His commentary provides some valuable insight.
New immigrants need good jobs
Mar 25, 2008 04:30 AM
Community Editorial Board
The federal budget said that $22 million will be spent over two years, rising to $37 million per year by 2012-13, to "modernize" the immigration system, allowing faster processing of permanent resident applications.
The program is designed to shorten wait times for immigrants who have skills that would have an "immediate impact" on the economy. But it does not reflect realistic thinking immigration. Our enthusiasm to bring immigrants in quickly and our inability to create jobs in their chosen fields are contradictory.
The immigration process does not conclude with the stamping of a visa at the airport. It should be considered complete only when the landed immigrant finds a skills-oriented job with pay adequate to meet household expenses; otherwise it is merely an exercise in increasing poverty in Canada and frustration in immigrant families.
This is what I have been saying all along. We bring in immigrants regardless of their job prospects. We just assume they will find a job based on an arbitrary list of alleged labour shortages. Some labour shortages are real but others are not thus many immigrants come to Canada only to languish in low skill, low waged jobs. In effect Canada is sustaining and contributing to poverty rates.
If a doctor delivers pizza, the government considers him employed; in fact, he does not work to his potential and is unable to earn wages in keeping with his education and skills. Most newly arrived professionals are forced to accept survival jobs.
This should tip off anybody with half a brain in their head to ask the most obvious question considering these realities. Are there jobs for them here in Canada in the first place? The fact that this question is never asked is frustrating to say the least.
In 2006, the estimated 70,000 recent African-born immigrants had an unemployment rate of 20.8 per cent. Indeed, the relatively higher education level of recent immigrants does not translate into higher income. Instead, they become a source of educated but cheap labour.
A family of four that earns less than $26,800 is considered to be "low income." Between 1992 and 2000, nearly one-fifth of immigrants were in the low-income category for their first four to five years in the country.
Peel has an immigrant population of 49 per cent. A huge issue is settlement services. Immigrants live in multiple-family houses with several families compressed into a small place in violation of all safety standards.
This is what Christopher Hume means when he wrote about suburban slums.
One-third of all existing Canadian jobs are temporary, without benefits or security. That the political will to address the root problem is lacking is evident from the results to date. This problem needs to be taken seriously at all levels.
He goes on to suggest a strategy of job growth but the reality is that much of the job growth is in low wage service based jobs and for this reason immigrants are being brought into Canada en masse. If this commentator wants to address this issue with genuine intent he will want to consider pressuring Ottawa to reduce immigration numbers. If we don't then nothing is going to change for immigrants now or tomorrow.