Thursday, 31 December 2009

'Ah, Plenty More Where That Came From': Immigrant Labourers Dead After Scaffolding Mishap.

I held off on this until more details about the tragedy were known.

We learned that four men died and one remains in critical condition after a scaffolding mishap occurred on Christmas eve at a public housing development in Toronto's north west end. Initial reports said that the men were migrant workers but one of them did have a valid Ontario drivers license so details were not certain about the men's legal status in Canada.

We now know that two of them were "refugee" claimants, one from the ever oppressive, tyrannical, and anti-democratic state of Israel, a literal hell on earth, and another from Ukraine. I don't know exactly what alleged persecution these men were facing in Israel or Ukraine but my nonsense detector immediately tells me these men lied to get into the country, likely coached along the way by unscrupulous immigration lawyers and consultants.

The only survivor was from Uzbekistan and he has no family in Canada. According to the reports we can assume that one of the four dead was also an immigrant from Uzbekistan. Undoubtedly both were refugee claimants as well.

Now they are dead with one fighting for his life. Ironically, if Canada had a tough and sensible refugee determination system none of these men would have been allowed into the country as refugees and would probably be alive today. But other men would have been in their place.

Canada is not short of labour despite the whining that comes out of the business community. Canada is short of labourers who will work for low pay and/or in unsafe working conditions. Instead of sweetening the pot by raising wages, salaries, and offering benefits to attract workers the business community has successfully lobbied to keep immigration numbers high to flood the labour market with cheap and disposable labour. The result is predictable: downward pressure on wages and salaries and the weakening of labour standards. That being the case what Canadian would be attracted to jobs like that? By over supplying the labour market you create situations were people are desperate enough to take anything irrespective of pay and safety.

The media are just a culpable in my opinion. Instead of focusing on how immigration is disrupting the labour market and discouraging Canadians from taking certain jobs we hear heroic tails of immigrants toiling in jobs "Canadians won't do" to create a better life for their children.

Canada's unions are of no help either. Effectively non-existent in the private sector the only unions Canada really has are public sector unions and they too are silent on the negative forces of mass immigration even though it threatens to undermine union strength in the nation.

Who is really standing up for Canada's working class?

From the Toronto Star report linked above we learn that the company in question was ordered to halt work by the province over safety concerns. Work orders were also issued to ensure work place safety. But the men died anyway and it begs one to wonder how serious these work orders were taken.

Temporary workers and migrant workers, indeed mass immigration including the refugee stream which is more about immigration than asylum, are not only undermining Canadian living standards by forcing downward pressure on incomes but also undermine work place safety standards. The immigration system is not a weapon to attack Canada's working population nor are immigrant workers cheap and disposable cogs in a machine. We are talking about people's lives and livelihoods.

As for the title of this post, back in the day I used to watch The Simpsons when it was funny enough to make time for. But since it jumped the shark a long time ago I don't watch it all. However, there was one episode where an aunt of Marge's and her sisters' died and extolled Marge's two celibate twin sisters in a video will to have children. Feeling the mothering impulse one of them decides to take two of Marge's children, Bart and Lisa, to the beer themed amusement park Duff Gardens. On the way into the park Lisa reads from a pamphlet some points of interests about the Duff Gardens "Beeramid". She reads aloud that fourteen migrant workers died in its construction to which the aunt responded "Ah, plenty more where that came from." It's not so funny when it actually happens in real life.

Monday, 28 December 2009

If The Children's Aid Society Gets Its Way Expect Canada To Be A Dumping Ground For The World's 'Abandoned' Children.

As if Canada doesn't have enough holes in its border it appears the CAS (Children's Aid Society) is working to create another one.

Here is a story about a child called Kasim (not his real name). He was sent to Canada on a one way ticket from St. Lucia. His parents claim that he will have better education and employment opportunities in Canada than in St. Lucia. And since he has no parents or guardians in Canada the child will become a ward of the state. In other words they want Canadian taxpayers to raise their child for them.

Kasim isn't the only child they sent here. An older brother was residing in Canada illegally and to whom Kasim was sent to live with. However that older sibling has been detected and has been sent back to St. Lucia.

Though ordered deported Kasim still remains in Canada thanks to the meddling of the CAS. Claiming to be acting in the best interests of the child the CAS has delayed his deportation and want the government to grant Kasim immigration status even though he is in no danger if returned to St. Lucia to live with his mother and aunt.

If the CAS is successful then this will be a precedent setting case, paving a legal argument for others to send their children to Canada to be raised by the state. Undoubtedly these "unwanted" children will then be used for immigration purposes if not as a remittance paying ex-patriot. Ironically, the CAS will only encourage others to "abandon" their children by sending them to Canada. Is this what is meant by acting in the best interests of the child?

Canada's immigration system is already a money losing investment. We cannot afford to be the caregivers of the world's "unwanted" children. It is the responsibility of the child's parents to provide for his or her welfare not Canadian tax payers. Nor is it the place of arrogant, meddling, social workers at the CAS to tell others how to raise their kids, assuming they even know what is best for them.

The CAS is doing more harm than good by delaying Kasim's deportation. They will make things worse for Canada if they get their way. They are wrong and should let the child go which reminds me of a joke I once heard about the CAS. What is the difference between the CAS and a pit bull? The pit bull eventually lets go of the child. Ain't that the truth.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

So Long Green Belt, We Hardly Knew Ya.

Here is another article out of the allegedly environmentally conscious Toronto Star. You can read it if you wish but the story is a familiar one. It is one of a key figure in developing strategies to protect southern Ontario's prime farm land warning of the pending environmental disaster if certain profit maximizing entities' proposed business ventures (euphemistically referred to as "employment zones") come to fruition on prime agricultural land.
A damning memo from Ontario's senior planner paints a stark picture of unsustainable sprawl, congestion and skyrocketing infrastructure costs if the province proceeds with a controversial strategy to urbanize large swaths of Simcoe County north of the Greenbelt.

The warning by Victor Doyle, a key architect of the groundbreaking Greenbelt plan, focuses on the combined impact of lightning-speed growth in Barrie and proposals to create two massive employment zones along pastoral Highway 400 in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.

"The cumulative effect will be to open up a new linear pattern of urban sprawl along Highway 400 running virtually from the Holland Marsh to north of Barrie," Doyle wrote in the September letter directed at Ontario's Growth Secretariat and obtained by the Star.

What happens in Simcoe may determine whether a bold attempt to curb sprawl in the GTA ultimately succeeds or fails.

It is wishful thinking on the part of anyone if they believe the Ontario government (it doesn't matter who is in power) is serious about containing the seemingly unstoppable urban sprawl spreading out from Toronto into the surrounding region and beyond. It is wishful thinking on the part of anyone if they think the rapid population growth infecting southern Ontario, thanks almost in whole to mass immigration, can be accommodated by "smart growth" planning. It is also naive for anyone to believe that the Toronto Star is actually serious about the environment.

Think about it. More immigrants means more citizens which, fingers crossed, translates into votes for the party in power. More immigrants means more surplus labour to work for low wages and benefits in "employment zones". More immigrants means more demand for the "better life" which means a large two door garage house, an SUV for each port, which means more urban sprawl and frequent shopping trips to outlet malls and shopping centres (that's what Canada means to immigrants anyways), and a carbon footprint that helps make Canada one of the worst offenders in the world. And, more immigrants means more Toronto Star readers that can be sold to advertisers.

More immigrants means more cars on the road, which means more congestion, which means more idling cars, which means more pollution which is the cause of an estimated 10,000 deaths in Ontario. More cars so that they can get to their urban sprawl homes, which was developed on prime farm land, which means leas arable land, which will be needed if and when peak oil hits.

I think you get the picture.

Mass immigration is what is fueling urban sprawl and its associated consequences. Perhaps if Canada's environmentalists spent most of their energy pressuring the government at the provincial and national levels to cut immigration numbers then they might actually accomplish something for once and help preserve Canada's environment. They do have the facts on their side this time and Canada is, after all, bringing in too many immigrants this country needs or the citizens care for. Instead, like chickens with their heads cut off, they run around screaming "they sky is falling" over what is turning out to be a global warming hoax.

Priorities people. Get them straight.

Monday, 14 December 2009

If American Culture Impovrishes Us Then Why Does Multiculturalism Enrich Us?

I came across this commentary in the Toronto Star. It's about the current state of Canadian broadcasting and its reliance on "cheap" imported U.S. programming and how this reliance "impoverishes" Canadian culture. It's an interesting read but the article can be summed up by this single paragraph:
Can Canadian culture survive when the primary instrument of communication of the age concentrates most of its effort on the importation of the culture of another country?

It is a question worth pondering and one that should be applied to multiculturalism and its fuel, mass immigration. If American culture "impoverishes" Canadian culture then why does South Asian culture or Chinese culture, etc., enrich us?

I happen to agree that American cultural influence in Canada is a concern but it is one shared by many countries. And it shouldn't stop with the U.S.

Indian films are becoming commonplace in select theaters in major Canadian cities. Indeed, the Indian film industry, in its attempt to market its brand of mediocre film fare internationally, will hold its nomadic film awards in Toronto in 2011, the first city in North America to do so. The fact is there is no market in Canada for Indian films outside of Canada's South Asian colonies. Chinese films have tried to find a market in North America and has found little mainstream success even though Chinese films have more appeal then the characteristically silly Bollywood tripe.

American films already dominate Canadian screens and competing with American films is hard enough. Now Canadian filmmakers, thanks in whole to Canada's burgeoning Indian and Chinese colonies, have to compete with imported Indian and Chinese films for Canadian screens as well.

It doesn't stop there. Companies like Rogers and Bell, in an effort to attract subscription dollars from Canada's growing immigrant communities, offer packages that will deliver television content from non North American sources.

The CBC is of little use. If it isn't making shows about the cultural hobbies and sensibilities of its Toronto-centric producers (Little Mosque On The Prairie), its making shows about themselves or their friends (Sophie, Being Erica). In other words shows no one wants to watch.

The truth is given the choice Canadians will choose American culture over multiculturalism any day. It's because American culture is so a part of Canada. It's a part of Canadians' daily lives. We see it when we turn on the T.V., when we listen to the radio, when we wear their clothes. That's just how it is because we are so much like them (or if you wish we are so like each other). There are differences but there are many similarities and there's nothing terribly wrong with that. We should be cautious (and suspicious at times) when dealing with the U.S. (NAFTA was a mistake for one thing and we should get out of it) but the United States is a great country and the American people are wonderful. There is a lot we can learn from them but likewise there is much they can learn from us.

We may feel slighted that we know more about the United States and its people than they do about us. And that we, as the people who know the Americans best are given little thought by them we too have to consider that we, as Canadians, give little thought of anyone, anywhere outside of North America north of the Rio Grande. Quick, who is the current president of Mexico (yes Mexico does have a president)?

Multiculturalism on the other hand is completely irrelevant for the majority Canadians. It means nothing to them. They simply don't care about it because it is not present in their daily lives. They may eat at an ethnic themed restaurant every now and then but those are simply cultural indulgences where the cultural habit is the generic act of going out to eat. They may see a sari here or there, a turban or a hijab, but the most they will do is acknowledge that a people and a culture not of North American origin (and thus not North American) resides within the borders of their nation. If anything multiculturalism is viewed as a rejection of Canadian culture and thus an insult.

So, if the survival of a Canadian culture, a unique Canadian voice, is desperate against American cultural influences then how is it to be heard in a multicultural society? To me it's the same thing. If American culture is impoverishing then so is multiculturalism. Both doom Canada to a state of cultural mediocrity.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Immigration Watch Canada.org Has A Forum.

Check it out here.

Of Points And Credentials: Canada Is Awash With Some Skilled Labour So Why Do We Still Let Them In?

I read this commentary in the Toronto Star and it seems it was lifted, some of it anyways, from my last blog post. As much as I'd like to think so I doubt that is the case. It's good to see that some sobering thoughts are printed in the Toronto Star on occasion instead of the usual irresponsible cheer leading that graces its pages.
There is no doubt that the initiative by federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to speed up the recognition of foreign credentials for new immigrants is a step in the right direction. But this initiative addresses the effect of the problem, not the cause. It addresses the issue of what to do when they are in Canada, not the question of why we have let them immigrate to Canada if their credentials are not recognized by the provinces and whether the provinces really need new immigrants with those credentials.

Our immigration system is allowing people with high academic credentials into Canada and helping them find jobs that don't exist while, simultaneously, disregarding the requests of industries that need different manpower and survive only thanks to the work done by illegal workers who can't be in this country legally because of an unfair point system.

Those requests for manpower are requests for cheap and plentiful labour.

The commentary points out that Ontario is flooded with imported skilled labour it never needed and doesn't need.

When we talk about foreign credentials, we automatically think about doctors who come from abroad and drive taxis in Toronto. But the reality is different. Only 200 doctors arrive every year. Rather, according to numbers from Ontario's immigration ministry that are only 2 years old, our province is flooded by engineers, accountants, lab technicians, IT experts and teachers we don't necessarily need.

As former Ontario immigration minister Mike Colle pointed out, we have 10,000 to 15,000 engineers arriving in Canada from abroad every year. At the same time, every year we have 4,000 to 5,000 new engineers graduating from our universities and the workforce can barely accommodate them.

One of the problems, according to the commentary, is the points system. As I have stated on this blog the system is outdated and arbitrary. It is also subject to meddling from non citizens as was the case when Canada tried to increase the score necessary for immigration as a means to control to the inflow of unnecessary skilled immigration. When the government made public its intentions to do this Ottawa was threatened with lawsuits from potential immigrants who passed on the lower score but failed at the higher score. Ottawa back down and the score remains at its low of 67.
Immigration policy for skilled workers should start before we let them into Canada, not when they are already here because of the point system – and when we don't know what to do with them.

Sound familiar? This was the sentiment I expressed in my previous post. We shouldn't be importing skilled immigrants if their credentials are not going to be recognized. And it may very well be that their skills do not meet Canadian standards. These complications facing immigrants should be settled before coming to Canada. If they fail the skills assessment then they should not allowed to land regardless of their application score.

The commentary focuses its criticisms for Ontario but it is a problem for all of the country. Too many is too many and Canada needs to cut back on the inflow of immigrants and rethink its selection criteria.

Monday, 7 December 2009

As A Requirement For Entry An Immigrant's Skills Should Be Accessed Prior To Landing.

Recently the government of Canada has acted to quicken recognition of foreign credentials as if that will miraculously create jobs for immigrants that didn't exist in the first place. The National Post has the news here.

Foreign-trained architects, nurses and engineers are among new immigrants who will get first crack at having their credentials recognized within one year under a new federal-provincial accord being announced Monday.

Canwest News Service has learned the agreement will be implemented in two stages, and that by the end of 2012 a total of 15 occupations will have access to a fast-track system of foreign-credential recognition.

[...]

This means foreign-trained workers who submit an application after that date to be licensed or registered in those fields should be advised within one year whether their credentials will be recognized.

Canada is accessing the skills of immigrants after they have landed and that is the root of the problem. Their skills should be accessed before they are allowed to immigrate and satisfying the assessment should be a requirement for entry. Not only will this save Canadian tax payers money but it will negate the need for more layers of bureaucracy and the adding of more laws to an already convoluted immigration system. Also, it will save immigrants' time, money, and grief. Currently immigrants are lawfully permitted to come to Canada after successfully completing a dated and arbitrary points based application where recognition of their credentials is not an issue.

The federal budget earlier this year earmarked $50-million over the next two years to make the process of assessing and recognizing foreign credentials more efficient. The work involves pressing many of the 440 professional licensing and regulatory bodies across the country to participate in streamlining their systems for foreign-credential recognition.

The House of Commons immigration committee released a report last week calling on the federal government to step up efforts to improve recognition of newcomers' education, skills and training as a way of alleviating the poverty, unemployment and underemployment that, it said, too many are forced to endure.

Among other things, the all-party committee called on the federal government to consider providing such financial incentives as tax credits and wage subsidies to employers who provide short-term "work-experience" opportunities to newcomers in their areas of expertise.

The simplest explanation for why highly educated immigrants are driving cabs in Toronto is that the jobs they intended to take upon arrival in Canada never existed. The lack of recognition of immigrants' credentials and the nonsensical "Canadian experience" excuse is just smoke and mirrors. When Fortune 500 companies like Intel and Microsoft have outsourced skilled work to India and China you have to ask if "Canadian experience" and non-recognition of credentials really have anything to do with it.

The tax dollars to be funneled to assist immigrants who shouldn't even be in the country is money wasted. Why are Canadian tax dollars to be spent to subsidize the education of immigrants to upgrade their skills when so many Canadians are currently out of work or underemployed? Shouldn't that money be spent on them instead? Is Canada importing immigrants so that Canadians can invest tax dollars in skills upgrading for immigrants so that these immigrants can then compete with Canadians in the labour market?

And how odd it is that Canadian businesses need to be bribed with tax payer funded incentives to hire the immigrants Canadian businesses say they need in order to stay competitive.

The existence of affirmative action programs, equal opportunity employment, government sponsored incentives to businesses to hire immigrants, and the Maytree Foundation's "DiverseCity" program (a hypocritical program advocating discriminatory hiring practices that favour racial minorities) are all proofs that jobs for skilled immigrants do not exist and that Canada is taking in more immigrants than it needs.

The Toronto Star reviewed this latest Conservative government initiative to buy immigrant votes in an editorial. Aside from misstating that the immigration systems is "is skewed to benefit skilled professionals" it gets a couple things right.

When foreign-trained doctors apply for accreditation to work in Ontario, they generally wait four to six weeks to get an answer. Pharmacists wait about two weeks and engineers six weeks for decisions from their professional regulatory bodies on whether their foreign credentials will be recognized here.

So how, then, will a requirement to give applicants an answer within one year "speed up foreign credential recognition for newcomers to Canada," as Ottawa claimed this week under a much-ballyhooed framework agreement with provinces.

And most importantly this:

The real problem is not how fast the paperwork is processed. Rather, it is lack of access to the necessary training and skills upgrading programs, as well as unreasonable requirements imposed by professional bodies, which have little incentive to let in newcomers.

Exactly. Canada's professionals have put up barriers by way of their professional bodies to protect their incomes from the negative effects of mass immigration. This is a luxury denied most Canadians, especially Canada's poor, who have no one defending them. The labour unions have proven themselves too cowardly to demand less immigration to not only protect working Canadians but also to safeguard their futures since mass immigration will undermine their influence and strength by creating a surplus of desperate labour.

Jason Kenney went so far as to accuse physicians' groups with putting up discouraging hurdles to prevent foreign trained doctors from practicing in Canada.
"It's no secret that a lot of foreign-trained medical professionals have significant hurdles in getting their credentials recognized," he said. "It's a huge opportunity cost that's lost to us, to encourage foreign-trained medical doctors to come to Canada and have them end up cleaning hotel rooms."

[...]

"There are some of the major professional agencies, let's make no bones about this, who are less willing to collaborate, less willing to streamline the process and cut the red tape," Kenney said.

"Some of them appear to be acting in a way to keep closed labour markets and to keep closed the doors of opportunity for foreign-trained professions, and that is a shame."

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons claim to have made improvements in this area but this came about only after political pressure.

I know, not all standards are created equal, that there is document fraud, and there may be some validity to denying many foreign trained professionals the opportunity to practice in Canada. But when immigrants educated in western nations have to jump through hoops just to get licensed to practice in their fields then you can't help but get suspicious.

These problems can be avoided if an immigrant's skills and credentials were accessed before they are allowed to come to Canada. If they don't pass an assessment then they should be denied entry regardless of how well they scored on the points based application. Doesn't that make much more sense?

As a side note I wonder how many politicians pushing for credential recognition will have an Indian trained doctor as a physician or go under the knife of a Pakistani trained surgeon? I wonder indeed.