Friday, 12 September 2008

Make immigration an election issue!

Because no one else will. This is up at Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.

Immigration must be an election issue
Ambassador James Bissett
Wednesday, 10 September 2008


In his September 6 column in the National Post, Robert Fulford wrote that the forthcoming election was one that was “going nowhere.” One of the reasons it may be going nowhere is because some of the most important issues facing Canada are not going to be discussed. One of the most critical of these is immigration. Canada is facing an immigration crisis but immigration policy will not be on the agenda of any of the political parties.

In the so-called “ethnic ridings” each of the parties will promise to keep immigration levels high and will repeat the myth that we need immigration to combat our aging population and keep the economy growing by supplying desperately needed skilled workers for our labour force. Most economists in Canada and elsewhere have concluded that immigration does little to enhance the economy and that immigrants cost more in the benefits they receive than in the taxes they contribute. However, our politicians are not concerned about facts – they are concerned about votes and see every new immigrant as a potential voter. What counts for our politicians is numbers.

[...]

Canadians are led to believe that most of the immigrants and temporary workers are selected because they have skills, education and training that will enable them to contribute to our (and their) economic welfare. The fact is that only about 17% of our immigration intake is selected for economic reasons. The remaining 83% come to Canada because they have been sponsored by their relatives or because they are refugees, or there are humanitarian reasons for admitting them. It’s little wonder then that 51% of those immigrants who have landed since the early 1990’s are living below the poverty line.

His stated figure of 17% of immigrants enter Canada for economic purposes is the lowest I have seen so far. The highest is around 25% so it is safe to say that 17-25% of all immigrants enter Canada via the economic class. When we factor in immediate family members to that number (wife and dependent children of the successful economic immigrant applicant) the figure jumps. Thus, officially the government and mass immigration advocates can say that half of all immigrants enter Canada through the economic class but you have to be aware that the spouse and any children are included in those numbers. So, strictly speaking, it is a lie to say that half of all immigrants to Canada are here for economic reasons. The real number, as has been just pointed out, is much, much lower.

There are more effective ways of helping resolve global refugee and humanitarian problems than by immigration. Augmented developmental assistance and increased financial contributions to international refugee organizations would be more useful. More to the point, our politicians do not justify the high numbers on humanitarian grounds but tell us immigration is for the benefit of our economy and our labour force - and this is simply not true.

[...]

Canadians are known to have one of the largest ecological footprints of any country in the world and every immigrant who enters Canada from Asia within several months acquires a similar size footprint as the average Canadian. The extraordinary high levels of immigration since the early 1990’s destined to Canada’s three major urban centres of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, have caused serious environmental problems: traffic congestion, garbage disposal, escalating health, education and social welfare costs, as well as rising crime rates. Sadly, the stress on an already eroding infrastructure caused by massive immigration is a subject that cannot be discussed because of an ideological hang up about multiculturalism and diversity which for some reason now symbolizes the twin pillars of the new Canadian identity.

If you get the opportunity to attend a candidates meeting then press the immigration issue but arm yourself with the facts first. Never ask a question you don't know the answer to. You can safely assume that the candidates, or your MP, are totally ignorant of the reality of Canada's "immigration crisis" and you can easily dumbfound them when presented with information gleaned from this blog and elsewhere. Believe me, I have first hand experience with this. They will spew the same tired rhetoric that is so easily refutable.

If questioning the candidates or your MP is a daunting proposition then challenge the assumptions whenever they arise in conversation with your family, friends, neighbours, or co-workers. The point is to get the word out and get people thinking and let them know that it is okay to criticize Canada's immigration policy openly but do it with civility and compassion. This is our country. We have a say in how it is to be governed and it is our right to openly disagree with issues that are affecting the society and country we live in.

Also, out of blogger courtesy I give a nod to five feet of fury which is where I poached the above link from, among others, and will probably not be the last. It's because Kathy Shaidle is a much better blogger than I could ever be. See for yourself and check out her blog.

3 comments:

Fed-Up Canuck said...

"The remaining 83% come to Canada because they have been sponsored by their relatives or because they are refugees, or there are humanitarian reasons for admitting them. It’s little wonder then that 51% of those immigrants who have landed since the early 1990’s are living below the poverty line."

For those living below the poverty line, does this imply immigrants who receive welfare handouts courtesy of Canadian taxpayers?

Or, how about those convention refugees we pluck out of 3rd world countries by flying them out on a 747 (our cost), land them in London, Ontario to begin a lifelong dependency lifestyle!

Are Canadians aware of the fact, that each single refugee is entitled to both provincial and federal welfare payments amounting to about $3000 per month? Family units will obviously receive more than that amount of UN-earned cash, plus free dental, medical care and a horde of other benefits. How many Canadian pensioners receive anything near that amount after their life-long contributions??

Many of these Burmese, Somalian, Sudanese, etc. refugees are, for the most part, illiterate in their own countries and accustomed to living on a couple of dollars a day, yet we lavish them with free handouts as if they were visiting dignitaries befitting kings and queens. No doubt, they must feel like royalty after the reception they received, as illustrated in the above Link.

Canadians, to my knowledge, have never been informed as to what the true cost of this debilitating program is, but unofficially, I hear $5,000,000,000 (billion) annually.

Just a tiny fraction of that money could be used to take our own homeless Canadians off the street, instead of flying around the world seeking out other countries' problem cases.

PaxCanadiana said...

Canadians, to my knowledge, have never been informed as to what the true cost of this debilitating program is, but unofficially, I hear $5,000,000,000 (billion) annually.

No official figure exists but estimates do put it in the ten figure area and maybe more. On top of this immigrants remove $2 billion a year annually from Canada in the form of remittances to their other, or real, "home" country. I think it is safe to say that Canada's current immigration system is running at a net loss with little economic benefits to the vast majority of Canadians. As a matter of fact, I think a government sponsored study does exist that says that the immigration system eats up all economic benefits it is suppose to bring to the country.

Just a tiny fraction of that money could be used to take our own homeless Canadians off the street, instead of flying around the world seeking out other countries' problem cases.

You're absolutely right but the homeless don't vote. The immigration system is about politics, not policy. A truly caring and compassionate government, to say nothing of a rationale one, puts its people first yet it seems to care more about the opinions of non-citizens then it does its most vulnerable of citizens.

And imagine all the money being wasted to bring in voters that could be reinvested into the health care system. And it's our money they are doing this with. It's shameful!

Anonymous said...

This Vancouver forum has a thread on refugee welfare income, citing figures of $2470 per month which may have been true a few years ago. With everything else going up in costs, foreign refugees residing in the land of "milk & honey", will also have received a welfare increase for simply gracing us with their presence here in Canada.

How many "refugees" have entered Canada during the past 20 years, you ask? 600,000!