The article can be read here.
It doesn't cover new territory, at least for me it doesn't, but it is still a worth while read and it will reach a broader audience than my blog does.
The launch of the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform appears to be the inspiration for the article.
Immigration has helped make Toronto one of the most successful and diverse cities in the world. That’s the good news. The bad news is, a lot of immigrants aren’t doing well. Many of them live in what are known as “priority neighbourhoods,” where unemployment is high and incomes are low. The number of people receiving social assistance has gone up. Although the city has no say in immigration policy, it pays the bills. Meantime, another 100,000 immigrants are arriving in the city every year.
Canada admits 250,000 immigrants a year, a higher rate than any other country. Why? No one can say. It’s not to raise the birth rate or replace our aging workers – the numbers don’t work out that way. Is it to create wealth and improve our productivity? If so, it isn’t working.
Mr. Burney argues that current immigration policies are dragging down our productivity, not increasing it. The two fastest-growing groups in our population are aboriginals and new immigrants. “They’re also the ones with the fewest skills to perform in our economy,” he says.
Our system is supposed to select for success. But only 17 per cent of new arrivals are fully assessed on the basis of their employment and language skills. Half never meet a visa officer at all. Most of the people we bring in are “family class” immigrants, including parents and grandparents. The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform estimates that recent immigrants receive billions of dollars a year more in benefits than they pay in taxes. “We’re building a problem of enormous proportions,” Mr. Burney says.
The man she is quoting, Derek Burney, likens the immigration system to a numbers game and he is right. It's all about the numbers and it doesn't matter who gets in just as long as quotas are filled.
Take the refugee system as an example. It is clearly dysfunctional yet little is being done to remedy it. It is likely the refugee system isn't helping genuine refugees at all but has become another avenue for immigration by those who can afford to game the system. There are far better and more efficient ways Canada can help genuine refugees and weed out scam artists but there is no political will to pursue these avenues.
Take the importation of aged parents as another example. If we truly were concerned about Canada's aging demographic, the effects it will have on health care costs and wait times, and the availability of workers to support pensions and other social programs then why are there more than 100,000 people of retirement age in the backlog of immigrants who have been approved to come to Canada? Why has so much priority been placed on getting people into Canada who will most likely never work a day in their lives but will place considerable demands on Canada's social programs?
When the system is about numbers it doesn't matter who gets here and how. Just get them in, get them citizenship, and get them voting. That's all that matters.