Sunday, 2 November 2008

Canada Needs Smarter Immigration, Not More Immigrants.

Despite a downturn in the world economy and mounting evidence that immigrants are having a tough time finding agreeable work, here in Canada, where up is down and right is left, we produce reports advocating increased immigrant numbers. The latest one was produced by the Conference Board of Canada. You can read about it here at the Toronto Star.

Economy will need more immigrants

Report says newcomers help fuel Canada's growth, but policies should make it easier for them to stay
Oct 25, 2008 04:30 AM
Nicholas Keung
Immigration/Diversity Reporter

Immigration levels in the country will have to go up significantly for future economic growth, the Conference Board of Canada reports.

To meet long-term domestic labour market needs and to remain competitive in the global search for talent Canada will have to increase its number of immigrants from the existing 250,000 to 360,000 annually by 2025.

The report highlights what should be done to meet the country's economic needs through immigration, including measures to allow the growing number of temporary foreign workers the option to become permanent residents. It also suggests increasing refugee intakes to maintain a well-balanced immigration system.


"Our policies are not just about what we want," Watt said in an interview. "Migrant workers and immigrants also have wants.

What about what Canadians want and what Canada really needs? As usual such concerns are never considered in Canada's high jacked and one sided (and non existent) immigration debate.

"Transparency about how the temporary and permanent systems actually work is crucial," cautioned the report, titled Renewing Immigration: Towards a Convergence and Consolidation of Canada's Immigration Policies and Systems, which looks at the immigration system from the perspective of Canada's economic needs.


With the increasing numbers of skilled immigrants and temporary workers, the report states refugee admissions, which have flatlined, should also be raised to meet the country's economic needs.

This report is nonsense outside of the concerns of the Conference Board's members and it reminds me of the one produced by the Royal Bank of Canada that called on Ottawa to increase immigration levels to 400,000 a year. The goals this report aims to achieve can be accomplished within the existing immigration system. All Canada has to do is make our immigration system smarter. Also, if Canada enacted policies that encouraged the natural growth rate then the nation's labour market needs can be satisfied by 2025.

It states that Canada will suffer a labour shortage in the ensuing years. How dramatic that shortage will be and its character is up in the air because no one really knows and thus such alarms are speculative (and effective in scarring a Canadian public to accept an immigration system it finds itself uncomfortable with). So, to fight this Canada needs more immigrants. Hogwash!

Only 20-25% of all immigrants to Canada are selected based on skills and labour market needs. Making up another 25% is their spouses and children. The other 50% are largely humanitarian (refugees, sponsored relatives). Therefore 75% of all immigrants to Canada do not enter the country to satisfy any particular job shortage. They are here for immigration's sake. If a looming skills shortage is on Canada's economic horizon then Canada can tweak its current immigration system to address this.

One way it can do this is to select young and single immigrants picked to relieve a particular sector of the labour market. This will eliminate excess immigration by importing spouses and children so Canada can focus squarely on labour market needs. Or it can allow immigrants with spouses and children to enter Canada along with their nuclear families and leave it there putting an end to "chain migration" via the family reunification stream which has mostly burdened Canada with unskilled workers.

Canada can modify its current immigration system so that if focuses more on importing needed workers instead of the paltry 25% of immigrants who, I might add, are having a difficult time finding jobs in their fields. By doing so Canada will not need to increase its immigration intake.

I am immediately suspicious of a report produced by a business advocacy group whose members want Canada to increase its immigration targets yet refuse to hire the immigrants already here. If the 25% of immigrants to Canada are having a difficult time now in finding related work in their fields, why does (and would) Canada need more immigrants? It's rediculous!

I think this report has more to do with increasing Canada's consumer base then it has to do with making Canada more competitive. Most consumer demand, and thus profits, are generated in the advanced industrialized societies. But these societies are dying and their consumer bases are shrinking due to an aging population coupled with a low birth rate. However the birth rates in the developing world are through the roof but these people are too poor to purchase the products made by western based companies. To keep consumer demand in the west forever increasing and buoyant it makes business sense to import consumers into a society that will enable them to consume in some fashion instead of leaving them in poorer societies where their capacity to consume is severely limited. It doesn't matter if they are on welfare or in low waged jobs they are better off here as consumers than they are in a poorer country.

The assumption is that increased consumption leads to jobs. But what if those jobs are outsourced to countries where wages are so low the workers cannot afford the products they make? Will there really be enough jobs in the future to accommodate an increased immigrant intake? I doubt it very much at least not the ones that will throw a life line to the ever shrinking middle class.

Again, read the comments to the news piece.


Pete Murphy said...

"I think this report has more to do with increasing Canada's consumer base then it has to do with making Canada more competitive."

Not only is the objective to increase the consumer base but, at the same time, to increase the labor supply, putting downward pressure on wages.

I'm an American, but Canadians face the same problems that we're encountering. Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth.

I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight other countries - India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China - as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050. The U.S. is the only developed country still experiencing third world-like population growth, most of which is due to immigration. It's absolutely imperative that our population be stabilized, and that's impossible without dramatically reining in immigration, both legal and illegal.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It's also available at

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don't know how else to inject this new perspective into the immigration debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"

Anonymous said...

Canada does need to implement "smarter immigration" by way of drastically reducing our current intake to at least the levels of the 1980s (about 88,000 per annum). It would also be wise to choose immigrants who bring forth enough intelligent brainpower to financially support themselves and less of those foreign welfare slugs who rely on our Canadian good-will to feed and house them at tax-payers expense.

Here's an older essay discussing the differences of IQ among different nations or racial grouping.

Anonymous said...

"The U.S. is the only developed country still experiencing third world-like population growth, most of which is due to immigration."

Canada and Australia also have third world-like rates of population growth, driven almost entirely by massive levels of immigration.

stella said...

well as I came across many complains and frustration regarding the canada immigration system.there are really some serious need of reform I think

Anonymous said...

Population birth decline, more foreign workers needed, immigration, keep the economy going with new people are all bullshit. The birth decline without unlimited foreign workers, immigrations would mean workers get treated and paid better due to their increasing value. The only ones benefiting from unlimited foreign workers, students, and immigration are the agencies, governments, companies, schools, and their contractors, suppliers. They get more tax sucking victims, money cows to be milked, cheap ignorant slave labour to be exploited. They don’t think the hordes of underemployed, unemployed Canadian citizens are slave labour enough. The immigration, post secondary education systems are a Ponzie Scheme scam. Read the people’s comments on, (Victoria BC Canada),,, Yahoo Answers, BBB,