If anyone needs convincing that Canada's federal MPs care more about their jobs than those of the people they allegedly represent than look no further than the latest announcement concerning immigration levels. Barely crawling out of a deep recessionary period that created an unemployment level above 8% (unofficially it is probably above 10%); coupled with an OECD report that projects an unimpressive rate of growth for Canada averaging at 1.6% until 2017; these amid predictions of a jobless recovery; Jason Kenney, minister responsible for immigration, has the nerve to tell us that the governemt intends to keep immigration levels steady between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents next year.
If that isn't bad enough he also announced that the government intends to decrease the number of economic class immigrants by 5,000 while increasing the number of spouses and children and refugees. In other words they want fewer skilled immigrants to settle in the country while increasing the number of unskilled immigrants because "Canada's post-recession economy demands a high level of legal immigration to keep our workforce strong”. Does that make sense to you? Can anyone with a rational mind wrap their brian around that and explain how lowering skilled immigration and raising unskilled immigration will "keep the workforce strong"?
Whether Jason Kenney is conscious of it or not he appears to have given a veiled pessimistic view of Canada's economy in the years to come. Why would you want immigrants with high expectations over those whose expectations are lower in comparison if the jobs Canada will be churning out are low paying, low skilled, dead end occupations? He seems to be aware of this and that's why he wants fewer skilled immigrants to come to Canada.
Ultimately this is an ill-advised decision made to save political careers. The Conservatives do not want to jeopardize their bid for a majority in the next election by potentially offending immigrant and ethnic vote banks in Canada's voter rich urban centers. They know that were they to do the right thing and reduce immigration levels at this time their political opponents will jump on them and denounce them as anti-immigrant in the hopes that such baseless accusations will score them political points with ethnic urban voting blocs. Sadly none of them seem to appreciate the possibility that immigrants want less immigration too.
What other reason could it be? We are told that we need to maintain a mass immigration regime to "keep the workforce strong" as the economy crawls along at the lightning speed of 1.6% growth a year. When we were in the midst of the recession we were told we needed to maintain a mass immigration regime to (get this) "prepare for the recovery". When the economy was healthy and booming we not only needed to maintain a mass immigration regime, we were told, to keep pace but we needed more immigration.
So the question is what economic conditions will necessitate less immigration? The Trudeau Liberals thought the recession of the early 1980s was enough to reduce immigration targets and that's what they did. Now it seems we need a depression and then, maybe.