Thursday, 25 March 2010

Dan Gardner: Immigration Won't Save Us (only Canada can save itself).

Dan Gardner, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, explains why immigration inadequately addresses Canada's aging demographic concern.

He writes:

The demographic dilemma we face is not -- at least not in the next 30 years -- population decline. It is population aging.


Who will pay for health care and other social services? Who will keep pensions afloat? By 2030, there's a good chance workers will enjoy steadily rising wages thanks to chronic labour shortages, but that money won't go into their pockets. It will go to governments -- which will raise taxes to punishing levels to keep retiree supports from collapsing.

So what matters here is not the absolute numbers of people in the population. It's the ratio of workers to retirees. And many studies have shown that, for a host of reasons, feasible levels of immigration can do little to change the worker-to-retiree ratio.


So the analysts asked what would it take to maintain the ratio of workers to retirees? Answer: Immigration would have to more than triple almost immediately and rise rapidly to almost seven times current levels. That would mean 2.6 million immigrants arriving each year. And Canada's population would explode to 57 million within 15 years.

Needless to say, that's impossible. Not to mention absurd -- because there's no way we could boost numbers that high.

It has now become almost universally accepted that Canada's current intake of immigrants has little effect on slowing Canada's aging demographic trend. Reversing the trend is completely out of the question.

Some may argue that the solution is to increase immigrant intake targets but there are problems with that simplistic view, the prime being the cost of it. The cost to taxpayers to fund the current system is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. A conservative number puts that cost to at least $2 billion but it is most likely higher. It goes even higher when publicly funded services that immigrants are most likely to use are factored in.

It is true that immigrants pay taxes as well but if immigrant cohorts are drawing more from taxes in the form of support services in addition to feeding the immigration system itself then the point becomes moot. The Frasier Institute's Herb Grubel argues that "immigrants who arrived in the 12 years before 2002 imposed a fiscal burden of $18.5 billion on all Canadians in the year 2002 alone". In other words it is more costly to Canadian taxpayers than it is worth.

So the fact that Canada's immigrant intake has almost no positive effect on the nation's aging demographic trend, to the point of being negligible, it operates at a financial loss to Canadian taxpayers as well. Now consider how much more costly it will be to increase targets to a number that will reverse the aging demographic trend. We cannot afford it even if we wanted to.

Throwing more fuel on the fire is the aging portion of Canadian society. How can Canadians support the demands of its retirees and support an already expensive immigration system? Tax increases are pretty much an inevitability to support the former. Taxes would have to be increased even higher to support the kind of immigration that would have any effect on Canada's aging society.
Canadians like to think that most of the planet is covered by teeming masses of poor people in hopeless countries. Billions upon billions of them. And every single one of those people would sell a kidney to come to Canada, drive a cab, and shiver for six months of the year.

In the past, that satisfying image bore some resemblance to reality. Today, it increasingly does not. In a few decades, it's likely that Canadians will be amazed to recall we once thought that way.

He argues that improving economic prospects in one's home country discourages emigration. He then couples this with the measured fact that increasing standards of living is reciprocated by decreasing fertility rates. This kind of one, two punch will make Canada a tougher sell to prospective immigrants as the economies improve in nations like India, China, Turkey, and Mexico and elsewhere. Indeed, Canada may be competing with a country like China for immigrant labour as China itself is experiencing an aging society as well and may fall victim to a declining population over the next few decades.

I am not sure how much I agree with him on this. If it were true then why do middle class east Indians commit career suicide and emigrate to Canada? The western lifestyle has a certain attraction to it and Canada as a shopping mall is quite appealing. If not for economic reasons or as an insurance policy western citizenship is fashionable. But I do think he is right for us to expect a remarkable decrease in Asian immigration for the reasons he has given. I cannot say the same for south Asian immigration but we shall see. In any case there will be no shortage of the world's 7 billion people who are willing to relocate to Canada. I think it is more fitting to focus on the quality of immigrant that Canada will attract and not from where.

So if immigration "won't save us", what will? According to Dan Gardner, and pretty much any one else who doesn't make a living in the immigration industry, Canada can only save itself by having more babies. Indeed, the Canadian government should be investing more in Canadian families than in immigration. The billions of tax dollars wasted (as opposed to invested) to support the bloated immigration system should be redirected to support Canadians who want to have children. This is what Canada has traditionally relied on to increase its population. Immigration did, and does, have its place but it is ineffective to sustain and grow the nation's populace. Only Canadians can do that.

I get tired of hearing that though immigration does not help alleviate Canada's aging population "it does help". I disagree. It is detrimental becuase it absorbs public money that otherwise could have been used to support Canadians who want to have children. We wouldn't be wasting money to teach immigrants English or French since Canadians would be teaching their children that. We wouldn't be spending so much money on job training initiatives and job placement programs for immigrants like we do now since we would be doing that with Canadian children through the school system. Children are the nation's future. Without them Canada has none.

I know that telling Canadians to have more babies is an affront to some Canadians' self absorbed existence and their selfish impulses but to you I say die already! To what end have you lived your life anyway? I know having children is a personal choice and there are some people who should not be having children at all but there are Canadian men and women who want children, and not just one. Canada's future depends on them and they deserve the support.


Anonymous said...

This blog is very well written and brings up the issues in a clear and articulate manner. As a Canadian who has lived in Asia for several years, I can make these points:
- Canada's immigration system is laughed at by many in Asia. They think it is great but can hardly believe that it is so easy to get in, get citizenship in just 3 years and then bring in their whole family.
- Many new Canadians that I have met in Asia (they lived in Canada, got the citizenship, then left) intend only to go back to Canada for their retirement years, soak up the free health care and next to free university for their children.
The children, having grown up in Asia, will not stay in Canada, they will leave after university to go back to Asia. An unkind and unfair bargain for Canada.

UEA Perera said...

Hello Pax

Would you be interested in pubishing this on your blog?


Indo-Lanka Accord solved nothing
Wed, 2010-03-31 03:14 —

By Janaka Perera

While national security and the 13th Amendment have not come into focus in Sri Lanka’s current election campaign – notably in the Opposition’s - serious concerns over both issues were expressed at the plenary sessions of 12th International Sri Lanka Studies Conference held recently at the in Mahaweli Centre, Colombo.

The Royal Asiatic Security of Sri Lanka (RASSL) organized the three-day conference the main theme of which was 'Sri Lanka after the war: Prevention of recurrence, reaching for prosperity.'

Several speakers who presented papers examined India’s role and its impact on Sri Lanka’s future in the wake of the Tamil National Alliance in its election manifesto trying to sell old wine in new bottles: (1) Merger of the North and the East and the power sharing arrangement to this unit. (2) Devolving power over land, finances, police powers and socio-economic development. (3) Power to attract foreign investments without interference from the Central Bank or the National Treasury and (4) a federal political solution with power for self-determination all of which is LTTE-style Tamil separatism with a new face.

While an Indian Speaker Chandrakant Yatanoor of the Political Science Department. Gulbarga University, Karnataka expressed India’s view that Delhi sees an urgent need for the devolution process to start, several Sri Lankan speakers did not necessarily share his sentiments on Indo-Lanka relations,

Dr. Piyasena Dissanayake, Senior Lecturer, Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies said that despite the existence of SAARC for the last several years, tension between India, the region’s pivotal power, and her neighbours have not decreased.

He was speaking on ‘The impact of India’s big power obsession on the South Asia State System.’

“It is undeniable that there is a lurking suspicion in India’s neighbours that the former has hegemonistic designs detrimental to the latter’s sovereignty and independence as confirmed by the Indian involvement in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and the Indian economic blockade against Nepal”

Dr. Dissanayake noted that in Sri Lanka’s case India trained, armed and funded all the separatist groups in an act of proxy invasion. Further, he recalled that Sikkim once a semi-independent state has been fully absorbed into the Indian Union.

According to him, there is no gainsaying the fact that the recent Indian economic and foreign policies bear out her aspirations for major power status. The U.S. and the former Soviet Union by turning a blind eye to India’s provocative actions in Sri Lanka and Nepal had conceded South Asia as India’s legitimate sphere of influence

“Thus India is increasingly looked upon by her South Asian neighbours as a threat to peace and security in South Asia,” he concluded.

Neville Ladduwahetty of the RASSL presenting his paper on the ‘The illegality of the Indian-imposed 13th Amendment’ recalled that the Indo-Lanka Accord compelled the Sri Lankan Government to transform the structure of the State from District to Province and create a Tamil majority political unit with devolved powers consisting of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

UAE Perera said...

Part 2:

Although these provisions had been incorporated as the 13thAmendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution and certified on July 14, 1987, a careful study of it after a lapse of 22 years have revealed strong grounds to challenge the legality of the 13th Amendment on two counts, according to Ladduwahetty.

The first count, he noted, is that the Supreme Court consisting of nine judges as a body did not give a collective ‘determination’ as to whether the 13th Amendment Bill “required approval by the people at a referendum” as required by Article (a) of the Constitution.

The second, he observed, is due to the failure of the then Parliament to appreciate that the provisions in the 13th Amendment necessitated the requirement of a referendum. This caused Parliament to delete the procedural requirement of a referendum without first revising the provisions of the Bill.

These two counts should be the grounds for a Court to declare the 13the Amendment illegal, he stressed.

Former Deputy Inspector General of Police Gamini Gunawardena said that the Indo-Lanka Agreement lacked the people’s consent and therefore had no legitimacy.

“Consent obtained under duress is not consent”

His presentation was ‘Is the 13th Amendment valid any longer?’

He drew attention to the fact that two of the parties to the Indo-Lanka Agreement India and the LTTE had reneged on key matters and therefore the agreement was no longer valid. While Sri Lanka went ahead and transformed the structure of the State and merged the North and East in accordance with the agreement, India failed to disarm the Tigers. And the latter violated the agreement within a few months of the signing.

Furthermore, 22 years of experience of Provincial Councils has shown that far from sharing power or devolution, the system had distanced the people from the administration further by an additional barrier creating a greater level of corruption and waste.

“All this was done to appease the Tigers and attract them to the path of peace. The present situation is that the Tigers are no more. They were vanquished in war peace has been restored. Now to appease whom is anyone insisting that the13th Amendment that nobody wanted should be implemented in full? What problems will it solve now?”

RASSL President Dr. Susantha Goonatilake in his presentation said that the so-called traditional homelands were a major plant of all the separatist movements supported by Indians. His presentation was titled, ‘Foreign-funded NGOs constructing a fictional history; questioning sovereignty, welcoming foreign intervention.’
According to Dr. Goonatilake, in the “Traditional homelands of the Tamils” theory its proponents were helped by many foreign-funded NGOs and individuals who took on the role of propagandist for the fiction, both within and outside Sri Lanka, questioning Sri Lankan sovereignty and welcoming foreign intervention.

“Among the NGOs in these different exercises were the International Commission of Jurists, the National Peace Council, Inter-Religious Peace Foundation, International Alert, National Christian Council, Sarvodaya Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality, Law and Society Trust, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, The Social Scientists Association, the Civil Eights Movement, the Berghof Foundation and the Marga Institute. Some of these groups, according to Dr. Goonatilake had infiltrated the defence establishment and the university structure – especially through ‘peace studies’.”

UAE Perera said...

Part 3:

With the removal of the LTTE these groups and individuals would form an ideological reservoir for separatist fiction, he warned. Therefore the most effective way to counteract this, the RASSL President stressed, was to adopt the measures taken after World War II for the de-Nazification of Germany which the Western Allies applied to the entire ideological apparatus of the Nazis.

Former Editor Sunday Observer H.L.D. Mahindapala whose paper was read by Ramani Samarasinghe, noted that the denigration of the Sinhala Buddhist has been a huge institutionalized industry in academic, NGO, Christian and pro-separatist lobbies. This conglomerate of lobbies, according to the paper, has been merely recycling the political agenda of the Vadukkodai Resolution of 1976 which laid down the parameters of their separatist goals.

The main target of the resolution was to demonize Sri Lanka’s South as the enemies of the Tamils and endorse violence to achieve their separatist objective.

Lieutenant-Colonel (Retd) Anil Amarasekara, former Commanding Officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment from 1990 to 1992 and the Officer Commanding Troops at Anuradhapura in 1995 presented a paper on ‘Human conflict with relation to land acquisition.’

In his presentation he warned the government to exercise extreme caution in implementing resettlement of people in the North. In this context he recalled that before the LTTE took control of the Northern Province, an Army Task Force for Illicit Immigration (TAFII) was in operation to prevent illicit immigration from Tamil Nadu. But since the State lost control of the province 30 years ago there was no way of knowing how many people from Tamil Nadu had illegally entered the island from South India.

Asked Lt. Col. Amarasekera:

“How then is the government going to establish who is a citizen and who is not when resettling internally displaced people in the Northern Province? I am made to understand that the accepted procedure for those who have lost their National Identity Cards is to obtain an affidavit from the Grama Niladari confirming residency in his division. On the strength of such an affidavit a new identity card is issued. This may be the only country in the world where citizenship can be thus established on an affidavit from a single government employee”

UAE Perera said...

Part 4:

Amarasekara observed that during the three-decades the LTTE dominated most of the Northern Province it was they who alienated land to the people and not the Sri Lanka Government. Most of these lands had been distributed among the so-called Maveer (Great Heroes) families. Hence he stressed the need for the authorities to think twice before implementing a land alienation policy that would virtually amount to unknowingly paving the way for LTTE’s Tamil Eelam which the Security Forces fought so hard to destroy and sacrificed their life and limb in the process.

The lieutenant colonel also recalled a visit to Manik Farm on two occasions last year.

“I was very surprised to meet several people of Indian Tamil origin from the older generation who spoke good Sinhala. When questioned with regard to their ability to converse so fluently in the language, they revealed they were plantation Tamils who had lived at one point of time in the hill country among Sinhala people. I realized that many of them very likely are those who earlier were to be repatriated to India under the Sirima- Shastri Pact.

They were subsequently resettled in the Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi districts on the sly after the 1983 ethnic riots by Redd Barna and other International Non-Governmental Organizations in an effort to link the Northern Province to the Eastern Province with the idea of creating a land mass exclusively inhabited by Tamils. This was a surreptitious effort to establish a Tamil homeland in the North and East and thereby bisect and destabilize our country.”

A number of other officials, scholars and academics also presented papers on various topics at the three-day conference.

-Asian Tribune -

Anonymous said...

Here's a recent article from the Toronto Sun newspaper written by a visible minority on the question of our flawed immigration policy.

Most points are valid while others remain questionable.

It seems only minority immigrants(?) can write such articles without attracting the tainted "racist" label.

Few Canadian MSM columnists tackle the immigration question, so they continue to remain mute while our country's majority population capitulates to political-correctness that eventually leads to racial suicide.

Twenty years from now, our offspring relegated to minority status, will ask the proverbial question -- "What happened to our country?"

When critical mass is reached in 2030, that question will have little practical meaning and future Canadians will just have to adjust to the consequences of our inactions today.

Anonymous said...

Australia has let some LTTEers go free because they were not killing white people. I am not fussed at all, let them take more Tamils from Sri Lanka -rumours are flying of more Tamil boat people getting ready to go to Christmas Island from SL andboats are getting set on the east coast for the exodus. Bloody brilliant, we should encourage more movement.
However there is something to note with the Aus arrests from Expressbuzz

"Tamil newspaper editor Sivarajah Yathavan of Vermont South, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy of Mount Waverley and Sydney accountant Arumugan Rajeevan each pleaded guilty to providing more than $1 million in cash to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."

Whats going on? An editor of a newspaper arrested? What happened to media freedom? Why no cries for media freedom such as when pissanaygam was arrested?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Canadam have the same thing?


Tamil OAP faces arrest over launch of terror-link political party

6:30am Thursday 1st April 2010

Print Email Share Comments(2) Exclusive By Mike Didymus »

A pensioner faces arrest after launching a political party linked to a banned terrorist organisation from his Purley Way headquarters.

The Electoral Commission has removed the People’s Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT) from its register while it investigates its links to the Sri Lankan terrorist group the Tamil Tigers.

Group leader Nadarajah Balasubramaniam, 69, plans to field candidates from his party in upcoming council and national elections, despite the Tigers being listed as a proscribed party under the Terrorism Act.

In an exclusive interview with the Croydon Guardian Mr Balasubramaniam, who calls himself Bala, defended the Tigers’ use of suicide bombing.

The former post office clerk from Thornton Heath said he chose Lombard Business Park in Purley Way for his party’s base as it had 24-hour security.

Mr Balasubramaniam hopes holding debates will raise awareness about the genocide he said occurred when Sri Lankan troops wiped out the Tamil Tiger army last year.

He said: “The arguments are all in our favour – the Tigers are real freedom fighters and it is wrong to brand them as terrorists.”

The Tamil Tigers became notorious for suicide bombings, recruiting child soldiers and massacring civilians during more than 30 years of civil war, until they were defeated by the Sri Lankan army last May.

Mr Balasubramaniam said he had been involved with the Tamil struggle for a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lanka since he was 15, but said he had never thrown a bomb or taken part in violence.

He said: “I don’t know if we will win any seats but we are in a good position to get our message across.

“The Tamil Tigers were accepted by the people. Even the suicide bombings were accepted by the public. Those pictures of children with guns were just propaganda.

“Boys voluntarily came and joined the Tigers, but they were just given an education.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission, which is in charge of registering political parties in the UK said: “The group was registered with us as a political party on February 10 this year.

“On March 19 we were made aware of comments in the press attributed to the party leader, saying it was a continuation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a proscribed organisation.

“We have temporarily removed them from the register while we investigate this.”

Anonymous said...

Boomers lobby for one more generation to take care of their final years in the manner to which they've become entitled.

Collectively, they possess the wealth, racked up the public debt, still not satisfied.