Monday, 25 October 2010

Putting The Final Nails In The Coffin Of A Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Claim.

This news article out of the Toronto Star describes a Sri Lanka that is not rosy but not bad either. What is remarkable about this article is that the paper bothered to send a reporter to get a first hand account of what is going on instead of editorializing on second hand information from the comfort of the paper's offices at 1 Yonge Street. And if the negative conditions that the reporter chooses to focus on are the worst a Tamil in Sri Lanka can expect then compared to millions of other people in the world they have little to complain about.

The negative spin it is giving a healing nation is to be expected since it is pandering to a 250,000 strong reader base that it wants to sell to advertisers. This is in comparison to the the almost non-existent attention it has given to Toronto's 10,000 Sinhalese Sri Lankans. The only time the paper bothered to pay attention to the Sri Lankan Sinhalese living in Toronto is when it reported, in passing, of an act of vandalism against a Sinhalese owned restaurant in Brampton and a firebombing at a Sinhalese Buddhist temple, two events that occurred after the LTTE was defeated. I don't recall if the paper ever bothered to get a Sri Lankan Sinhalese perspective on the war instead spilling most ink to curry favour with the large Tamil diaspora in Toronto. From a business angle this makes sense. It is better to sacrifice 10,000 potential readers for the sake of 250,000. At the end of the day the paper is still a profit seeking, profit maximizing entity beholden to the concerns of shareholders.

Though the article attempts to make it appear that Sri Lanka's Tamils are still victims after the war there is nothing in the article that would justify an asylum claim. And how bad can things be when, as the Toronto Sun reminds us, many Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada return to Sri Lanka to holiday.

The final blow should be this CTV BC report where we learn that some who arrived on the MV Sun Sea had their asylum claims rejected by the U.K.

Speaking in Delta, B.C., in front of one of the two ships used to bring in migrants, Kenney told reporters the government has learned some of the migrants were already found not to need refugee protection in the United Kingdom.

In immigration and refugee circles this is what is called asylum shopping and by my understanding the UN Convention on Refugees, which the U.K. is a signatory nation, has provisions to prevent this kind of behaviour. So if the U.K. rejected these people then why should Canada accept them?

Like any pest if you see one then there is a whole bunch you are not seeing and this is true about Canada's refugee system.
Vancouver immigration lawyer Daniel McLeod has seen the situation several times.

"It may surprise someone like Mr. Kenney who hasn't been around the refugee field that long, but I've been working in the area for 20 years and it's not common, but it's not unusual for someone to come to Canada who's been refused in another jurisdiction."

Honest words from the parasite lawyer.

So it appears Canada is granting asylum to people no other nation would consider a refugee. Is this compassion or naive stupidity?

The arrival of the MV Sun Sea is generating information that delegitimizes the excessive presence of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada. Looks like some repatriations are in order. We have been played for fools and rightly so because we are a nation of trusting fools. Acceptance for Sri Lankan refugee claims should drop dramatically and approach zero if any competency is to be found at the Immigration and Refugee Board. Sadly my confidence in the IRB is lacking so I expect the foolishness so continue.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Mass Immigration Inhibits Innovation.

One of the unchallenged myths that is allowed to propagate in any discourse about mass immigrations is that it brings with it technological innovation to the host society. This seems to be a given, I suspect, based on the assumption that the mass influx of a people into a society will at least include a Guttenberg, an Einstein, or what have you that will excel and bring rewards and bragging rights to whatever country that agrees to host them. Thus, Canada must maintain an open mass immigration system not unlike the nets of a deep sea troller scrapping the ocean floor to catch the best fish. The question is if the assumption has any basis in reality? I don't think is has much.

Despite decades of mass immigration Canada is still considered a commodities based economy with a poor record on technological innovation even though Canada hosts some world class institutions of higher learning and has contributed to advances in the sciences and technological innovation while, I must add, in the absence of a mass immigration policy. It seems mass immigration has not delivered the miracle of technological innovation it promised. Indeed, it may have the opposing effect.

Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies offers a snippet of why we should be suspicious of the grandiose claim that mass immigration brings technological innovation but a little primer on the book itself.

Guns, Germs, and Steel attempts to explain why it was Eurasian people who did the conquering and no one else; why it was the Europeans who conquered the Americas, Africa, and Australasia and not the other way around. His book is not a glorification of European culture and society. Far from it. He claims Europeans had advantages offered to them that allowed them to prosper and conquer over weaker and more "primitive" societies. And it wasn't just the Europeans but other societies who behaved in like fashion had similar advantages offered to them as well. To go further into detail will just side track this post but this wiki entry will suffice. Needless to say what I want to get across is that Diamond approaches the topic from an equalitarian point of view on the origins of man, a view that is at home in a left of center paradigm.

On pages 249-48 in the chapter titled "Necessity's Mother" he discusses explanatory factors that historians of technology suggest may determine and explain why a particular society may be receptive to technology and engage in technological innovation. One of the factors is:

The availability of cheap slave labor in classical times supposedly discouraged innovation then, whereas high wages or labor scarcity now stimulate the search for technological solutions. For example, the prospect of changed immigration policies that would cut off the supply of cheap Mexican seasonal labor to Californian farms was the immediate incentive for the development of a machine-harvestable variety of tomatoes in California.

This suggests that cheap imported labour discourages the need to seek alternatives and thus inhibites technological innovation. I think this is true. For a real world example we need only to look at Japan. It's lack of an immigration policy and scarcity of labour in the face of an aging population has made it one of the most technologically innovative societies in the world. Equally important is the Japanese government's intervention in the Japanese economy as well as a culture that has grown to appreciate technology and innovation.

That last sentence would explain the United States. The U.S. is still the leader in scientific and technological discovery but this has to do with government intervention via the Pentagon in the creation of new and better technologies for the benefit of U.S. based corporations. Aside from a few imported scientists and engineers the mass immigration policy of the U.S. contributes little to its success as a technologically innovative nation state. In fact, it may be a hinderance in some regards.

The assumption that mass immigration brings technological innovation to a host society is specious at best. Necessity, culture, and government support appear to be the deciding factors.

Why Is Organized Labour Silent About Mass Immigration?

Thomas Walkom is proving to be the only writer worth reading at the Toronto Star. In this piece he takes organized labour to task over its failure to capitalize on the recession to marshal the people to its cause. Following on what he wrote I have this to ask: why is organized labour silent about the harmful effects of mass immigration on not only the wages and salaries of working Canadians but also on the standards of their work environment? Much of the gains made by the labour movement over the course of its history is being undermined by mass immigration. The steady importation of a desperate people willing to work for any wage under any conditions only undermines labour's negotiating power and relevance.

The unions that have suffered the most are private sector unions. This is not surprising given the mobility of capital and the option to outsource work beyond the reach of unionized labour. On top of that they too are subject to the ups and downs of the business cycle and sometimes are forced to make concessions so as to save their jobs.

On the other hand public sector unions live in a world of their own. Not only do they monopolize the services they deliver they are also not as affected by the business cycle as everyone else is. Their jobs, though not guaranteed, are relatively more secure than those in the private sector yet somehow have better benefits and incomes.

Public sector unions are now, pretty much, the labour movement as private sector unions are at their weakest. So why no show of solidarity and compassion for the working man by pressuring the government to reduce immigration quotas that effectively attack working Canadians?

The Multicultural Society Has Failed!

Or so says the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

I am not familiar with what compelled her to make that declaration so I'll turn things over to Pat Buchanan at vdare. Perhaps he can explain it better than I can.

Here in Canada we do not hear those kinds of statements at least not from politicians who hold a high office. The occasional journalist or pundit may take a stab at multiculturalism but this is more the exception than the rule. Typically it is routine cheerleading all around.

We Canadians are told that multiculturalism works for us but by what benchmarks are they measuring that success? It they mean that by holding our immigrants to the lowest expectations of civic participation, that they vote and pay taxes, then no wonder they call it a success. It's like failing a test and saying you still passed because at least you tried and that's all that matters. It's also very, very lazy.

We are also told that Canada as a "social experiment" has garnered positive results but it is too soon to say the experiment has concluded and the results are in. The experiment is far from over and the possibility that it may fail is very real. When that happens who is going to clean up the mess? How do we correct the mistake? Who is going to take responsibility for it?

If the experiment fails then the country is lost and ruined. That is the stake we are gambling with and it is too much to risk.

So if the multicultural society has failed for Germany then are we to assume it is because the Germans didn't make it work? Are Germany's immigrants free of blame? Perhaps it is they who didn't make it work and proved that multiculturalism as a social policy is a disaster. After all Germany has a legacy of Nazism it wants to atone for and has spent the past several decades creating a more open and tolerant society for minority groups of all stripes and being more welcoming to immigrants.

My assessment is that Germans are waking up to the realization that multiculturalism means the elimination of a national identity. In order for multiculturalism to work the German cannot exist for if the German existed then specific signifiers can be isolated to help us identify who is and who is not a German. It's the same thing here in Canada where everyone and no one is a Canadian at the same time. It's a paradox the robs Canadians of an identity of their own so that others can retain theirs. In its place Canadians are encouraged to accentuate their ancestry and the nation's immigrant history but at no time can the Canadian exist. The Canadian, or the German, is antithetical to multiculturalism.

So there you have it. You can either have multiculturalism or you can have the Canadian. You cannot have both.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Contributing Or Exploiting?

This is from the Toronto Sun.

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?

Half Of Canadian Employers Balk At Hiring Foreign Trained Workers.

From the Vancouver Sun.

About half of Canadian employers say their appetite for hiring foreign-trained workers is reduced because of difficulties assessing their abilities, according to an internal survey commissioned by the federal government.

Employers' qualms about hiring workers trained abroad revolved around the challenges of evaluating their education credentials, their language skills and their work experience, the survey said.

It also said interest in hiring foreign workers was lowest among small business owners, who make up the bulk of Canada's employers, and highest among larger companies.

The survey, conducted by Ekos Research Associates in March for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, involved telephone interviews with 519 small, medium and large companies and 15 business organizations.

Thank You Thailand! (Updated)

It appears Thailand is showing Canada how to get things done.

From the Toronto Sun we read:

The Thai government arrested 155 illegal Sri Lankan immigrants Sunday, part of a group that Canadian officials believe were attempting to sail to Canada and seek refugee status.

The Government of Thailand said its commando unit and immigration bureau raided several apartments in 17 locations and arrested 155 Sri Lankan immigrants, many who had no travel documents or had overstayed their visas.

The immigrants are suspected of being Elam rebels, or Tamil tigers,

the National News Bureau of Thailand’s public relations department said.

Thai police said they found a picture of the Tamil Tigers’ late leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, during the raid.


The raid may have been at the prompting of Ottawa. From the Toronto Star we read:

The Canadian Tamil Congress says it’s extremely concerned by reports 155 Sri Lankan migrants have been arrested in Thailand and that Ottawa may have played a role in the crackdown to prevent the migrants from setting sail for Canada.

Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai said his organization has spoken with a relative of one of the Tamils arrested this past weekend in a raid of 17 Bangkok locations.

A relative? Are we correct then to assume that Canada's Sri Lakan Tamils are helping to smuggle people into the country?

A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the minister cannot confirm or deny operational matters.

The federal government will not sit back while Canada becomes a target for criminal operations that try to take advantage of the country’s generosity, the spokesman added.

[...]

Lisa Monette, a Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, provided few details Tuesday on the government’s role in the Thailand arrests.

“We are aware of the operation conducted by Thai authorities,” she said.

“Canada is engaged with a number of countries in the region on issues regarding migrant smuggling, including pursuing co-operation with source and transit countries. We will not comment on operational issues that may compromise any ongoing or future efforts.”

I hope it is true that Ottawa did play a role in the arrests because it means the government is actually doing something about queue-jumping immigrants, so the Canadian Tamil Congress can whine all they want.

This is, of course, an inefficient way to deal with the problem. Instead of getting to the root of it the government has chosen instead to confront people smuggling in a cat-and-mouse game. Here is Martin Collacott writing in the Ottawa Citizen:

While many Tamil civilians were killed, wounded or displaced in the fighting between the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan government forces that ended last year, the case cannot be made that Tamils in general in Sri Lanka suffer from persecution. Among other things, they continued to occupy senior positions in government throughout the civil war and still do so. The situation in Sri Lanka, moreover, could not have been as dire for Tamils as asylum seekers allege since large numbers of them have gone back to visit their relatives after filing their claims in Canada. Yet a further factor worth considering is that in Colombo, the largest city in Sri Lanka and located firmly in the Sinhalese south of the country, 30 per cent of the population are Tamils who have been able to continue with their daily lives despite the conflict.

Refugee activists, nevertheless, argue that Tamils in Sri Lanka must be under threat simply because we have accepted close to 90 per cent of their refugee claims over the years. What such figures demonstrate, however, is not that Tamils are being persecuted in Sri Lanka but that something is seriously wrong with our refugee system. In 2003, for example, when Britain accepted only two per cent of claims from Sri Lankan Tamils and Germany only four per cent, Canada approved 76 per cent. In the same year, Canada accepted claims from far more Tamils than did all the other countries in the world combined.

Our attraction to asylum seekers in general is not only that we accept the claims of large numbers that no other country would consider to be genuine refugees but that we provide the most generous system of benefits available anywhere for those making a refugee claim. It is hardly any wonder, therefore, that tens of thousands of individuals make refugee claims in Canada every year and that Sri Lankan Tamils have been so adept at using the system that they have succeeded in establishing in Canada their largest overseas community in the world.

An Ottawa Citizen reader responds with the following:

It is easy to figure out why the Tamils bypass Tamil Nadu in India, their motherland, where 61 million Tamils live and many other countries in between Sri Lanka and Canada and land on our shores. It is our lucrative welfare system.

They know that Canada is the goose that keeps laying golden eggs -- a country that pays welfare cheques starting at $585 a month -- when converted to Sri Lankan rupees is 58,000, which is a fortune in Sri Lankan terms. To sweeten their attraction to Canada, they are offered welfare housing, medical services, and a free legal aid system to fight their cases in court, and their children will receive free post-secondary school education.

They are smart to know that couples with children under six years of age could also apply for the universal child care benefit each month for each child. They are also eligible for a federal child tax benefit and the national child benefit supplement, which they could not get in Sri Lanka.

So who wouldn't want to come to Canada and be with Canada's nice people?

They know that a couple with one child can get $327.66 per month as child care benefits on top of $1,058 under the Ontario welfare system and that Scarborough and Markham, where they will eventually will end up, are indeed cities in Ontario.

These Tamils also know that, once they receive their Canadian passport, they can get on the first flight out of Canada with no questions asked by the Canadian authorities to return to Sri Lanka for holidays and visit relatives, the country that they ran away from, saying that they were persecuted.

With incentives like these is it any wonder why anyone from anywhere will try to game Canada's refugee system?

If we are serious about tackling the problem we need to look at the cause of it which means looking at ourselves and admitting we made mistakes.

Straightening out our highly dysfunctional refugee determination system is no easy matter. For one thing it is hamstrung by our adherence to an international convention that is badly out of date in relation to today's realities, such as the multi-billion dollar international people-smuggling industry.

The situation is further complicated by a Supreme Court decision that would not have occurred had a section of the Charter of Rights and Freedom been drafted with greater care.

The government did, in fact, introduce legislation in Parliament earlier this year designed to make modest improvements to the system -- but it was largely gutted by refugee advocacy groups and lawyers in concert with members of the opposition hoping to curry favour with immigrant communities whose members have been notably successful in exploiting the refugee system in its current state.

As far as I'm concerned they are enemies of the state since immigration is a sovereignty issue and if these groups have undermined Canada's ability to police her borders than they have in effect eroded our national sovereignty.

Ultimately we cannot depend on countries like Thailand to police our borders for us. Not only is it unfair but it is our responsibility.

Update: This is from the Toronto Star:

The aspiring refugees are being dishonest when they tell Canadian officials they fear for their personal safety in Sri Lanka, says Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris. And a recent internal study by the Canadian High Commission in Colombo seems to give the minister’s claim some credence.

[...]

“The people who are now asking for refugee status are doing so for economic reasons, not because they fear for their lives. Okay, that is part of human nature. Everybody wants to improve their lot in life.

“They want to see greener pastures. That is fine. But to ascribe that to atrocities that are alleged to be taking place in this country, or to hide behind a smokescreen of imagined delinquencies or wrongdoings is, to say the least, disingenuous and it also does harm to the country.”

The Canadian High Commission in Colombo recently conducted an internal study and examined a limited number of case files of Sri Lankan Tamils who have been granted asylum in Canada since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in May 2009. In more than half of the cases, the refugees had later returned to Sri Lanka after receiving Canadian citizenship and passports.

“It certainly raised some eyebrows,” Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said recently in an interview with the Star in New Delhi.

“It’s a limited sample size but we do have a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest there’s a lot of people who gain protected status and return to their original country. We believe there is widespread abuse of our asylum system.”

How nice of Jason Kenney to finally take notice. So how about doing something about it? The report goes on to state that the RCMP has established an office in Colombo as part of an effort to address the issue. Great! More band aid solutions to a chronic problem that will cost Canadian taxpayers more money but when you have decided not to invoke the notwithstanding clause in the Charter to repeal the Singh decision, as Jason Kenney has done, what course of action is left?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Immigration System Is Just A Numbers Game.

Apparently this is no joke. The Globe and Mail published an article questioning Canada's immigration system.

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.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Shut Down Chandigarh: On Consultants, The Pathetic, Greed, And Rampant Fraud.

I started this blog with a few goals in mind and getting Canada's diplomatic mission in Chandigarh, Punjab, India shut down has been added to the list. Two more stories published in the Toronto Star add fuel to the fire and illustrate why Canada's diplomatic mission in Chandigarh, Punjab, India does not serve Canada's interest as it is a complete waste of money.

The first one takes a look at the unscrupulous, unethical, lecherous face of immigration consultancy in the Indian state.

Sandeep Ohri is a dashing 42-year-old who revels in zipping through the traffic chaos in his gleaming Mercedes, passing billboards touting him as the leading immigration consultant in Punjab state.

But Canadian officials see someone else: an extraordinarily brazen and successful scam artist in an industry rife with deceptive swindlers willing to provide applicants with a litany of sham documents — everything from fake airline tickets and doctored bank statements to forged letters from Canadian-based funeral homes.

Of the nearly 500 visa applications formally rejected this year, 228 come from Ohri and his firm, OGIC Immigration Consultants.

[...]

The six visa-section staff who work at Canada’s mission in Chandigarh, Punjab’s capital, review 40,000 visa applications a year from students, family members and prospective immigrants. While official statistics aren’t available, one senior Canadian diplomat estimated at least a quarter of those applications are refused because of fraud.

“More would be if the processing was completed, but sometimes you know it’s fraud and just refuse the request and close the file,”
the diplomat said.

India is Canada's top source for immigrants simply because of the volume of applications the country produces due to the size of its population. Of those who immigrate approximately half of them come from the state of Punjab. Punjab is home to the majority of India's Sikhs thus there are more Sikhs in Canada than Hindus. Hindus comprise the majority of India's population at 80%; Sikhs are only 2% (there are more Christians in India than Sikhs). In Canada Sikhs constitute roughly 50% of the Indo-Canadian community whereas Hindus are just over 30%.

In Punjab, "the average per-capita annual income of $484 is still the highest in the country" which means in relation to rest of their compatriots Punjabis are not necessarily hurting. They have money.

With that said we come to the second article. This one reveals the financial extent to which Punjabis go to send a son over-seas to secure "a better life" for the family. This can be realized in the form of remittances or the eventual importation of the entire family into western countries through family reunification schemes.

Now, though the story is presented as a tragic tale of a Punjabi family who only tried to make a better life for themselves I cannot say I share that sentiment. I believe they got what they deserved. You see, in India western citizenship is a status symbol and the article makes this clear.

In the small village of Kapure, it is not about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about keeping up with the Gills and Dhaliwals.

On a narrow, dusty street, one house after the other boasts visible signs of prosperity — a fresh coat of paint, air conditioners, brick driveways and new cars. The children, playing hide and seek, wear Reebok and Nike.

The neighbours share not only affluence but also a common source of it — almost every family has a son, son-in-law or nephew living abroad and sending money home.

Every family, that is, except the Bhangus.

[...]

In many villages, almost every house has at least one person in North America, England or Europe.

Those that don’t, like the Bhangus, are considered pariahs,
says Krishan Chand, who’s been studying the effects of immigration on villages with the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development. They are excluded from events and, in some cases, parents are not able to find husbands for their daughters.

Thus starts the chase where these left-out families will do anything in the hope of sending a family member — usually a son — abroad.

This leaves them vulnerable to the smooth talk of unscrupulous immigration consultants. But the prospective immigrant is not a babe in the woods free of blame. They oftentimes participate in the fraud.

Typically agents provide prospective university and college students, and others, with fake bank statements and other doctored documents to support their visa requests, which are usually rejected without proof of one’s ability to pay school fees and living expenses.

Others provide their clients with fake passports and visas. Most are rejected.

A visa officer at the Chandigarh mission’s consular section told the Star’s Rick Westhead last year that the staff is deluged with applications sent with phony documents. “Over the past year, 85 per cent of employment letters related to work visa applications have been forgeries,” he said.

[...]

The Bhangus find it hard to believe they are living this nightmare.

Prabhjot says he resisted for some years but then started exploring various avenues, but found he couldn’t immigrate to Canada under the points system, or as a student or on a work permit.

The family knew there was a better chance of finding a well-to-do husband for Hardeep, who had turned 20, if Prabhjot was abroad.

That’s when Prabhjot says a friend from the village who now lives in Toronto introduced him to an immigration agent. The agent promised to take Prabhjot to Toronto for $48,000.

Things go downhill from there but at least he escapes with his life. Not so for Amandeep Kaur Dhillion. Remember her? The status seeking impulses of her Sikh family back in India sacrificed her happiness and sold her into a loveless marriage so that they can use her to immigrate to Canada. She was stabbed to death on January 1, 2009, her father-in-law was charged with first degree murder.

Punjab is a hot bed of fraud and so, in their infinite political wisdom, the Liberal Party of Canada opened a foreign mission right in the belly of the beast. Opened in 2004 to reward Sikh voting blocs for their loyal support Canada has the only foreign mission in Punjab's state capital. With an annual operating budget of around $25 million a year the mission serves no purpose other than to waste Canadian tax dollars by funneling scam artists, the pathetic, the mediocre, the greedy, the aged, all into Canada. But they eventually vote and isn't that what really matters in the end?

Jason Kenney, Canada's minister responsible for immigration, was in India recently to specifically address the immigration abuses Canada is subjected to by Indian applicants, particularly those in Punjab. Well good luck with that. Why should India care? Why would India want to curb the steady outflow of non-resident Indians into foreign countries who can then influence domestic politics and the economy to satisfy India's interests?

Forget India. Canada needs to protect itself and the way to do that is to shut down the damn, useless mission in Chandigarh. For one thing it plays into the hands of the immigration consultants in the state by making the execution of their scams all the more easier. In this regard Canada is an accomplice to the crimes.

Also, what quality of immigrant is the mission helping to import into the nation when many of the applications are clearly fraudulent? If these people are willing to go so far as to defraud the Canadian government and the people it represents then they don't deserve to come to Canada at all. And what kind of Canadians will they be, if you can call them that, if Canadian citizenship is nothing more to them than a status symbol on par with an expensive car and fancy golf clubs?

Canada needs to shut down the mission as well as curtail immigration from India altogether. We simply accept far too many immigrants from that country to be of any worth. And of that county a considerable sum come from one particular region. Indeed this is characteristic of the immigration system as a whole. Almost 60% of immigrants come from Asia and of that 60% most come from a few source countries chiefly India, China, and the Philippines. This doesn't say much about diversity in the immigration system now does it?

I don't think the mission will be shut down at all. As I mentioned before Sikhs constitute roughly 50% of the Indo-Canadian community. Because of this disproportionate over-representation in Canada, coupled with their clout as a well organized voting bloc, Canada's political parties trip over each other to insincerely pander to the Sikh community for political support. There's votes to be had and if a stagnant economy with an 8.1% unemployment rate isn't enough to encourage Canada's governing parties to curb immigration then don't expect anything to be done respecting Indian immigration fraud.

Damn The Unemployed: Maintaining Immigration Surpluses In A Time Of 'Modest Economic' Growth.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty spoke candidly recently when he said economic boom times are over.

Canada’s economic boom times are over, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says.

“We’re in a different world today,” he said Monday, following a meeting with private sector economists.

In a blunt assessment, the usually optimistic Flaherty said Canadians need to rein in their hopes for the economy.

“This is not a time of booming economic growth, it’s a time of modest growth and there needs to be some adjustment of expectations.

“We’re not going to see the boom times that we saw before in the shorter term,”
he said.

How about that? So when the economy was booming we were told we needed the highest per capita intake of immigrants in the world to support it. Now what? Oh right, we still need the highest per capita intake of immigrants in the world to "prepare for the recovery" which will happen when exactly? Get the feeling that the federal government is not being honest with the citizenry about the real intent of maintaining high immigration quotas? Do they even know what they are doing?

The Toronto Star's Thomas Walkom thinks Canadians should expect almost no assistance from Ottawa to help them through these uncertain economic times. I think he's right.

But now, belatedly, Ottawa has recognized that this country is not immune from a crisis that still roils the industrial world. In particular, it is not immune from a crisis ravaging this country’s biggest market, the U.S.

Canada’s economy may not sink back into technical recession. But neither is it expected to prosper.

Few forecasts are optimistic. Economists at the University of Toronto’s policy and economic analysis program don’t expect the national jobless rate to drop to pre-recession levels until at least 2016.

Thomas Walkom fails to mention the cutting of immigration levels as a course of action Ottawa should adopt to protect Canadians in the current economic climate.

However he does have this to say:

All of this may help explain why Flaherty wants Canadians to make an “adjustment” to their expectations. Here’s what that means.

Young people should not expect good jobs when they leave school. The unemployed should not expect any work at all.

The sick should expect health care to be cut back. The poor should expect to get poorer.

The old should not expect the pensions they worked for.

In effect, the finance minister says, expect very little from this government. Take him at his word.


In a related story we have this op-ed piece in the Toronto Star.

Canada can and should help the developing world, but we also must help people trapped in poverty and hunger at home.

The United Nations meeting coincided with an important local event, the release of the Daily Bread Food Bank’s annual Who’s Hungry report. The statistics are alarming. This past year, food banks experienced a 15 per cent increase, the largest rise in client visits since social assistance rates were cut by almost 22 per cent in 1995. As a result of the economic downturn, with many losing their jobs or having their hours cut, the number of people who have to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families is at its highest ever.

An alarming number of people in our city are borrowing on their credit cards just to be able to pay the rent and buy groceries. Of all clients interviewed, 28 per cent had used a credit card or line of credit to pay for basic needs such as housing and food. These are honest, hard-working people, many with disabilities, who are either unable to work or have lost their jobs.

In the 905 region, food bank use increased by 21 per cent from 157,000 visits annually to 190,000. This is likely due to a higher number of layoffs in the manufacturing sector in those areas of the GTA.


In our enthusiasm to prove Canada’s engagement in global economic, aid and security issues, we cannot forget that our own house is not in order.


Dramatically cutting immigration targets will give recent immigrants and the recently unemployed a fighting chance in the current labour market. Not doing so only reveals the collective indifference of all of Canada's politicians towards their plight. There are few excuses left for maintaining dangerously high levels of immigration outside of political necessity.

Monday, 4 October 2010

From The "What Else Is New?" Files: Foreign Doctors Not Passing Canada's Certification Exams.

You want to know the real reason why foreign trained medical professionals are driving cabs and delivering pizza? Then read this National Post article.

With Canada’s doctor shortage still dire, medical authorities are under constant pressure to let more foreign-trained medical graduates work here as physicians. But two new studies point to a significant roadblock: close to half of those who make it past rigorous screening and into family-medicine post-graduate training fail to pass their certification exams.

[...]

Researchers and officials stress that the findings do not suggest Canada should turn its back on foreign-trained MDs who settle here — especially since they save taxpayers the substantial cost of medical school education — but that more needs to be done to help them become full-fledged Canadian physicians.

Although the two studies, just published in the journal Canadian Family Physician, are the first to expose the problem widely, the phenomenon has been well-known within the medical community, doctors say.


The article mentions that one of the solutions to the problem is to only accept graduates from internationally accredited universities. Sounds like a good idea.

I have some solutions of my own. How about building more medical schools (and close a few law schools in the process) to train Canadians to meet the nation's needs instead of poaching the developing world of its much needed medical staff; which is what we are doing right now.

A much more practical and achievable solution is to cut immigration numbers and cut off the importation or aged parents and other sickly relatives. What has not been fully investigated is the effects mass immigration has had on wait times and on an increasing patient to doctor ratio. Nor do we fully understand the financial strain mass immigration is having on Canada's public health care system. Given recent immigrants diminishing economic performance immigration may very well be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I don't think Canadians want to sacrifice their health care system for the superficial novelties of a multiculturalism policy dependent on mass immigration.