Monday, 24 August 2009

Globe And Mail Poll Reveals Overwhelming Rejection Of Multiculturalism.

My last post asked if diversity, which is to be understood as multiculturalism, is really a strength. Coincidentally a Globe and Mail weekend poll suggests overwhelming rejection of multiculturalism. The question that was asked is "Canadian policy toward immigrants should be based on what?" The results are as follows.

Integration into the mainstream: 79%

Respect for different cultures: 21%

I assume this is an online poll so take it for what it is worth but we should consider the Globe's readership demographic before we quickly dismiss it. Besides, recalling a similar poll by the Toronto Star and the polling firm Angus Reid I have little reason to doubt the results. Both polls reinforce each other and suggest a general dissatisfaction with the immigration system and rejection of multiculturalism as a social policy. The people are speaking. It's time to reform the system.

Again, a hat tip to five feet of fury and Just Right.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Diversity Is Our Strength?

Canada needs to rethink the multicultural model (or the Toronto model), indeed to do away with it outright. Thrust upon Canadians without their input or consent, to say that Canadians "welcome immigrants with open arms" and that Canadians "cherish multiculturalism" is quite a bold thing to say since it is the government who decides who and how many get into the country and who is to say that Canadians "cherish" multiculturalism anyway?

The fact that Ottawa allows in too many people into the country of great cultural, linguistic, racial, and religious variety irrespective of recent poll findings that Canadians are opposed to this doesn't by default mean Canadians "welcome immigrants with open arms". This isn't to say that Canadians oppose immigration outright but they do oppose the cultural and demographic transformations mass immigration is imposing on Canadian society and the incessant demands for accommodation that comes with it. It is more accurate to say that Canadians are suffering from accommodation fatigue then it is to say they "welcome immigrants with open arms".

State sanctioned multiculturalism enforced by immigration has moved beyond policy and into the realm of official state religion protected by "hate crime" laws and Orwellian name "Human Rights" Commissions to weed out and prosecute (persecute?) heretics. Since multiculturalism is a social re-engineering project of the elites that faces real opposition from the majority of Canadians a collection of slogans have been imagined for the purposes of indoctrinating the nation to view the multicultural "social experiment" in a favourable light. One of them is "Diversity Is Our Strength". But is it really?

Here is an article from The American titled A Smart Solution to the Diversity Dilemma that was brought to my attention via five feet of fury. The findings of political scientist Robert Putnam, who penned Bowling Alone), are mentioned and they deserve our attention. From the article:

It was not the kind of message a Harvard seminar expects to hear. Ethnic diversity causes a lot of problems, our guest speaker told us. It reduces interpersonal trust, civic engagement, and charitable giving. It causes us to disengage from society, like turtles shrinking into their shells, reducing our overall quality of life. The more diversity we experience in our lives, the less happy we are.

[...]

So how did Putnam come to conclude that ethnic diversity is so problematic? The answer begins with the notion of “social capital,” which Putnam defines in simple terms—“social networks and the associated norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness.” Social capital turns out to be an exceptionally valuable commodity. Building complex networks of friends and associates, trusting others to keep their word, and maintaining social norms and expectations all grease the wheels of business by enabling cooperation.

But the value of social capital goes well beyond economics. Many of the activities from which people draw the most deep and lasting satisfactions are stronger and more prevalent in areas with high social capital. People living in these places tend to have more friends, care more about their community, and participate more in civic causes. Where social capital is greater, Putnam says, “children grow up healthier, safer, and better educated; people live longer, happier lives; and democracy and the economy work better.”

[...]

When he spoke to my class in 2004, Putnam had started to analyze the survey data, but he had not yet published any findings. He began by telling us about one result he encountered that was thoroughly upsetting to him—the more ethnically diverse a community is, the less social capital it possesses. When a person lives in a diverse community, he trusts everyone less, including those of his own ethnic group. In describing the behavior of people in diverse areas, Putnam told us to imagine turtles hiding in their shells.

Putnam walked us through how he came to his conclusion. At first, it was just a simple correlation. Looking at his list of the most trusting places, Putnam found whole states such as New Hampshire and Montana, rural areas in West Virginia and East Tennessee, and cities such as Bismarck, North Dakota and Fremont, Michigan. Among the least trusting places were the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. The most trusting places tended to be homogenously white, while the least trusting places were highly diverse.

Putnam told us he had been fairly certain the correlation would go away once other factors were taken into account. But it didn’t. He entered a long list of control variables into regression analyses that predict elements of social capital such as neighborly trust and civic participation. Many factors—especially younger age, less education, and higher poverty and crime rates—seem to damage community relations. But none of these factors could explain the robust, negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social capital. Sounding almost defeated, Putnam told us that ethnic diversity is not merely correlated with certain community problems—it causes them.

The writer argues, albeit unconvincingly, that intelligence would steer us away from the problems of ethnic diversity, that if we selected smarter immigrants then problem solved. I don't see how that will arrest the colonizing nature of today's immigration which brings me to this Toronto Sun piece titled Beware the trend toward ethnic ghettoization.
However, the scenario unfolding across its big cities today seems to convey the impression a future Canada could be more of a compartmentalized nation.

What hits a discerning newcomer is the rapid ghettoization of cities like Toronto. Mini cities have sprung up.

[...]

If you call it diversity, that is fine. But what one sees is these ethnic groups have become self-contained communities. Their sheer numbers have obviated the need for any interaction -- economic, social and cultural -- with other ethnic groups.

The Chinese of Markham have little interaction with the Indians of Brampton or the Pakistanis of Mississauga or the Sri Lankans of Scarborough or the Somalis of Islington.

Forget about the mainstream white society. These ethnic groups have little to do with them.


As mentioned earlier, there are no compulsions for people in these ethnic enclaves to leave their comfort zones. In addition, the Canadian government has given them enough incentives to stay in their ghettos with a beautiful thing called multiculturalism.

[...]

Basically this policy says: Be the way you are, and stay in your ghetto. Bluntly speaking, it breeds isolation.

[...]

As a result, these enclaves have become self-sustained communities, with their own markets, newspapers, religious and cultural institutions. They even elect their own people to represent them in the legislatures.

With their ranks being bolstered by fresh immigrants each year, where is the need for them to step out of their ghettos?

He's right but we shouldn't confuse multiculturalism with diversity as if they are one and the same thing. Diversity can mean many things like diversity of thought for instance but multiculturalism as it is understood in the Canadian context is something other, something we can do without. The writer concludes:
Ghettoization is not a positive development for Toronto's -- and Canada's -- future. It should not be confused with diversity.

Diversity may be a strength but multiculturalism is not.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Surprise, Surprise!!! Ontario's Plan To Protect Green Spaces Being Ignored (but it never would have worked anyway).

This report from the Toronto Star informs us that the Ontario government's plan to protect its valued farm land and green spaces is being ignored by developers and municipalities in the region (I know, I'm just as surprised and shocked as you are).

Several Golden Horseshoe municipalities are bucking Ontario's ambitious sprawl-busting plan by submitting local plans that contradict its goals, says a report by the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance.

Others have slowed the process by missing a crucial deadline.

The report warns that if the government doesn't stand up to these local challenges, its internationally lauded Places to Grow plan could be derailed – leading to unchecked development, worse congestion, and a deteriorating quality of life.

The report, cheekily titled Places to Sprawl, says some big regions, such as York and Peel, missed a June deadline to finalize plans conforming to provincial guidelines. Meanwhile, councils in Durham, Niagara and Simcoe County have passed plans headed for conflict on the crucial question of how much land needs to be urbanized.

Farm land or mass immigration. Pick one because you can't have both. Canada may be a vast and largely underpopulated region (so is Africa) but only 5% to 10% of its land is arable and much it is located in southern Ontario in and around Toronto. This also happens to be where over 100,000 immigrants settle each year contributing to the provinces urban sprawl problems.

Some propose that we should tell immigrants where to settle but this is an infringement on their human right to freedom of movement. Besides, where are we going to tell them to go? Nunavut?

Other proposals are "smart growth" options that look good on paper but are unworkable in the real world because it demands that people conform to them irrespective of their free will. These proposals invariably mean maximizing existing high density areas which put crudely means staking more people on top of more people. You make this work by denying individuals choice by restricting their options to living in "maximized" (cramped) living spaces or the street. This might work for singles or one child or childless couples but for those who want a family this is simply not going to happen. Besides, for a country with a low fertility rate such as Canada's is this something to be desired, the discouragement of having children by forcing people into cramped living conditions?

I am not opposed to population growth but I am opposed to rapid population growth of the kind that southern Ontario has been subjected to. The provincial government's effort to protect valuable farm land and much cherished green spaces have been made all for naught by developers and municipal politicians, both part of the mass immigration lobby. It was all mere photo-op to appear to be doing something when in effect they are powerless to protect it against the yearly influx of over 100,000 immigrants into the region. Who do you think developers are building houses for? On what data do they base their projections on?

It's mass immigration stupid! If you want to curb urban sprawl then we have no choice but to talk about it. So far Canada's environmentalists have been useless in this regard. Aside from the obligatory finger wagging and fist pounding at the usual suspects the fuel to the motor keeps on flowing and the car keeps on running.

Besides, Canada accepts too many immigrants anyways and Canada will not be worse off if we accepted less. A lot less!

Investing In Families Is Key To Nation Building, Not Immigration.

The Toronto Star's Carol Goar has written an opinion piece about a turn around in fertility rates in most industrialized nations after 40 years of decline. The fertility rate is still below the replacement level of 2.1 children per women but it is a turn around nonetheless.

Three countries buck this trend: Japan, South Korea, and unfortunately Canada.

Canada is what statisticians call an outlier: an exception to a well-established trend.

The fertility rate in most developed countries is climbing after a 40-year drop. It is still below the population replacement level – 2.1 children per woman – but it has turned around in a way demographers never anticipated.

Three western nations are not experiencing a millennial baby boom: Canada, Japan and South Korea.

Mass immigration seems to have failed to help Canada increase its fertility rate. Indeed, StatsCan has reported that immigrant women have as few children as Canadian born women. According to the last StatsCan report on fertility rates most ethnic groups fall at or below the national average of 1.58 with Muslims and Hindus experiencing fertility rates above it. But of the children they do have in Canada it is likely they will have as few children as Canadians do now.

Has mass immigration contributed to Canada's low fertility rate? I say it has by contributing to labour market instability and job insecurity, wage and income suppression via an over supply of labour, and by discouraging the training of Canadians to meet the nation's labour market needs by relying on the cheap and easy option of immigration. These fixtures of the Canadian labour market discourage child bearing. Canada's low fertility rate, key to nation building, cannot be reversed by mass immigration.

But there is something the government can do about it.
Canada would be an ideal test case for Kohler's hypothesis because it has its own outlier: Quebec.

Since 1997, the province has implemented a panoply of measures to support women who want to be good mothers without sacrificing their careers.

They include generous parental leave, affordable child care, tax incentives for child-bearing, and employment premiums for working parents.

They appear to have worked: Twelve years ago, the province's fertility rate stood at 1.51 children per woman. Today it stands at a 30-year high of 1.72 children per woman, significantly higher than the Canadian average of 1.58.

[...]

Quebec's programs are expensive. The province will spend $6.5 billion to support families this year (45 per cent more than Ontario).

But its fertility rate is on par with those of the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Britain.

Canada spends (wastes?) billions of taxpayer dollars on immigration. Why are Canadians with their tax dollars investing so much money on importing foreign individuals when this money can be invested in Canadians by rewarding and supporting those who decide to have children?

Canada needs to dramatically reduce its immigration intake. The funds that would have been spent to service the bloated system that it is today could be redirected to support Canadian families and those who want to start families. This is the most effective way to nation building. Canada has, for most of its history, relied on a natural increase in its population, not immigration.

Canada's population is increasing today despite immigration. Were we to cut immigration off Canada's population will still continue to increase up to the year 2020 and this included emigration. The 250,000+ we import today is inadequate to stave off an eventual population decrease due to the aging demographic. For this we would have to increase Canada's immigrant intake far beyond the 250,000+ mark and we simply cannot afford it.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Former IRB Member Says Canada's Immigration And Refugee System Is 'Dysfunctional' And Needs To Be Overhauled.

I came across this Montreal Gazette piece via Crooked In Canada.

The Gazette piece was written by an experienced immigration lawyer and former Immigration and Refugee Board member and she labels the immigration and refugee system as "dysfunctional". This is pertinent since this is the opinion of an insider who knows the immigration system well and whose income is dependent on it. This is rare in the immigration industry where self serving rhetoric and unchallenged assumptions rule the day.

My complaint about the piece is that it does not go into much detail about why the system is dysfunctional and how it got there. For this a must read is Charles M. Campbell's Betrayal & deceit: The politics of Canadian immigration.

But she does ask why Canada has the highest refugee acceptance rate in the world. Here are the numbers from the article:

Due to the broad interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and efforts of refugee activists, Canada has the highest acceptance rates in the world. According to United Nations statistics, in 2003 acceptance rates were: Canada 49.6 per cent, U.S. 32 per cent, Italy 16.3 per cent, France 13.3 per cent, Denmark 12 per cent, Belgium 10.3 per cent, Spain 10 per cent and Finland 0.7 per cent.

I think Canada has the highest acceptance in the world for political reasons. It's a quota set to convince ourselves that we are a generous and compassionate people even though it is very possible the the majority of asylum claims are bogus. But that doesn't matter. It's a numbers game and bogus or not a refugee claim is as good as any immigration application since it means votes for the Liberal Party (or the NDP), surplus labour to be exploited, and most importantly work for immigration lawyers, immigration consultants, social workers and rent seeking advocacy groups. It has nothing to do with national interests, the concerns of the host majority population, or engendering a credibility refugee system. In the end the refugee stream is just another avenue to immigrate to Canada.

Canada has the most generous refugee system in the world that has unfortunately become a parallel immigration venue for those who are not qualified to immigrate, for economic migrants, criminals, even terrorists. The need for a total overhaul of the refugee determination system is urgent to serve the best interests of genuine refugees and Canadians in general.


Responding to the Crooked In Canada commentary I cannot wholly agree with the writer. The Liberal Party of Canada has benefited the most from an out of control immigration system in the form of votes but it did not get us to where we are today.

This is the fault of the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney in the mid to late 1980s. It was his government that upped Canada's immigration intake by 100,000 in one fell swoop which is why Canada has a high immigrant intake today. It was also the Mulroney government that failed to challenge the Singh decision of 1985 leaving a hole in Canada's border that has been successfully exploited by many economic migrants for that past two decades at an incredible cost to Canadian tax payers. To the Liberal Party's defense it was the Trudeau Liberal's who decreased immigration intake numbers in response to the recession of the early 1980s. Today, the Conservative government's minister responsible for immigration, Jason Kenney is hesitant to decrease the number of temporary foreign workers entering Canada (at 250,000 per year) during an economic period that has been described as the worst since the Great Depression.

From this angle the Conservatives are mostly to blame not the Liberals. But the Conservatives can fix it if they only had the will.