Saturday, 7 August 2010

Rethinking Family Reunification.

This article appeared in the Winnipeg Sun. Though it is an argument as to why English (and French) should be mandatory for all potential immigrants the piece does highlight how family reunification has be abused to sidestep such trivialities as language proficiency and pertinent job skills to import what are (dare I say?) second or third rate immigrants into the country.

Over the years, Canada’s liberal multicultural policy has encouraged family reunifications, letting in members and spouses (within just six months) without demanding any language proficiency or educational qualifications.

The intent of this policy may have been benign, but the consequences have not been so benign. People have taken advantage of this policy to import into Canada their whole clans.

By waiving linguistic proficiency for family members, Canada has indeed helped spawn a scandalous spousal industry in its immigrant communities.

Imported spouses

Since they have grown so big, do most immigrant communities need wholesale imports of off-shore spouses? Not really. It is their greed that guides them to seek off-shore spouses from whose families they take huge amounts of money — called dowry.

Because people in India, Pakistan and elsewhere are so desperate to get their children — and later themselves — into Canada, they become willing victims of these sharks from Canada. In fact, there have been some morally shocking cases where Toronto-area immigrant men arranged fake marriages with their sisters in their native countries to bring them to Canada as their “wives.”


But the worst case of exploitation of this linguistic-requirement waiver has been its sinister use by immigrant families to bring in their elderly parents or relatives on the grounds of taking care of them.

In vast numbers of cases, these elderly people have been brought here to serve as cash cows since they fetch old-age pensions for these families. Go to any mall in Mississauga or Brampton, Ont., and you will invariably find many of these elderly people wandering around aimlessly and feeling lost.

The Springdale neighbourhood of Brampton, Ontario has a heavy Sikh population. So ubiquitous are elderly Indian immigrants in the area that you'd think it was a retirement community. After reading the above it makes sense now. It's apparent that they have been imported to take advantage of old age security benefits as well as burden Canadian tax payers with their health care needs. Indeed, waiting lists have increased in Brampton-Srpingdale and a scarcity of patient beds has arisen because of the flood of aged East Indian immigrants. I don't see how this benefits Canadians or the economy.

This explains why Brampton-Springdale Liberal MP, who is a Canadian born Sikh to Punjabi immigrants, had tabled a private members bill, Bill C-428, that would grant old age security benefits to immigrants after a mere three year period. It was due to community pressure and a desperate need to hold onto her seat which she almost lost at the last election.

It's not just the importation of elderly immigrants that is a problem. The importation of unskilled family members of working age is burdensome as well. We introduce these people into Canadian society and the labour market only to dole out more millions of dollars just to teach them to speak English or French as well as job skills training. Does this make sense?

Family reunification, along with the refugee system, has been the means by which otherwise inadmissible immigrants were able to get into Canada. Needing neither language skills or any pertinent job skills the Canadian labour market has been flooded with unskilled immigrant labour. Toronto is home to so many "new Canadians" that leave one scratching their head wondering how they even got into the country if we are to assume that the Canadian immigration system is geared to favour the "best and brightest" with a focus on job growth.

The writer of the article points out why this has been allowed to continue. Since a pathetic three year residency is all the is needed to turn one into an instant Canadian these family class immigrants will become eligible to vote and that's all the really matters now doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

The usual source is complaining that Toronto's ethnic nursing homes have long waits. Yes, sponsor the elderly relatives, then Canadians get to sponsor the cost of their old age. Earlier in the week there was a dramatic report on a 105 year old who was still waiting for a nursing home space. This made it to CBC as well. They left out the important point that if she had taken the spots offered, she would have had a space, but she was waiting for a Russian speaking facility. Still, the really crucial point was that she arrived here at age 89!!!! So exactly how much did she contribute vs. what she has been getting back? I can't believe our politicians allow this.

And this is helping our aging population? Every new family here can sponsor parents and grandparents on both sides, that is people mostly over 50 years. They may not work at all, or maybe a few years at a low wage, so their contribution will be minimal. So two 30 year olds get us maybe one taxpayer (women from the countries that are the majority of our immigrants tend to have more children, or stay home with children), supporting up to 12 parents and grandparents. (We all have 4 grandparents, and 2 parents, so a couple makes 12).

Article - 13 July 2012

PaxCanadiana said...

You point out the obvious but you have to be a politician (and a journalist) to miss it.

There was another article that appeared later in the news-week about the lack of nursing home spaces for elderly Chinese immigrants (the horror!!!).

It's the same story; some Chinese immigrant sponsors aged relatives who leech of the health-care system and need Chinese specific nursing home facilities 'cause they can't speak English, etc.

This is a real problem. We have about 100,000+ (and growing) parents in the family reunification back log whose productive years are behind them and will be a tax drain. The question is why is there one to begin with if we need skill labour to grow the economy?