There are those who see nothing wrong with Canada absorbing more newcomers per capita than any other country — about 250,000 people annually.
Perhaps they haven’t noticed that our largest cities, particularly Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, are bursting at the seams with immigrants and refugees. The federal government lets these tens of thousands of people in and then pretty much washes its hands of them.
Cash-strapped municipalities are left with the difficult task of integrating the new arrivals, many of whom can barely speak English or French. As experts have warned, newer cohorts of immigrants are not faring as well economically as previous generations of people who arrived on our shores.
This is what Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford was getting at and what his critics don't fully appreciate. Ottawa sets immigration quotas yet it is those who live in Canada's largest municipalities, especially Toronto, who suffer the costs.
“That’s an awful lot of people who come here who are not qualified. How does that help the country?” asks Julie Taub, an Ottawa immigration lawyer who’s on the board of the new think-tank.
Taub, who does regular duty counsel work at a legal aid immigration clinic, says she was astounded to see immigrants who were supposed to be self-supporting come in for free legal assistance.
These were skilled workers who were accepted into Canada on the condition that they had enough money to live for a year. Yet, several months after arriving, they were on welfare. “If Immigration Canada says they have to bring enough money to live for a year, shouldn’t they be letting the provinces … know that they’re not entitled to go on social services for a year?” says Taub. “There’s a sense of entitlement that is unbelievable.”
One way Punjabi immigrants scam the immigration system, I recently learned, was to hire an immigration consultant who deposits a considerable amount of money into a bank account. That or take out a loan. Either way is meant to create the false impression that the potential immigrant is financially sound when the opposite is the case. This seems to be what is at work here. Immigrants are providing false financial statements to pad their applications and once accepted into Canada are then able to collect social assistance as well as benefit from other social services.
So, are immigrants "contributing" to Canada or exploiting her? And what is meant by "contributing to society" in the first place? How is acting out of self interest contributing when doing so is selfish in behaviour?