More than a third of Toronto's homeless are immigrants, many falling through the cracks due to a lack of jobs and housing, says a new study, the first in Canada to look at immigration status and homelessness.
The study, led by St. Michael's Hospital, surveyed 1,189 individuals in shelters and on meal programs across the city and found that 32 per cent were immigrants; some 10 per cent had been here less than a decade. The numbers did not include refugees, undocumented migrants or those who did not speak English.
I wonder what the number would be if they did include the latter three groups.
A common characteristic of Toronto's homeless is that many of them are stricken by mental health issues as well as alcohol and drug abuse but Toronto's immigrant homeless stand out in one interesting regard.
A majority of Canadian-born homeless people in the study had high school education or less, but many homeless immigrants have vocational training, college or university education, said the article, "The Health of Homeless Immigrants," published in the November issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
"Immigrants who are homeless are very different in many ways from others who became homeless," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael's Hospital, an associate professor at the University of Toronto.
"The prevalence of alcohol and drug problems was dramatically lower among homeless immigrants. Yet, I'm somewhat surprised by the high prevalence of mental health issues among them."
Attracting the best and the brightest? It doesn't look like it. Is Canada importing poverty? You bet. A lack of jobs is what drove them to homelessness, according to the study. That being the case then why is Canada bringing in so many immigrants when clearly the nation doesn't need them? There's a reason why Canada has the best educated cab drivers in the world.
Here is a regional breakdown from where Toronto's immigrant homeless come from.
Regions of birth:
Central and South America: 47
Caribbean and Bermuda: 114
In related news Toronto is preparing for a $500 million fiscal shortfall for next year by making cuts. According to the Toronto Star "soaring welfare costs" are having a burdensome effect on the city.
Soaring welfare costs have put the City of Toronto in such "dire" financial straits that tax hikes and service reductions are virtually certain next year.
Welfare costs alone run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and Mihevc said the number of welfare cases is expected to top 100,000 next year - at least 25% higher than in 2008.
How much has immigration contributed to Toronto's "soaring welfare costs" forcing a fiscal shortfall of $500 million? Are Torontonians to expect cuts to public services for the sake of an out of control mass immigration system? Where are the alleged benefits to Canadians such immigration is said to bring?
Also, traffic volume for the city is remarkably up.
Volumes during the middle of day "are now higher than peak volumes 15 or 20 years ago," says Mike Brady, manager of Toronto Transportation Services' traffic safety unit.
This has slowed traffic down. "Travel times have gone up."
Longer commute times translate into less recreational hours. This leads to a lower quality of life.
These social problems are easily foreseen but willingly ignored. Canada has been accepting too many immigrants for too long and the costs are becoming more apparent. As long as reason is surrendered to emotionally laden rhetoric about immigration and multiculturalism nothing is going to change for the better.
Canadians didn't want this but are forced to endure it nonetheless. The "social experiment" that our country has been turned into against our will never fail even when it clearly has.