GTA middle class struggles
Gap between rich and poor widens while the centre lags, census figures show
May 02, 2008 04:30 AM
The gap between the rich and poor widened, and new immigrants continued to lose ground while middle income earners struggled to keep pace, according to the 2006 Canadian census released yesterday.
Nowhere are these national trends more pronounced than in the Toronto area, home to the country's largest percentage of new immigrants.
As a result, median family incomes (the point at which half are higher and half are lower) in the Toronto area dropped between 2000 and 2005 while they rose across Ontario and the rest of the country.
"We are becoming a city of the servant class – who earn servant wages and live in the city's northern suburbs – and the downtown elite who run everything," said University of Toronto urban studies professor David Hulchanski.
This was predictable and should come as no surprise for anyone who took the emotional factor out of the immigration equation. The "downtown elites" are the largely white middle/upper classes who inveterately extol the virtues of mass immigration but refuse to take responsibility of the consequences, choosing to fault the government or systemic discrimination when in fact they are to blame for cheer-leading the predictable outcome while controlling the margins of debate. Toronto's northern suburbs are typically immigrant heavy.
"Immigrants who used to come to this country came for middle-income jobs in construction that were unionized and well paying. Today they can't find those jobs. They are locked out by unions or education we don't recognize, or lack of Canadian experience," he said. "So they clean our offices and hotels and universities, drive our taxis and cook our meals."
If they ask for "Canadian experience" it's just code words for "not hiring". If you think about it "Canadian experience" is vacuous and it doesn't mean anything. Also, if businesses are hungering for skilled workers then why are they not hiring them? Can unions, lack of education, and the nonsensical "Canadian experience" excuse really be the reason? Or is it that Canada is importing too many immigrants than it actually needs?
The income gap in Canada has been widening for a quarter century, according to the census.
Of course other factors are at play but, incidentally, Canada's recent experiment with mass immigration was initiated about a quarter of a century ago. Now, be a good Torontonian and just stick your head back in the sand and pretend there's no relation.
Between 1980 and 2005, median earnings for the top 20 per cent of full-time, full-year earners in Canada increased by 16.4 per cent. By contrast, median earnings in the bottom one-fifth fell 20.6 per cent. Meanwhile, median earnings of those in the middle stagnated, inching from $41,348 in 1980 to just $41,401 when calculated in 2005 dollars.
Recent immigrant men with employment income in 1980 earned 85 cents for each dollar earned by Canadian-born men. But by 2005, the ratio had dropped to 63 cents. It was even worse for recent immigrant women, whose corresponding earnings were 85 cents and 56 cents, respectively.
In Toronto, middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing, while rich and poor neighbourhoods continue to grow, said Hulchanski, who has tracked Statistics Canada income data for the GTA since 1970.
Since 2000 in the city of Toronto, only the very top and the very bottom income categories grew, he said. As a result, the city has more wealthy neighbourhoods, fewer middle-income areas, and more very poor neighbourhoods.
For the 905, only the two bottom income categories grew. It has about the same number of wealthy neighbourhoods, a decline in middle-income neighbourhoods and more growth in poorer neighbourhoods since 2000, he said.
According to the census many immigrants are moving to the 905 area, an area outside of Toronto so-called because of the area code (in Toronto the area code is 416). The settlement of immigrants into the 905 area was inexplicably hailed as a good thing but it seems poverty has followed them.
Here's another article from the same edition of the Toronto Star. You'll notice how everything is to blame except mass immigration.
Gap between rich, poor widens
Global forces have hurt economy, but governments have made things worse, critics say
May 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Urban Affairs Reporter
While profound global economic forces over the past generation have impacted the GTA economy, social policy analysts and anti-poverty campaigners say governments have exacerbated the income divide between rich and poor.
From slashing taxes and punching holes in the social safety net to making it harder for professional immigrants to get work in their field of expertise, they say decisions at Queen's Park and in Ottawa have meant that low and middle-income earners have largely missed out on the benefits of a period of sustained economic growth.
Yalnizyan and others said free trade deals and increasing globalization have lead to a dramatic loss in lower-skilled manufacturing jobs across the GTA over much of the past 20 years. And, in place of those well-paid positions with benefits is a higher percentage of lower-salaried service industry ones and part-time work with few benefits or job security.
At the same time as there's been no replacement for those good-paying jobs, Lankin and others note there's been a reduction in social programs from both senior levels of government, increasing the divide.
From free trade deals and World Trade Organization negotiations that failed to better protect our manufacturing sector to the contracting out of government jobs and weakening of union protection, Cartwright said, "middle-wage jobs have become poverty-wage jobs."
And, he said, given that immigrants will drive future labour force growth in the GTA, it's particularly frustrating that they're still finding it difficult "getting traction" because of questions over their foreign credentials and certification.
Notice the contradictions? If you didn't I'll point them out. The gentleman quoted, which it seems this article is just a vehicle to voice his one sided opinion, said that, basically, good paying manufacturing jobs have been disappearing for the past 20 years and are being replaced with lower salaried service industry jobs and part time employment. Then he said that professional immigrants are having a hard time getting traction becuase of some alleged failure on the part of the business community to recognize their credentials. The real question is to what jobs are these professional immigrants immigrating to if "middle wage jobs" are being replaced with "poverty wage jobs"?
Canada is adopting what Noam Chomsky (this is where all the lefties stop to genuflect) refers to as the third world model and if that is the aim than you're going to need third world immigrants to do it. The Toronto Star's David Olive, in this article sees the United States "becoming the world's richest Third World nation" and thinks Canada may follow.
Mass immigration is driving poverty rates. This is a fact that needs to be acknowledged if anything is to be done about. Immigrants are being imported to be exploited in low paying service industry jobs. They are not being imported to fill unfilled highly paid and high skilled jobs. There are enough Canadians to go around for that. One or two immigrants may find work in their field and then are deceptively paraded around as though they are the trend when in fact they are more the exception than the rule. If we are to seriously tackle poverty in this country we must reduce immigrant numbers as one of several factors. If we don't then we will just compound poverty upon poverty, ever increasing the social ills that come with it.
The third world is not a very pleasant place. Why turn portions of Canada into it?
Mass immigration is creating poverty: the Muslim example.