Sunday, 31 July 2011

Have Your Say.

The government is allowing public consultations regarding the immigration system and informs us on how we can have our say.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Admission Of Guilt: Kenney Acknowledges The Immigration System Is Inadequate At Alleviating Aging Demographic.

If you don't have the blog Blazing Cat Fur bookmarked and read it often I recommend you do so. From him I give you this link.

He has posted a video interview of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney by some talking head at the CBC. They discuss the revocation of citizenship of 1800 people who obtained it illegally but what struck me was when he was asked about immigration's role in addressing Canada's aging demographic. At the 5:10 mark he states "merely to maintain the current age ratio of younger to older people in our population through immigration would require more than quadrupling immigration levels to over 1 million a year." In other words the immigration system, aside from the total collapse of the border, cannot help Canada's aging demographic for the better. Immigration critics have been pointing this out for years and it's nice to hear a Minister of Immigration finally admit it. Note that it would take more that 1 million just to maintain the current ratio. How much more would be required just to reverse it?

Despite this Jason Kenney comes off as being weary about increasing levels and I can imagine why. Simply put, it is too damn expensive as is with diminishing returns with each new cohort; the immigration system costs more than it is worth with immigrants reaping the benefits at the expense of Canadians. For this reason it's financially unfeasible to up immigration targets high enough to reverse an aging demographic trend.

The solution I offer is to cut immigration dramatically to 60,000 or so and restrict it to young, preferably single, economic migrants, refugees aside. Family reunification would be non-existent. I'd revoke the Singh decision allowing for the dissolution of the IRB and have refugees vetted abroad. There are billions in tax dollars to be saved by doing so and with this money reinvest it into Canadian families as a means to up the birth rate. Right now Canadian tax dollars are being wasted on under-performing foreign born nationals.

Speaking of under-performing the link above introduces us to this story as well. I can't think of a better way to tackle Canada's skills shortage than with the importation of 100 Somali family members, can you?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Immigration Lawyers Address Canada's 'Broken' Immigration System.

Blogger Vlade Tepes posted videos of immigration lawyers offering critiques of the immigration system. Watch them here.

The first video is an interview with an immigration lawyer made by Charles Adler on Sun TV News and I am thankful that Sun News is tackling an issue all major news networks across Canada are either too scared or too self-interested to discuss critically. I'm not a cheerleader for the network but they are providing a much absent view from the right on issues affecting Canada.

The other videos are a presentation by immigration lawyer Julie Taub uploaded in three parts. She offers some familiar insight but some very revealing information as well, highlighting the loopholes that enable the rampant fraud that is coming to characterize the immigration system. Some say Canada's immigration system is "broken" or "dysfunctional" but after listening to Julie Taub one may even go so far as to say it is corrupt.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Immigrants Hardest Hit By Recent Recession.

File this under DUH!

The unemployment gap between immigrant and Canadian-born workers has grown since the global economic meltdown set off in late 2008 and newcomers in Greater Toronto were most affected, says the study being released Friday.{...}

“Recent newcomers already experience significant marginalization in the labour market. What is surprising is they are more badly affected than the other groups and the gap has kept widening,” said York University geography professor Philip Kelly, the report’s lead investigator.{...}

While there is a longer-term trend toward a slightly lower rate of full-time employment for Canadian-born and established immigrants in the last five years, the percentage of recent newcomers working 30 or more hours a week fell from 86.1 to 82.9 per cent.

It suggests new immigrants have found themselves in precarious part-time employment in larger numbers, the report said.

Oh, by the way. We have a skills shortage, or so I'm told.

1800 Stripped Of Citizenship, No Charter Right To Health Care For Illegals, And Immigration Is Down In First Quarter.

There's some good news to report.

First up 1800 people have been stripped of citizenship due to immigration fraud on their part. My response is, "That's it!?" There's got to be more than that but at least it's something. What's remarkable about this is that since Confederation a total of 67 people have had their citizenship revoked. Now, in one fell swoop, 1800 people will lose their citizenship! I hope this isn't the last we hear of something like this.

Next, the government won a recent court challenge that if they lost would drastically undermine the financial viability of the public health care system. A Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that "An illegal immigrant has no right to free medical intervention or ongoing health care under the Charter of Rights." This is an important court ruling because it will give Canada the legal teeth to prevent "medical tourism". Immigration already brings undue stress to the nation's health care system and can bankrupt it on its own, thank you very much. It doesn't need the help of medical tourists.

And finally, immigration is down by 25% this first quarter. Before we celebrate, however, that's a 25% reduction in comparison to the insane number of 280,000 Canada admitted last year, an amount the government recognizes as being outstanding in relation to official targets. In other words we are still on track to accepting more immigrants we actually need and Canadians want to have around. I should point out it is worth reading the comments to the Toronto Star article. It has been said that the real story is in the comments and if that is the case my assumption that Canadians have become weary of immigration and immigrants are not too far fetched. Perhaps they are finally waking up to the long-term consequences of Canada's immigration system and what it means for the future of their country.

One last thing I should mention. The government has introduced reforms to the asylum system that will take effect in December but the reforms will only be applied to claims made after that date. Claims in the backlog will be handled under the older determination system. Some, it seems, were hoping that an asylum will be granted to those in the backlog like the one that was issued in 1989 when the IRB was formed but that doesn't seem to be the case this time. The government intends to keep the backlog and clear it in time. So no blanket amnesty for the many seeking to immigrate to Canada by abusing the asylum system.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Oy Vey, Again With The Skills Shortage.

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced the launch of a website that will "help Canadians identify which sectors of the economy are currently hiring and where job growth is likely to occur in future years."

The Globe and Mail report notes that "Even during the height of the recession, Ms. Finley said, there were many industries that suffered from a labour shortage because they could not find workers with the required skill sets."

Before we allow ourselves to readily accept the claim that Canada is facing a "skills crisis" - a crisis that both business and their tools in Ottawa have vested interests in promoting regardless of how true it is - we should give consideration to some relevant information.

Linked to the Globe article is a report informing us that Canada pumps out the jobs in June. It tells us jobs in transportation and warehousing were up while jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors were lost. And oh yeah, Canada faces a "skills crisis" by the way.

Furthermore from the Globe we read:

...even though self-employment was way down, there’s good reason to be skeptical that the quality of jobs being created is improving. Not only were most of the gains in services rather than goods-producing sectors of the economy, but part-time job gains outpaced full-time gains after the latter had posted a few solid months in a row. Plus, the annual pace of wage growth slipped to 2 per cent, well below the current rate of inflation and the slowest year-over-year pace since December. {...}

Moreover, total hours worked rose at the slowest annual clip since the first quarter of 2010 -- 1.2 per cent -- which suggests many people who are returning to the work force may be doing so only because they’ve swallowed hard and taken something that doesn’t really replicate the job they lost during the recession.{...}

Also, while the private sector and the public sector both saw job growth in June, governments everywhere are cutting back and it seems extremely unlikely that the public hiring seen during the month -- largely linked to temporary work on the 2011 Census -- will be repeated.

Related to that last point the government is facing budgetary constraints and looking to trim the public sector workforce as a means to address it. The RCMP slashed recruit training by 84% to under 300 recruits this year, down from 1,800 in 2009.

Since Canada is facing a "skills crisis" it should leave one scratching their head to learn that Phds are having a difficult time finding work.

...Canada’s employment rate for PhDs lags behind many European countries, the United States and Australia. Comparable data was not available for many countries including emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil.{...}

In Canada, the unemployment rate for those with PhDs in the natural sciences, it was about 3 per cent; for engineering it was closer to 4 per cent. In the U.S., it was slightly higher than 1 per cent in natural sciences and 1 per cent in engineering.

Is there really a "skills crisis" or is the labour market flooded with so much labour that employers have become unrealistically demanding of qualifications and as a consequence have become extra picky?

Perhaps the truth is that there isn't a "skills crisis" at all but rather the private sector is failing to produce jobs that meet the skills that Canadians posses. Canada has the best educated labour force out of all the G8 nations with the highest percentage of its labour market participants with some form of post-secondary training.

Yet out of all the industrialized nations in the world Canada is one of the likeliest to see its citizens live abroad. Nearly 2.9 million Canadians, almost 10% of the total population, live abroad primarily in the United States making Canada second only to the U.K. out of all industrialized nations in the size of its overseas diaspora. And these are mostly born and bred Canadians not the Canadian-of-convenience variety like the roughly 45,000 "Canadians" living in Lebanon or the some 300,000 "Canadians" living in Hong Kong. There are several reasons why someone would chose to live abroad but I am certain chief among them is employment.

With a highly educated workforce coupled with a high propensity to live and work abroad tells us something about the state of the Canadian labour market. Simply put, the jobs are not there at least not ones that are well paying, stable, and with benefits. True, there may be shortages in health care or the trades but these are not job producing professions in and of themselves and in the case of the trades are oftentimes short-term and contractual. Indeed, the Canadian job is increasingly being described as precarious. This is work that is low paying and insecure.

I believe the "skills crisis" in Canada is being over exaggerated. Hell, even U.S. businesses complain of a skills shortage but the idea is laughable when given further consideration. But the "skills crisis" is thrown around in both countries to promote immigration as a solution while in practice is to be used with the underhanded purpose of attacking the incomes of working Canadians and Americans. If Canada was serious about addressing the "skills crisis" with immigration then why are only 17% of immigrants admitted to Canada come as skilled immigrants.

Even if there is a "skills crisis" is there not enough idle labour in Canada that can be trained to address it? Do we really need 280,000 immigrants (and growing) a year? Did we ever? Why are billions being wasted to import a deluge of foreign born nationals when that money could be redirected into training the Canadian labour force?

And is the continued mass importation of people from China, India, and the Philippines, indeed from most of Asia, going to alleviate it? There is a vast pool of labour of comparable skill and competency to be found in the depressed labour markets of the United States, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece. If a reduction of immigration intake numbers is out of the question then perhaps a shift away from Asia and back to Europe and to the Americas is warranted.