If the recent and past recessions since 1990 have taught us anything is that immigration policy has been completely divorced from satifying labour market needs and has more to do with serving the interests of the party in power. This is in fact its legacy.
ImmigrationWatchCanada.org, in one of its weekly bulletins, has published a must read for anyone interested in understanding the history of Canada's current immigration policy. It resurrects a Globe and Mail article from 1990 in which we learn that the Mulroney Tories increased immigration intake numbers as a kind of outreach program to capture the urban immigrant vote. This was done irrespective of the actual added costs of such increases let alone the real economic need of an increase. Prior to this Canada had a "tap on, tap off" approach to immigration that served the country well. Now its more immigrants regardless of the health of the economy.
Jason Kenney, the current minister responsible for immigration, has not departed from this politically motivated policy shift despite the reforms he has brought to the system. When Canada's economy was "booming" we were told that we need more immigrants to fill vacant job postings. When the recession of 2008 hit Jason Kenney refused to consider decreasing immigration targets because we needed them to "prepare for the recovery". For those who remember the recession of of the early 1990's this was deja vu. So, how about that? When times are good we need mass immigration. When times are bad we still need mass immigration. How can you beat that?
Political necessity explains his motives. Standing On Guard For Canada has this demographic break down of Canada's 308 electoral ridings.
Canada has 308 electoral ridings, of which 52 have a visible minority population in excess of 30%. In these ridings, the Conservative party has won only 11 of these 52 seats, with the remainder going towards the Liberals at 34 seats and the NDP at 7 seats.
To put this in another way, the Liberal Party captures 65% of the seats which have +30% visible minorities. The Conservatives capture a mere 21 % of such seats.
In the 22 ridings that are +50% visible minority, the Conservatives only hold 3 seats. In other words, ridings with +50% visible minorities, vote Liberal or NDP 86% of the time.
To think that Conservative Party strategists are not aware of this is an exercise in naiveté. The Conservatives are governing with a minority and need to make breakthroughs in urban ridings if they want to secure a majority. And they have made some progress. They captured Missaussauga-Erindale, a riding with a considerable Muslim immigrant population, away from the Liberals in the last election. And they came close to stealing away Brampton-Springdale from that Liberal party narcissist Ruby Dhalla who held onto it be a mere 1,000 odd votes. It should be noted that Brampton-Springdale has a heavy Punjabi Sikh presence.
It can be reasoned that the Conservative Party has assumed that in order to attract the immigrant and the so-called "ethnic vote" it must make its immigration policy indiscernible from that of any left of center party. It may be true that the mores and customs of many immigrant communities are culturally at home with the Conservative party, however as long as the Conservatives have a right of center approach to immigration they will not vote for them. This is undemocratic because it denies Canadians a conservative option regarding immigration reform. And this is why there is no immigration reform in Canada to speak off and why it is rarely discussed at all. So beholden are Canada's political parties to the swing votes of federal urban ridings, that are now and increasingly are characterized as being immigrant and ethnic, that all of them have come to the understanding that it is best not to talk about immigration unless it is in glowing terms and pleas for more of it. That being the case the concerns of ethnic urban ridings will determine immigration policy not the minister or the opinions of the current host majority population who must suffer with its consequences.
Retuning to that jobs data report, though it is good news it must be received with reservation. We don't really know the nature and permanence of the jobs that were created. The following quote was taken from a thread at the conservative message board Freedominion.
Regarding Paul Vieira's article about Canada's job market. I'd be very interested in seeing even a partial list of the companies that are on these massive hiring sprees, and the positions that they are filling.
I'm a professional engineer, unemployed since November. I've applied to job openings that fit my skill set perfectly, and get no response. Yes, my resume and cover letter have been edited by experts in the business.
In my entire life, I have never seen so many friends and acquaintances in the same situation as me. I'm talking about machinists, engineers, electricians, accountants, architects, writers, and IT experts of various types. The reception we get when we approach companies ranges from automated email responses at best to outright hostility at worst. Yes, I have had receptionists chew me out for having the gall to ask who to send a resume to.
So, I would like, just once, to see some evidence to back up the government propaganda that companies in Canada are hiring people left, right, and centre.
Even if you guys don't publish this, I just want you guys who write these articles to know that what you're printing, and what's happening in the real world, are completely the opposite.
All the reports I read on the June jobs data were vague. They tell us that 93,200 net new jobs were created mostly in the private sector albeit within the service sector along with self employment. We also know growth in part-time and full-time jobs were approximately split. More details will be nice such as the permanence and incomes of the jobs. A job for one day would be included in the data as well as seasonal. If the call for more immigrants is because a Tim Hortans needs someone to serve customers coffee then perhaps that Tim Hortans should never have been built in the first place.