than a third of all our exports. Maximizing the health of our forest industry is crucial for business, workers and communities around the province.

Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberal government’s record has been to the detriment of forest-dependent communities, with the closure of more than 200 mills and the loss of more than 25,000 jobs. Meanwhile, raw log exports – which cost British Columbia jobs – are on pace for yet another record high this year: close to seven million cubic metres.

So much for Christy Clark’s so-called first priority. Forest-dependent communities in British Columbia deserve better than Christy Clark’s empty words.

Bruce Ralston, MLA (Surrey-Whalley)New Democrat spokesperson for international trade

 

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