Cynical, you say? Not in the face of Obama’s sweep of the polls in 2008 with a torrent of Latino voters. What else could justify the numbers of immigrants allowed into Canada, particularly in light of the 2008 recession, our current fiscal deficit, the largest it has been in decades, and an unemployment rate of 7.7%?
The fact is that Canada cannot afford to support the influx of immigrants which in 2008 consisted of 272,000 foreign students and 247,000 permanent residents made up of 149,000 skilled workers and entrepreneur/investors, 65,000 family members and 33,000 refugees or asylum applicants. Government monies expended on immigrants and immigrant programs far surpass any contribution they make to Revenue Canada’s coffers.
Why even Hollywood’s disaffected run to the true north, strong and free, although in the case of Randy and Evi Quaid, it turned out that unbeknownst to her, she was a Canadian citizen by virtue of her Saskatchewan father, and now happily lives in Vancouver with her Canadian passport, husband by her side.
Add to all of this the estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants who have snuck into Canada and you have a situation that cannot continue despite cries from the NDP that we need immigrants to replace our aging population. They propose increasing the quota to 330,000 every year.
Even with a significant number of skilled and professional immigrants admitted each year, the hoops they must jump through to work in their occupations are onerous. Consider all the healthcare professionals working as nannys or medical aides instead of nursing or practicing medicine.
While it may be true that immigrants are twice as likely than native Canadians to hold a Master’s degree or a doctorate, a lot of them are still driving taxicabs and working at McDonalds.
The issue of professional accreditation is left to self-governing bodies in each Province. For example, an immigrant who is a professional engineer must be approved by British Columbia’s Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, a body that operates under provincial legislation.
Skilled immigrants who are admitted into Canada are rarely permitted to practice their profession. Advocates for immigrants refer to this as a “broken contract”. They are admitted as professionals but their skills are not utilized.
It makes no sense to admit university educated immigrants knowing they will not work in their profession. Another impractical flaw of our system.
A report in 2006 indicated that immigrants arriving in Canada between 2001 and 2006 had an unemployment rate of 11.5%.
Canadians who dare raise the issue of our failed immigration policies are quickly silenced and labeled bigots. Yet, can there be any right-thinking citizen who is not outraged by the four and a half years it takes to banish an illegal immigrant from Canada after
endless appeals are exhausted, and all benefits available have been wrung from the system, including free lawyers!
Canada’s politicians spar for immigrant votes with each party doing their best to hold on to their immigrant base.
Liberal Members of Parliament Ruby Dhalla and Bob Rae have ridings with a heavy ethnic presence. Ms. Dhalla’s riding is 50% visible minority, while Bob Rae’s, in Toronto Center is 40%. Not surprisingly, Dhalla and Rae introduced a private member’s bill that sought to extend Old Age Security benefits to immigrants after three years of residence in Canada rather than the ten years they must now wait. Canada’s baby boomers surely would not support pensions for immigrants after a mere three years. This one wouldn’t !
Statistics Canada tells us that in twenty years almost 50% of our population will be foreign-born or have at least one foreign born parent. The enhancement of our cultural mosaic may have to give way to practical fiscal realities.
It’s time for Canadians to put aside their fears of being “politically incorrect” and demand that our leaders overhaul Canada’s immigration laws, free of any political considerations, and focused on what is best for Canada.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang