Sunday, 20 September 2009

You Cannot Fight Poverty If You Keep Importing It.

Some recent labour market data was released which should give cause for concern for Canada and its policy makers in Ottawa.

This first is a labour market survey. From it we learn:

Ontario saw a slight gain in the number of people working in August even though 23,000 full-time jobs disappeared, according to the latest Statistics Canada numbers.

The decline in full-time employment was offset by the addition of almost 36,000 part-time jobs.

However, the unemployment rate nudged up to 9.4 per cent from 9.3 per cent as the province's population and labour force both grew (the rate hit 9.6 per cent in June). Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 8.7 per cent from 8.6 per cent.

The slight gain in the number of jobs is the second straight month of increases. "Despite these gains, employment in Ontario has declined by 207,000 (-3.1 per cent) since last October," Statistics Canada wrote Friday.


Some believe the period of economic contraction that began last October ended in June, and that the economy is poised to start growing again. However, economists caution that employment growth usually lags economic growth as companies try to put off hiring decisions.

It appears that a concerning amount of this job growth is driven by part-time work and self employment. As for the manufacturing sector some of these jobs may be gone for good leaving what to fill the void?

We also learned that more women than men are active in the labour force. This isn't good news because this shift was caused by the loss of good paying jobs that were performed mostly by men. It is not surprising that the Toronto Star missed this critical point. Instead it spun this news with a feminist slant using the often abused statistic that "the average full-time, full-year female worker still earns just 71.4 cents for every dollar earned by a man working similar hours". What is always ignored is that women are concentrated in lower paid work in greater numbers than men. Men working in those fields dominated by women are paid the same and vice versa. Pay equality, for the most part, exists but it is not ideologically advantageous to say this.

With that said, this shift illustrates that the labour market has changed (forever or for the time being?) to one characterized by lower paying jobs. It has little to do with labour market equality.

The OECD doesn't paint a prettier picture. It reports that unemployment in Canada will reach a post-war high "over the next year to almost 10 per cent, despite the federal government's stimulus package and global signs that the great recession seems to be ending".

"There are growing signs that the worst may be over and that a recovery may be in sight," the report noted. "But the short-term employment outlook is grim."

For Canada, employment peaked in October 2008, but has since dropped off by more than 486,000 full-time jobs, many of them in Ontario's hard-hit manufacturing sector.


The report warned, however, that if its forecasts about the current recession are accurate, job loss could go on to be worse than Canada's recession of the early 90s. It also noted that job loss has been particularly acute among young adults (aged 15-24), with an unemployment rate of 16.3 per cent, about double the adult rate.

"Even if the unemployment rate has already peaked, Canada's labour market typically takes a long time to recover from recessions," the report says. "The unemployment rate in the early 1990s recession peaked in early 1993, but did not drop below its prerecession level again until almost eight years later."

The OECD is predicting a long jobless recovery for Canada. Facing these economic forecasts it is best to dramatically cut immigration targets. Failing that Canada will be in a bad position to tackle poverty and will indeed be contributing to it. But don't expect any help from Canada's anti-poverty activists. They are as stupid and inept as Canada's environmentalists are and you cannot get any stupider than that. I say this because both activist groups refuse to address the core cause of their respective concerns which is mass immigration. It is mass immigration that is frustrating environmentalists efforts to protect Canada's arable land and green spaces. It is mass immigration that is contributing to increasing poverty numbers.

Here is a Toronto Star report on homelessness. The article informs us that:
The number of homeless families has been on the rise in Toronto since the 1990s, says Michael Shapcott, director of affordable housing and social innovation at the Wellesley Institute, adding the problem is partly due to cuts to affordable housing funding by both Ottawa and Queen's Park.


In April, there were 1,143 families in Toronto homeless shelters, a 4 per cent increase from a year earlier, Shapcott says, citing city figures. Studies from other Canadian cities show that for every family in a shelter there are three or four "hidden" families living in poverty and uncertainty.

Shapcott says 30,000 Toronto households face eviction on an annual basis. At the end of August there were 70,174 families on the waiting list for affordable housing in Toronto, the highest number yet, and only 538 new families were housed in August.

Note the solution to the problem would be for the provincial and federal government to increase funding to social housing. This wouldn't be necessary if Canada didn't import poverty on a yearly basis in the first place. Take any social housing community at random in the city of Toronto and read the directory of names and observe who lives there. If there is a shortage of social and affordable housing it is because Canada caused it by bringing in too many people, more than the country needs.

Taking landed immigrants, refugees, and temporary foreign workers as a whole Canada imports close to half a million people each year. Is now a good time to be introducing so many people into Canada's labour market? Is there really enough good paying jobs for these people? Do they even have the skills to perform them? How can we fight poverty if any gains made is negated by succeeding waves of immigrants?

You cannot protect Canada's poor without addressing mass immigration. If we are serious about eradicating poverty in Canada then we need to challenge Canada's immigrant intake numbers. You cannot cure an illness without treating its causes and right now in Ottawa there is no political will to lower immigration targets even in the current uncertain economic climate.

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