Saturday, 20 December 2008

Economic Downturn A Test To The Legitimacy And Necessity Of Imported Temporary Foreign Workers.

With the economic downturn the call for temporary foreign workers in Canada will be dubious if it wasn't already. With a majority of Canadians already opposed to the foreign worker program it will be a tougher sell when thousands of jobs are being lost including those being performed by imported temporary labourers as brought to our attention by this Toronto Star report.

Imported workers face uncertainty

A growing number of temporary foreign labourers now jobless, vulnerable in recession
Dec 17, 2008 04:30 AM
Nicholas Keung
IMMIGRATION/DIVERSITY REPORTER


The sudden layoffs of 70 imported labourers at an Ontario mushroom farm this month highlights the precarious future for a growing pool of unemployed temporary foreign workers as the economy plunges into recession.

The federal program, massively expanded in the past two years, was designed to import workers on a temporary basis in response to labour shortages and an ever-changing labour market. There are now more than 300,000 temporary foreign workers in the country.

[...]

Many don't speak English well, are unaware of their labour rights, and could become further exploited in low-wage jobs or disappear underground.

Experts are calling on the government to halt the program immediately until it comes up with a contingency plan on what to do with the workers already here and facing unforeseen hardship.

Not only should the program be halted immediately but Canada may want to halt all immigration into the country as well.

An unprecedented number of foreign workers have arrived in recent years – 103,400 in 2003 to 165,198 last year. The number is expected to surpass that in 2008. Half are in technical and skilled trades, lower-skilled clerical and labour jobs, including farm workers and nannies.

To date, the federal government has not come up with a plan on what to do with temporary foreign workers in the event of a slowdown and layoffs. Nor is there an "exit control" scheme to ensure the workers' departure when their time is up in the country.

A gentleman associated with the U.S. based Center for Immigration Studies remarked that "there is nothing more permanent than a temporary worker". Though these individuals are only in Canada on a temporary basis if trends are any indication (migrant Hispanic workers in the U.S., Caribbean and South Asian "temp workers" in post war Britain, Moroccan and Algerian "temp" labour in post war France) many of them will not leave the country and the fact that the Canadian government has no "'exit control' scheme" nor a plan on what to do with these individuals in an economic slowdown further cements this likelihood. If the number of temporary foreign workers lingering in Canada becomes too large to handle I predict a general amnesty will be granted which is why we need to bring the temp foreign worker program under control now.

However, here's the paragraph in the report we need to pay closest attention to:

"The pressure is on the federal government to cap the size of the temporary foreign worker program," said University of Victoria labour law professor Judy Fudge, an expert on migrant workers and law. "This will be a big year ... testing the legitimacy of the program. How can an employer say they don't have the people to do the job?" she asked. "If the number of foreign workers remains strong despite the slowing economy, it'd show that Canadian employers are simply addicted to low-paid workers without rights."

The importation and use of temporary foreign workers in Canada is a double edged sword. Not only is it the abuse of the desperation of those living in the developing world it is also an assault on the wages of Canadians and their standard of living. In effect, the immigrant's pursuit of a "better life" in Canada means the imposition of a "worse life" for a Canadian.

If Canada maintains it current regime of high immigration numbers complimented with the steady importation of temporary foreign workers during a recessionary period touted as the worst in the post war era it will just prove how sacrosanct the program is and how it has become divorced from serving the real needs of Canada and Canadians. It is immigration for immigration's sake; to employ those in the immigration industry with a steady and ever increasing stream of clientele; to keep wages down and party contributions from the business community up; to pander to ethnic voting blocs and satisfy their neo-colonial aspirations by assuring them that the steady influx of their countrymen will continue unabated, further cementing their permanence, prevalence, and perhaps dominance in Canadian society.

In the end, of course, it is Canadians who will end of sacrificing the most, even losing their country.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Opportunism Or Conviction, Iranian Immigrant Actively Seeks Dissolution Of Canada.

Remember when erstwhile Parti Québécois Leader Jacques Parizeau blamed the "ethnic vote", along with money, for defeating Quebec's chance at separating from Canada in the last sovereignty referendum? Well, it looks like he can count of them after all.

Amir Khadir was elected to Quebec's national assembly in the recent provincial elections and he is the only elected official to represent the leftist and soverigntist party Quebec Solidaire in the provincial legislature. Also, he ran federally for the seperatist Bloc Québécois party in the 2000 federal election. Did I mention he is an immigrant from Iran?

This just may be political opportunism. He may be satisfying his personal ambitions by abusing the prevailing political mood in the province. Or it actually may be conviction to the cause. Whatever the case is, with immigrants like Amir Khadir who needs sovereigntists?

One thing I would like to ask Mr. Khadir? Would he have a problem with someone like myself promoting the dissolution of Iran? Didn't think so!

It's nice to see Canada can count on its immigrant population to "stand on guard for thee". As for the citizenship ceremony, we can all understand it is just some perfunctory step between an immigrant and his or her Canadian passport and full entitlement to all Canada has to offer. How seriously they take the citizenship oath is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Ontario May Lose 517,000 Jobs In Five Years, Almost Equivalent To The Number Of Immigrants To The Province Over The Same Period.

The lost 517,000 jobs number is derived from a worst case scenario if the Detroit Three (Ford, GM, Chrysler LLC) went out business. I think at least one will be allowed to survive for the sake of American pride and the U.S. economy and if I had to guess which one it will be GM (conversely if anyone will fail it will probably be Chrysler LLC). It is the largest of the three employing the most people. Also because my guess, anyone's actually, is almost as good as any Economist's or Senior Market analyst's at any Bank or financial institution because it really is all guess work isn't it? When it comes to market projections it seems the so called "experts" don't really know what they are doing or what is going on. If they did we wouldn't be in this mess now would we becuase they would have seen it coming and steer us in the direction to avoid the economic ice burg. But I digress.

Read the bad news here care of the Toronto Star.

517,000 Ontario jobs at risk

If Big Three automakers go out of business, the entire economy will be devastated, report says
Robert Benzie and Rob Ferguson

Queen's Park Bureau
Dec 16, 2008


Ontario would lose 517,000 jobs within five years if the Big Three automakers went out of business, according to a new provincial report obtained by the Star.

The review, prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development and to be released today, warns the collapse of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler would send lasting shock waves through the economy.

If auto output by U.S.-based manufacturers in Canada were cut in half, at least 157,400 jobs would be lost right away, 141,000 of them in Ontario. By 2014, job losses would rise to 296,000 nationally, including 269,000 here.

If production were to cease completely, 323,000 jobs would be lost immediately in Canada, including 281,800 in this province, rising to 582,000 nationally and 517,000 in Ontario by 2014.


[...]

"This report suggests that even under a scenario where half the auto sector is lost, our economy (in Ontario) basically craters and brings the whole rest of the (Canadian) economy with it," Bryant said.

The damage would extend well beyond the auto and related parts industries to housing and a broad range of consumer spending, said Jayson Myers, an economist who is president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

[...]

Nor could Japanese-based automakers like Toyota and Honda, which already build cars and trucks in Ontario, be expected to fill the void left by GM, Ford and Chrysler.

If Ontario does lose 517,000 over five years (582,000 nation wide) that number is almost equivalent to the number of immigrants who will settle in the province over the same time period. Ontario will be increasing its working population in tandem with a decrease in the number of jobs available in the labour market. Essentially we we will be importing unemployment.

Which reminds me. Remember last year or maybe a year and a half ago or was it two years ago that we were told that we needed more immigrants, particularly non-English speaking illegal immigration from Portugal, to fill vacancies in the construction industry? It's turning out we really don't need them that desperately anymore. Predictably, like the dot come bubble Toronto's condo boom is heading for a bust.

By the end of September, there were 33,919 condos under construction in the Toronto metropolitan area – more than three times the city's annual average – said economist Will Dunning in a report on the rental and condo markets.

"This very large pending inventory is setting the stage for a substantial correction," Dunning said in an interview yesterday.

The warning comes on the heels of figures yesterday showing sales of existing homes in Canada continued to slide in the year's fourth quarter. Declines were steep amid the lowest level of monthly activity in almost eight years as investors worry about the faltering Canadian economy.

"In the short term, condos are the most vulnerable aspect of the market," said CIBC World Markets senior economist Benjamin Tal. "I think there is a lot of oversupply, especially in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver."

Already, some prominent developers have warned some condo projects being marketed may not make it to completion. In a tight credit market, as falling sales hit the new home market, speculators and investors take cover.

[...]

"It appears that this process – excess supply in the condo sector and owners acting to sell the units – may be underway already."

The above story can be read in the "Gee, I didn't see that coming" section of the Toronto Star. (Market analysts with Economics PhDs, what would the world do without them?) I remember in the midst of the dot com bubble Canadians were being told that we needed more immigration to fill projected, meaning assumed, vacancies in the IT sector. Now an IT specialist from India can't get arrested in this town yet we still hear calls for more immigration. After the dot com bust it was the condo boom. What's next?

Doom and gloom economic projections are just as reliable as bullish market forecasts. Neither may come to pass becuase like I said it is all guess work.

What is clear now more then ever is that Canada has to reduce its immigration intake, if the country is unwilling to halt all immigration to the country temporarily, to weather the economic downturn. It is only fair to Canadian workers and their families. To continue to allow an unacceptably high number of immigrants into the country especially in these dire economic times smacks of indifference to the plight of many hard working Canadians. It is a direct assault on their standard of living and their national birthright. I cannot see how one could still say the nation needs to import so many people when laid off Canadians can be retrained to fill vacancies in other sectors of the economy. Allowing so many people from outside the country to settle in Canada at this time can only make the situation worse.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Canada Should Halt All Immigration In These Uncertain Economic Times.

Trying to get Canada to reduce its immigration intake is one of the main reasons why I established and maintain this blog. I am not particularly fond of blogging but since there is little discussion allowed about immigration, aside from state approved discourse, I feel compelled to do something. And any reduction, even a small one, is a step in the right direction.

Given the trying economic situation Canada and much of the industrialized world finds itself in I have to modify my position, albeit temporarily, and say that Canada should halt all immigration into the country (genuine refugee cases notwithstanding). I do not support a total ban on all immigration but desperate times require desperate measures and a stoppage on all immigration into the country, at least for the foreseeable future, is what Canadian workers need right now.

Much has been printed of late about the consequences of the economic downturn, often described as the worst since the Great Depression, that makes me feel that more immigrants into the country is not what we need right now and will only make things worse. Below are a collection of articles that should persuade anybody to my reasoning. And if you consider a temporary moratorium on all immigration into Canada as a bit extreme then surely a decrease in the numbers is warranted.

Ontario has long been considered the economic engine of the nation and the prime destination for almost half of all immigrants into the country. So what is to become of the nation if the manufacturing power house goes out of business? Such is the grim prospect as Ontario faces "have not" provincial status. Ontario's prosperity relied heavily on the auto industry but North America's "Detroit Three" are seeking a (U.S.)$25 billion dollar bailout to stave bankruptcy. In response every assembly plant in Ontario is facing cuts. Oshawa, Ontario is home to many auto workers and that city recently experienced a 96.4% spike in EI claims.

The housing sector of Ontario is also on shaky ground. It has been credited for "pulling the Toronto area out of the previous recession" but "can't be counted on to be an engine of growth as the economy stumbles."

According to Statistics Canada 71,000 jobs were eliminated in November, the largest monthly net loss in 26 years and pushing the nation's jobless rate to 6.3 per cent. Off those 71,000 lost jobs 66,000 were in Ontario pushing the province's unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent.
And this likely won't be the end of gloomy unemployment reports. With Canada's economy poised to contract, said CIBC World Markets economist Krishen Rangasamy, "things will certainly get worse before they get better." He sees the unemployment rate "creeping up steadily toward 7 per cent," with another 100,000 job losses expected over the next few months.

Since peaking in 2002, according to the report, Canada has shed 388,000 manufacturing positions. Since 2005 Ontario has lost 190,400 manufacturing jobs, a number that should be compared to the yearly intake of about 150,000 immigrants into the province. Also Canada has witnessed substantial job declines in warehousing and transportation. What is pertinent to point out here is that these jobs were the life lines keeping low skilled Canadians and new immigrants above the poverty line. And now what do new immigrants have to look forward to? Retail sales jobs? Fast food counter help? Domestics? Temporary and contract work?

So what is someone living in Ontario to do? To which province can we look to as an excuse to justify importing 260,000+ immigrants and an equal number of foreign workers into Canada? Booming Saskatchewan whose premier was in Ontario this year trying to attract immigrants to his province to fill job vacancies, jobs that he said most of which the immigrants were overqualified for? (This, you understand, means his province needs workers to fill vacancies in low paid service jobs). Should we look to Alberta, a province that was humbled by having to readjust its budget surplus to (CDN)$2 billion down from an $8.5 billion dollar estimate? An oil rich province having to deal with oil prices below (U.S.)$45 and where some projects are being put on hold? A province experiencing layoffs in construction as housing starts fall?

If you are looking for work or if you are a potential immigrant investigating Canada then I suggest you move to Mexico for that's where many of Canada's jobs are disappearing to. These are jobs that once paid $18 an hour in Canada are now being performed at $2 an hour in Mexico. And, as well paying Canadian and American jobs are being exported to Mexico as a return gesture Mexico is exporting its surplus labour north of the Rio Grande afflicting a double whammy on Canadian and American workers.

The reality many Canadian now face is not very pleasant. It is one full of uncertainty with little guarantee that even playing by the rules will get you anywhere as outlined in this Toronto Star report. University educated the woman described has been a contract worker for nine years with no stable job prospects. How many times this story is repeated across the country is anyone's guess but keep in mind that it is estimated that a third of all jobs in Canada now are temporary and contract work. How are Canadians supposed to rear a family if they are barely able to support themselves.

The consequences of this is an unstable society, one divided by rich and poor and increasingly the signs of poverty are being born by immigrants. The 905 area that rings Toronto (so called by its telephone area code) has seen child poverty soar. I'm sure the fact that the 905 area has also witnessed a likewise increase of its immigrant population (not to mention crime rates and gang activity) is purely coincidental. I'm also certain that the increases in poverty rates in Toronto have nothing to do with the fact that much of these increases rose with Toronto's immigration population and can be witnessed in immigrant heavy neighbourhoods.

Canada, for the sake of ethnic block votes and to keep those in the immigration industry happily employed, may have imported a superfluous population, a "reserve army of the unemployed". This Toronto Star report though spun as a sob story shows what is wrong with the system. The couple described worked for auto parts supplier Progressive Moulded Products. The company employed mostly immigrants. Why it couldn't find Canadian workers is beyond me since it paid a decent wage. But that doesn't matter now since the company had to close. Such is the business cycle and people losing their jobs happens. But most of those employed were immigrants who have a poor command of the English language. (In a related note the Sri Lankan woman in the child poverty link above cannot speak English at all and needed a translator). Fluency in either of Canada's official languages is key to success in this country yet we seem to be bringing in people who cannot speak either. How that Indian family got into the country with poor language skills should raise questions. The most likely answer is that they were sponsored by relatives. In the case of the Sri Lankan woman she is probable a refugee. In both classes of immigrants the applicant does not need to speak a word of English. And the fact that the couple were able to reside in the country for so long without having to learn or speak much English is troublesome.

The real problem facing immigrants is jobs and the truth is Canada is bringing in immigrants for whom there are no jobs waiting. That is to say jobs in their related fields. That appears to be the sentiment behind this Toronto Star report. The immigrants highlighted in it speak of a fear of bringing in more skilled immigrants because they know that the job market is fierce in Canada which is especially so for newcomers. After all, Canada has the highest educated workforce in the industrialized world.
They also describe a new reality not factored in: fierce competition from Canadians who are far better educated than a generation ago.

Full-time university undergraduate enrolment has grown from 69,000 students in the mid-1950s to over 600,000 today – when the population only doubled.


The changes to the system, which were legislated this summer, place a heavier emphasis on jobs skills.

After sending out five to 15 resumes a day, every day for two years, she realized she wasn't going to find a job as a graphic designer, despite a degree from the University of Tehran and 12 years experience.

"Toronto has the biggest population of graphic designers in Canada. And companies now think they have the software, so they can do design themselves."

[...]

"We didn't have much, ... but Canada was very different then," said Chakraborti, 60, who lives in Vaughan. "Earlier immigrants certainly faced the same difficulties as the next ones who came, but the job market has also become so much more competitive."

[...]

"You hear stories (in the Philippines) about how nurses make $50 an hour (in Canada), when it's the exact opposite. Nurses work as caregivers, professionals are working in factories."

In this Toronto Star report on Ottawa's poaching list, er I mean shopping list for foreign trained immigrants, a member of the Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering states that of its 1,820 members "60 per cent are underemployed or underutilized in Canada."
"You can't keep bringing people into the country you aren't going to employ," said Bambrah. "Not only are they forced to go on to welfare, so they are a burden on society, but it's also that you are killing all their creativity," she said. "You have to go back and ask what is the focus of your immigration policy, and why are you particularly targeting these people?"

Adding to this we read that more Ontarians are turning to food banks, crisis looms in welfare rolls, 30 per cent of Toronto Families live in poverty, and of a warning from the Bank of Canada that many Canadians may lose their homes.

Now tell me, anyone who is reading this, why Canada should continue to bring in so many immigrants especially in a time like this? Please tell me. I'm so depressed right now from writing the above I could use a good laugh.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Somalis In Canada Help To Bankroll Pirates In Somalia For A Cut Of The Action.

Somalis, like Sri Lankan Tamils and other post Singh Decision refugee communities, fully abused the most lax and gullible refugee system in the world to their advantage. That's why Canada has one of the largest Somali communities in the world outside of Somalia. And now members of this community, numbering at some 200,000 probably more, are complicitly funding Somali pirates for a cut of the take. Here is the Toronto Star article.

Somali pirates get help from expats in Canada

Cut of ransom ends up in North America via money-wiring services
Dec 11, 2008 04:30 AM


MOGADISHU–A dramatic spike in piracy in African waters this year is backed by an international network of mostly Somali expatriates stretching as far as Canada, say law enforcement officials, researchers and the pirates themselves.

The expatriates, including reputedly some among the 200,000 Somalis living in Canada, offer funds, equipment and information in exchange for a cut of the ransoms, according to those familiar with the phenomenon.

With help from the network, Somali pirates have brought in at least $30 million (U.S.) in ransom so far this year, they say.

[...]

Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Centre, an organization based in St. Paul, Minn., with ties to Toronto, says the network is "an open secret within the (Somali) community."

"We know the money flows through the east coast of the Gulf of Aden to Mogadishu, and eventually ends up in North America through money-wiring services," he told the Star's Nick Aveling.

The RCMP was unavailable for comment when contacted last night.

The deals with "investors" appear to be fairly informal, with family or clan networks stretching overseas.

Most refugees to Canada nowadays are the mobile middle and upper classes of the developing world because it costs money to travel to Canada to make a refugee claim and these people have access to the funds to do it. Somalis are no exception. When we thought we were providing refuge to a desperate and war weary people of the conflict stricken Somalia we were most likely providing a life line to the people and their relatives responsible for starting the civil war and for Somalia's inability to organize a stable government. It was no accident that Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed's second wife, Khagida Gurhan, and four of his children were living in Canada and on welfare in London, Ontario. I deeply suspect that many of the Somalis that Canada granted refuge to and eventual citizenship have clan and family ties to warlord leaders in Somalia.

The above story only further cements my suspicions. Who else would have the contacts to the pirates to send them funds in exchange for a return on their "investment." What's more disconcerting is that the Canadian tax payer is unwittingly supporting the Somali pirates because the Somali community in Canada is still dependent on welfare payments to a certain extent. So it goes like this. Canadians give their money to support the families of Somali warlords living in Canada who then send this money to Somalia to not only fund the conflict but to support the operations of the Somali pirates. Now not all Somalis living in Canada are doing this but it has to be a significant number if Canada is singled out in the Associated Press release.

I don't know how the RCMP is going to approach this if the allegations in the story are true. If they are then charges should be laid and deportations ordered if a connection to the pirates can be established but that may be a lot harder then it sounds so I expect nothing will be done.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Recommended Reading.

It's been a while since I updated this blog but I should because it has never been more important to get the word out to lower immigration targets if not temporarily stop all immigration to Canada outright since we may be in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (and here's to hoping it won't last long).

But here is a post I wanted to do for a while. I list the books that "converted" me, if you will, from once indifference and casual acceptance of multiculturalism and mass immigration to reformer. This is to bring to the attention of anyone reading this of the existence of these books if knowledge of these books wasn't previously known. They are not racist in any fashion, are well thought out, are not surrendered to rhetoric, and are compelling in their arguments. If any warning should be given it is this: they may make you angry!

"Betrayal and Deceit: The Politics of Canadian Immigration" by Charles M. Campbell.

Campbell's book is a must read for any immigration reformer. And if you are not an immigration reformer it will make you into one. If it doesn't it's probably because you are an immigration lawyer (or immigration consultant or anyone promoting the neo-colonization of Canada).

"Who Gets In: What's Wrong With Canada's Immigration Program - and How To Fix It" by Daniel Stoffman.

This is another necessary read for anyone wondering why Canada's immigration system is not working. Here is a Globe and Mail review of the book.

"Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada" by Neil Bissoondath.

This book is a critique of multiculturalism and what it is doing to Canada. What makes this book problematic for multiculturalism proponents is that the author is non-white and is an immigrant from Trinidad thus depriving them of the opportunity to dismiss the books attacks by accusing the author of being a racist. So Mr. Bissoondath is best ignored by them then acknowledged.

"Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism Around the World" by Stewart Bell.

This book illustrates how Canada's immigration system, particularly its lax and gullible refugee stream, has been abused by terrorist groups like the LTTE (or Tamil Tigers) and how they have made Canada a funding base for their operations often with the soft support of expat refugee communities.

You can either purchase these books or, I am certain, these books can be found in your library system. If you have not read them then read them.

There are other books I know of but I haven't read them so I don't know what to say. Perhaps I'll just get a list going of material on the subject of immigration reform whether I have read them or not just of the sake of compiling a list for research purposes.

Added on Saturday, March 7, 2009.

The Truth About Immigration : Exposing the Economic and Humanitarian Myths by Mike Taylor.

Here is a quote from Amazon's product desription:

The only way to eliminate illegal immigration is to alleviate the world poverty that generates it. Right now, western leaders plot enforcement policy as if there was little or no connection between world poverty and illegal immigration. They drag their feet on cancelling insurmountable third world debt while continuing to pump billions into stopgap enforcement measures. They view the problem as a police action and blame the human smugglers, when it is actually a problem they help create with their own elite selection criteria. We are no longer a sanctuary for the world's poor and huddled masses -- we now criminalize them, targeting the best and throwing back the rest.

The west has the wealth, technology and resources to drastically reduce world poverty if it wanted. Why doesn't it? Because, bottom line, in doing so it would destroy its competitive advantage in the global economy. If all people had a decent standard of living, how many would come to fill our 'skills shortages' and help sustain our population and labour force levels? How many multinational corporations would be able to exploit cheaper labour and lower taxes in less developed countries? Not many, in either case, because the enabling poverty would no longer exist. But we would still make do. The sky will not fall when the boomers leave the labour force any more than it fell when they entered it -- the market adjusts.

The Effects of Mass Immigration by The Fraser Institute.

You can read this online for free here or download it here. You can buy it here.

"Mayday! Mayday! Curb Immigration. Stop multiculturalism. Or it’s the end of the Canada we know! by Lowell Green.

The title says it all.