Sunday, 16 May 2010

1/3 Of Temporary Foreign Workers Are Low Skilled Labourers vs. 4/5 Of All Immigrants.

In the Saturday, May 15, 2010 edition of the Toronto Star we read the following headline on page A22: "Foreign workers increasingly less skilled". I am writing that because I cannot find the article at the paper's website to link to but the Globe and Mail covered the same story. You can read it here.

Both articles report on an Institute for Research on Public Policy press release about the growing presence of temporary foreign workers in Canada. The Institute appears to be a left leaning organization and concerning the topic at hand seem to be lobbying for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers. This is an unwise move as is Canada's increasing reliance on temporary foreign workers who are temporary in name only. As I have heard it related before there is nothing more permanent than a temporary foreign worker. We only have to look at north African Muslims in France, Caribbean migrants and West Indians in the U.K., Turks in Germany, and Mexicans in the U.S. south west to validate that statement. These were people introduced into those countries to meet "temporary labour market needs" such as post war reconstruction in Europe and seasonal farm work in the United States. Now they are all permanent fixtures of those host societies.

Both the Globe and the Star articles reveal pertinent information. First the Globe.

Three years ago Canada passed a significant milestone when, for the first time, it accepted more temporary foreign migrants than permanent residents.[...]

A new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy suggests that the rapid growth of the temporary foreign worker program could undermine the model of integration that has so far made Canada’s consensus on expanded immigration the exception among Western nations.

I take exception to that last sentence. There is no consensus on expanded immigration. There is only consensus among those the media and politicians choose to pay attention to for self serving reasons, groups who routinely lobby for more expansive immigration for equally self serving motives. Groups like ethnic vote banks and lobby groups, social workers, "progressive" social advocacy groups, immigration lawyers and consultants, and of most importantly of all the business community seeking to keep wages and salaries artificially low in a potentially contracting labour market.

There is rarely a consensus on anything especially when it comes to social policy of which immigration is a part of but I have come to expect these kinds of loaded statements from Globe journalists. One particular Globe journalist appeared on a TVO show hosted by Steve Paiken in which the journalist implied, quite ignorantly, that Canada has the best immigration system in the world simply because we accept the most per capita. Yes, I agree. He is a moron.

Since 2002, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has nearly doubled. The program is in part a response to an aging population, but increasingly workers are sought for the unpalatable or poorly paid jobs Canadians simply refuse to take on.

Another statement that needs to be challenged. Canadians "simply refuse to take on" those jobs because they are "poorly paid". And immigration makes sure those jobs remain poorly paid. Lionizing, and romanticizing, immigrants who take those jobs does not increase their standard of living and attacks the standard of living Canadians are accustomed to. But the paragraph is revealing. It tells us where the "job growth" is coming from, not outright mind you, but it does hint at it.

The program’s growth, from about 100,000 temporary foreign workers present in Canada in December, 2002, to more than 250,000 in December, 2008, has created a kind of permanently temporary work force, Prof. Nakache said. The situation is somewhat reminiscent of European guest-worker programs, which spawned years of social unrest in countries such as Germany, she said.

This is a growing problem and I am fearful that the only solution the government will take is to issue a blanket amnesty adding over tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of "new Canadians" into the labour pool with the stroke of a pen. This on top of the already burdensome 250,000+ we take in each year. How this can be good for the average Canadian is beyond me.

This next paragraph is important because it comes from the mouth of Canada's Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism himself, Jason Kenney, and with his own words Mr. Kenney reveals from where he takes his marching orders.

"Here’s the truth. Those who want to shut down this program, essentially the labour unions and those who are in their employ, they have to tell the orchard farmer in the Okanagan that his business will go under because no one will help with the harvest,” Mr. Kenney said. “The critics of this don’t even try to balance their critique with the very real and urgent labour shortages that are being faced by many businesses. They disingenuously dodge this issue by suggesting the employees are being underpaid or exploited.”

The business community speaks and Jason Kenney obeys.

Olivia Chow, the NDP's immigration critic does have it right.

NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow described the increase in temporary foreign workers as a terrible policy that breaks with Canadian tradition. It’s bad for the economy, because it depresses wages and is a disincentive to invest in potentially more expensive Canadian workers, and bad for society, she said.

Where she is consistently wrong is believing that Canada's high immigration intake and the emphasis on family reunification are good things and that even more immigrants are needed. Her objections to the temporary foreign worker program is that it is not an avenue to permanent residency. Added together I'd like to hear her explain how this increase in Canada's labour pool, largely unskilled, does not depress wages and create disincentives "to invest in potentially more expensive Canadian workers" without tripping over her words.

Here's the kicker:

Although the program was initially created to help address the need for highly skilled workers, the majority of successful applicants now work in low-skilled jobs. Nearly half go to Alberta and B.C., many of them to work as meatpackers, seasonal agricultural labourers, construction workers or caregivers. They can apply to become permanent residents either through the provincial nominee program, or in the case of more skilled workers through the Canadian experience class.

Says a lot about where the "job growth" is coming from.

The Star article sheds more light on were the jobs are for immigrants. The article tells us that "between 2002 and 2008, the nubmer of temporary foreign workers in Canada rose by 148 per cent, from 101,259 to 251,235, most doing menial jobs such as assembly-line work, food serving and meat packing."

Also, "in 2008, the proportion of those with high skills dropped dramatically to 36.8 while the ranks of menial workers rose to 34.2 percent."

This next paragraph is important. We read "almost 70 per cent of skilled workers arrive from Europe, the U.S. and Australia, while most low-skilled workers come from Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America." Furthermore "the latter group 'face more significant language and cultural challenges than would a worker from the U.S. or U.K.' the study said."

It seems to me the study is suggesting that Canada should favour immigrants from Europe, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Makes sense. Not only do they posses the skills Canadian employers are looking for but assimilating into Canadian society is easier for them. They wouldn't saddle tax payers with the costs of skills training and retraining as well as language classes.

Here is an earlier article relevant to the issue.

With all that said, in comparison to the number of immigrants Canada allows as permanent residents it is apparent more skilled workers enter Canada as temporary foreign workers than as landed immigrants and eventual citizens. According to immigration critic James Bissett of the Fraser Institute less than 20 per cent of immigrants to Canada come as principle applicants, people assessed for pertinent job and language skills. The rest are immediate family members of the principle applicant, wife and children who raise the figure to the official 50 per cent economic class figure, or as refugees and extended family members who do not need relevant job or language skills to enter the country. Neither with the investor class which is nothing more than Canadian citizenship for sale.

Be it temporary foreign workers or permanent residents Canadian society is being flooded with unskilled labour and Toronto alone can attest to that. This should give us pause to consider exactly what our nation's immigration system is really trying to achieve. We know it is grossly inadequate at halting or reversing the aging demographic trend. The bulk of immigrants come from countries that are not known for innovation and technological achievement and of those immigrants the majority do not posses any pertinent job or language skills. Those assessed for skills it difficult to find work in their related field causing us to wonder how valued those skills are to Canadian businesses. It seems not very if low skilled or unskilled temporary foreign workers are what Canadian businesses want more of. That being the case where exactly is this "job growth" that necessitates the mass importation of largely unskilled immigrants from the developing world?

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The 49th Parallel As Rio Grande Norte.

When it comes to immigration the United States has lost control over its southern border. And like Canada the U.S. government has been stonewalling immigration reforms that would tackle the obvious immigration problem. The reasons are the same: fear of losing strategic ethnic block votes, particularly the Hispanic vote in the U.S.

Cornered, the southern border state of Arizona took bold steps to address that which the U.S. government would not. Since Arizona is a border state with Mexico this move should come as no surprise since illegal Mexican immigration has saddled the state with the costs, both social and financial, of a steady influx of illegal migrants.

As unpopular as it may be to some the actions that Arizona took does have a deterring effect. Couple this with a growing hostility towards illegal immigrants by American society we in Canada can expect to witness an influx of Mexicans at our national border with the U.S.

And so we have only it is in the form of refugee claims filed by those claiming to be escaping Mexico's escalating drug war. This has propelled Mexico to the top of the list of refugee exporting countries to Canada.

Canada needs to be careful here. So far the refugee claims are overwhelmingly unsuccessful as it should be. But if we start a precedent and the drug war becomes grounds for refugee claims we can expect a flood of of Mexican asylum seekers that would make Canada's Sri Lanka Tamil community jealous.

They are not refugees in the conventional sense. They are not fleeing political persecution. What they are fleeing is their government's inability to enforce the law and protect its citizens.

That is if they are truly fleeing drug gang violence. I doubt many of those making refugee claims are in real danger and if they are they need to prove that internal flight, seeking safety within one's country, is not an option. Had Canada demanded this from Sri Lanka's Tamils then there wouldn't be enough of them in Canada to blockade a sidewalk. We should learn from that embarrassing mistake.

Canada has the most gullible, lax, and generous asylum system in the world which has made our country a beacon to all those seeking to game a humanitarian program for personal gain. It is a system where the applicant does not need any pertinent language skills or job skills to enter the country and become a Canadian citizen. With that said I can't blame Mexicans for testing the waters. Others have done it before them with great success so they might as well give it a try.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Ban The Burqa? Then Ban The Kirpan: The Politics And Double Standards Of Cultural Accommodation.

Belgium lawmakers recently passed a law that would ban "any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street", a law undoubtedly aimed at the Islamic burqa costume. This ban would be "the first move of its kind in Europe" and possibly not the last.

France appears to be moving in a similar direction.

Here at home fully veiled Muslim women have provoked a similar call to ban the burqa in Quebec, a move that has national support.

I don't support a legislated ban on the burqa and consequently its sister attire, the niqab, but if that is the route we are going to take then why permit Sikhs to carry the metal kirpan?

The kirpan is a ceremonial dagger all baptized male Sikhs are expected to carry on themselves at all times. The kirpan can be represented in different ways. A small symbolic kirpan can be worn attached to the combs Sikhs keep in their hair. Or it can be represented in the form of a pendant worn around the neck not unlike a small crucifix worn by many Christians. Problems arise when orthodox Sikhs want to carry the full size kirpan which is a metal blade mostly made of iron ranging in size from 7.6 cm to 90 cm. The standard tends to be 9 cm in length.

Wearing the full sized metal kirpan contravenes Canadian laws pertaining to concealed weapons yet orthodox Sikhs have won the right via an appeal to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to carry them in public places much to the disapproval of the Canadian public at large (and which is yet another reason why Sikhs are not winning any popularity contests).

Well that last paragraph is not entirely true. Apparently you cannot wear your kirpan to court. It seems its okay for judges to order public schools to allow their students to carry a potential weapon to class but when it comes to their courtrooms its a whole other matter.

The kirpan is, in a religious and symbolic sense, a weapon. The burqa and the niqab are not. At least not in intent. There are numerous examples where the burqa and niqab have been used to conceal bomb belts and commit acts of terrorism but the same thing can be accomplished with an overcoat. What is more pertinent is that criminals have disguised themselves in burqas and niqabs to enter banks and rob them. Such a thing happened in Paris and is often cited as a reason to ban the burqa.

But Sikhs have used the kirpan as a weapon. Literally. In the Ontario urban sprawl community of Brampton a kirpan was pulled and a man was stabbed in one of the more dramatic conflicts over a struggle for control of the local Gurdwara. A Sikh youth in Quebec used his kirpan in a threatening gesture. Apologists point out that such attacks are rare. True, but will they be the last?

I don't recall the burqa or the niqab being used in Canada for nefarious ends but the kirpan has so why should the burqa be banned but not the kirpan? Let me stress that I am talking about the metal blade which is not required to be worn at all times but is mostly needed for ceremonial purposes. A Sikh can still satisfy that tenant of his faith by wearing a harmless pendent around his neck. Telling Canadians that male Sikhs need to wear the 3.7 cm iron blade as a religious right is abusing Canadians' ignorance of the Sikh faith and is driven mostly by Sikh extremism and chauvinism, a problem Canada has unwittingly imported from India. And there are numerous cases where Sikhs have removed their metal blades to board planes and enter court houses illustrating that Sikhs will remove the kirpan under certain circumstances. Those who refuse to do so are grand standing and contribute to Canadians' already low opinion of Sikhs (tip: picking fights doesn't win you friends).

Nevertheless, Sikhs are allowed to wear their metal kirpans nationwide and will continue to do so because they are a pampered voting block, pandered to by all of Canada's governing parties who not only depend on them to deliver votes in their direction come election time but also to deliver the free man power needed to run a successful campaign. At 50%, they are pretty much the Indo-Canadian community and constitute the bulk of Indian immigrants to Canada thanks mostly to the family reunification class.

Fundamentalist Muslims, the sect that espouses the wearing of the full body veil, are not as numerous as a Muslim voting block. A small group within the diverse Muslim community they do not carry as much political clout and cannot swing the vote in any of Canada's political ridings. That's why it is safe to consider banning the burqa and niqab.

But that's not all. There exists considerable opposition to the burqa from feminist groups, moderate and secular Muslims, and a large swath of Canadian society who object to the burqa for various reasons. Making up the rest are those who simply don't care enough and whose votes will not be lost if a ban on the burqa came to be. In other words the vast majority of Canadian society wouldn't complain about a ban.

Opposition to the ban comes mostly from Muslim fundamentalist groups and their hypocritical apologists in the media. They object to it on the grounds that a ban would be unconstitutional and limit one's freedoms while at the same time they see nothing wrong with the unconstitutional restrictions on freedom of speech made possible by Canada's Orewillian Human Rights Commissions, assumedly because it protects Islam from criticism. In any event, the fundamentalist Muslim voting block cannot compare to the Sikh voting block even though there is considerable public opposition to the wearing of the metal kirpan in public as well. (An interesting aside. Many conservative bloggers have pointed out that those who support a Sikh male's "right" to wear a concealed metal blade on his person are, more often than not, the same people who support a ban on firearms and a bloated gun registry.)

These two groups have managed to politicize their religious clothing and have used them in such a way that can be perceived as nothing short of cultural aggression against the host society. As I have already mentioned the metal kirpan is not required to be worn at all times since substitutes can suffice. And the same with the turban. The turban is a piece of clothing adopted by the males to organize their long hair grown in adherence to their faith. The uncut hair is what is important to their faith, not the turban. The turban is a cultural adaptation that just works and that's why they use it but anything will do. So, in instances where the turban has come into conflict with Canadian cultural sensibilities or the law the option to find an accommodation has always been present with the Sikh in question. But that has never been the option chosen. Time after time Sikhs have followed the path that causes them to butt heads with the sensitivities of the cultural majority and to force them into accommodation. In perception, they are acts of cultural triumphalism.

Muslims have behaved in a similar fashion whereas in their case the hijab, burqa, and the niqab are the weapons of choice. And like the Sikhs, Muslims are also presented with the option to find an accommodation since the hijab, burqa, and niqab are not religious requirements but in reality are cultural interpretations of a vague Qu'ranic passage. To say that they are religiously mandated is more than a bit of a stretch and the credibility of that claim is inversely proportional to the ignorance of the individual it is being told to.

With that said should it be of any wonder why Sikhs and Muslims rate so low in Canadian opinion polls, almost neck and neck? Instead of being grateful neighbours they have behaved like entitled bratty children always at war with the parents who only enable their belligerence with constant acts of capitulation. This should compel us to ponder the merits of importing groups of people, especially en masse, who have demonstrated an incompatibility with the society they willingly choose to introduce themselves into. Some commentators have mused about banning Muslim immigration altogether. I think this is extreme but too much of something can ruin a good thing and I think this is the case here. Simply put, as proportions of incoming immigrants we are importing too many Sikhs and Muslims.

That last statement applies to all. It is not a good thing if 50% of all incoming immigrants came from one source nation. We are brining in too many immigrants from particular regions of too few source countries (initially Hong Kong but now Guǎngdōng and Fújiàn in China, Punjab in India, and southern Italy before them).

To assume race is the reason for the objection then the British reaction to the influx of Eastern European immigrants would leave one scratching his head. It is no different here. With less than 20% of all immigrants entering Canada classified as skilled we have to wonder who is entering the country as permanent residents and why we allow them here in the first place. And at 2% of the Indian population we have to consider why Sikhs constitute 50% of the Indo-Canadian community.

Such large influxes from single sources impedes integration and assimilation efforts and challenge the Canadian identity, not compliment it, even dilute and confuse it, and a weak national identity founded on multi-national origins hinders national unity. After generations of existence in Canada it was the descendants of Ukrainian immigrants who spear headed the effort to make multiculturalism official social policy. Italian-Canadians are irritatingly more Italian than the Italians even though they may have never visited their ancestral country in their entire lives. The Sikh and Muslim communities behave no differently and are just more examples of the problems that arise when a particular immigrant group is introduced into the country in large doses. Less immigration with stricter selection criteria targeting a larger range of countries instead of mass immigration favouring the few is a step in the right direction.

What is clear is that to Canada's governing parties some immigrant groups are more equal than others. But time and demographics (as well as birth rates) are on Islam's side and one day the fundamentalist Muslim block vote will be as important as an ethnic vote bank as the Sikhs' is today, maybe more so. The burqa and the niqab may be banned today but that will change in the future. Our low birth rate and immigration system will see to that.

Why Canada Is So Attractive To Bogus Refugees.

Here is a piece from the Montreal Gazette detailing why Canada is the choice mark for for con-men and con-women the world over seeking to game a humanitarian program for personal gain.

At least 58 per cent of them are fakes, the courts say. But it's almost impossible to get rid of them even when we know.

After they arrive and tell their lie about being persecuted for being left-handed in Switzerland -- or whatever the refugee lie of the month happens to be -- they usually apply for welfare and settle down to wait for their first hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Average wait, with local taxpayers picking up half the tab for the welfare on their property taxes (the rest comes out of your provincial taxes): 19 months.

If the IRB rules that no, being left-handed in Switzerland -- or homosexual in Mexico, or Roma in Hungary, or any of the other real recent claims used to attain refugee status in Canada -- does not constitute refugee status, they can apply for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

Average wait for a court date: four to six months.

If a risk assessment is required they wait another nine to 24 months. They can also return to federal court for another go, waiting yet another four to six months.

On welfare. For most of the world's poor, "that's pretty attractive," Kenney points out.

If the courts still say no to our Swiss claimant the alleged refugee can appeal for admittance to Canada under Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds, which takes at least six more months.If they lose that they get another crack at federal court, waiting four to six more months.

"That's how you get to five years before you exhaust all the appeals,"
Kenney said Friday during a trip to Windsor to sell Canadians on the Harper government's plan to fix the mess.

"By that time," Kenney says of the claimant -- many of whom are real refugees, by the way, who Canada actually wants to stay -- "they may have been integrated into Canadian society, gotten married and found a job. Removal becomes very difficult."

I said it before and I'll say it again. Everyone in the world knows that if you're going to make an asylum claim Canada is the place to do it.

The question is how did it get to be such a mess? Oh, right, lawyers. How silly of me to forget. They ruin everything they get their hands on.

We need to keep in mind the opportunity costs Canadian taxpayers incur entertaining these "self-selecting immigrants". The billions of dollars wasted on these unscrupulous men and women playing the Canadian public for suckers so they can get quick and easy entry into shopping mall Canada could have been spent on more beneficial ventures like health care, education, and job training.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

You Don't Win Friends By Filing Human Rights Complaints or Accept My Culture Or Else.

As if immigrants don't already draw a negative image in the minds of many Quebecers a Filipino family filed a human rights complaint against a Quebec school over allegations that the school discriminated against a son in the family over cultural eating practices. From the National Post.

A Quebec Filipino family has won a human-rights fight against a Montreal school board that allegedly discriminated against a seven-year-old student by reprimanding him for eating "like a pig."

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal is ordering the Marguerite Bourgeoys School Board to pay Maria-Theresa Gallardo and her son, Luc Cagadoc, $17,000 in moral and punitive damages in a claim of racial and ethnic discrimination.

So I guess eating like a pig is a human right nowadays. The story gets better.

The Marguerite Bourgeoys School Board was involved in another human rights case a decade ago when it prohibited a Sikh student from wearing a kirpan to school. The case was eventually fought to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that schools must allow Sikh students to wear the ceremonial daggers rather than ban them in the name of public safety.

I've been in contact with many Filipino immigrants. I have even been invited over for diner by some and I do not recall any of them eating in the manner the boy in the story did so it seems to me this is a minority within a minority rocking the boat and being culturally aggressive. Filipino's are some of the most integrated of immigrants and this would extend to their manner of eating.

The Sikh youth is another example of militant cultural aggression that gets Canadians riled up. He is not required to wear the kirpan all the time so it is a matter of choice, an option he forced onto the rest of Canadian society irrespective of Canadian law regarding concealed weapons. It wasn't about religious rights but about Sikh cultural chauvinism.

Aggressive acts beget negative responses and when Canadians respond negatively they are castigated as racists when in deed they were not the ones who picked the fight. Picking fights with the host society you chose to immigrate to will not win you friends and in consequence you will never be accepted as a Canadian.

What these combined examples illustrate is the tyrannical nature of the multiculturalist program. It should be apparent that when push comes to shove the host society is obligated to capitulate in the face of opposition and if it refuses to do so a quasi judicial framework exists to make sure it does. The lesson is learned: accommodate or else. How this promotes integration and a confident Canadian identity is anyone's guess.

In the end, perhaps Quebecers should raise their own children from now on. Were it not for the live-in care giver program, where a mere two years of baby sitting gets one permanent residency in this country and on the road to citizenship, Canada wouldn't have much of a Filipino community to speak of.

Divide And Rule: Inside The Liberal Mind.

CBC pollster Frank Graves was taken to task for comments he made to the Globe and Mail about creating a "culture war" as a means by which the Liberal party can wrestle away support for the ruling Conservative Party. From the Ottawa Sun:

Conservative Party of Canada president John Walsh sent a letter Thursday to the CBC's Ombudsman charging that EKOS pollster Frank Graves' comments reported in the Globe and Mail that day raise "serious questions about the impartiality of Canada's publicly funded national broadcaster."

"Why is a pollster who conducts polling for Canada's national broadcaster, the CBC, also giving partisan advice to the Liberal Party of Canada?" Walsh writes in a letter obtained exclusively by QMI Agency.


"I told them that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy," Graves is quoted in the story. "If the cranky old men in Alberta don't like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin."

Conservative commentator Ezra Levant has more to say about it here.

Frank Graves comments are revealing. It makes one wonder how many of Canada's political and cultural elite think this way. It also makes one wonder what role mass immigration and multiculturalism play in this culture war. Are these policies being used for the betterment of Canada and Canadians or are they a way of organizing the electorate, to pacify traditional Canada to accept progressive social engineering projects whether they want them or not, to divide and rule?