We do not learn anything new from this report as it reiterates what immigration critics have been saying years but it is a welcome one nonetheless since it helps bring attention to an immigration system that may end up doing more harm to Canadian society than good.A new report on immigration outcomes questions Ottawa’s insistence on maintaining Canada’s high immigration levels despite a recession.Bringing in a huge number of immigrants during an economic downturn could create an underclass of new Canadians caught up in adversity, said the study by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
And there is ample evidence to suggest the caution the report encourages is warranted.
The Toronto Star gives us this report on the dramatic upswing in the number of Toronto's working poor.
And here's the kicker:The legions of Toronto area workers pouring coffee, cleaning toilets and otherwise toiling for low wages in office towers and factories is growing dramatically.Between 2000 and 2005, the area’s working poor grew by 42 per cent, to 113,000 people, according to a groundbreaking report based on Statistics Canada labour and income data.Across the region, they accounted for 6.4 per cent of the working-age population. But inside the city of Toronto, they surged to 8.2 per cent of the workforce, or 70,700 people, says the study by the Metcalf Foundation, released on Saturday.“Working many hours and holding full-time, year-round employment is no longer a guarantee of escaping poverty,” says the report, entitled: “The ‘Working Poor’ in the Toronto Region; Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing.”
Almost three out of four are immigrants, and almost half are single or lone parents. More than half have some post-secondary education, about the same as the average Canadian worker.
Almost 60 per cent are renters, and more than 60 per cent are between the ages of 18 and 44.
Bear in mind that this was the picture during the region’s boom times.
Although StatsCan income data for 2011 isn’t yet available, the situation has likely worsened, says economist Armine Yalnizyan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.The Toronto Star also gives us this report on immigrants being the "new homeless."
But a new study on immigrant housing warns that thousands of newcomers continue to live in “hidden homelessness” — in shared, overcrowded housing — an issue that has grown more acute, especially in Toronto, where affordable rental units are in short supply.
The national study by Metropolis, an international network of researchers in immigration policy, found most newcomers reported spending more than 50 per cent of income on housing, with 15 per cent spending 75 per cent or more.What is to be expected when unemployment rates for immigrants have typically been higher than the national average? Here StatsCan informs us that back in 2006 the unemployment rate for recent immigrants was 12.3%, nearly double the national average at the time of 6.3%. Should we assume the gap has shrunk since then? I doubt it. And let us not forget that the official rates characteristically understate the severity of unemployment in the country since it does not take into account the underemployed, seasonal and other temporary work, part time work, and those who have become so discouraged they have withdrawn from the labour market altogether. It is quite likely then that the current unemployment rate for recent immigrants is near 15%.
There is no wisdom in allowing over 260,000 permanent residents into Canada this year, along with an additional 200,000+ temporary workers. But has it been wise to allow so many into the country over the past two decades? This is a question ImmigrationWatchCanada.org raises and the report never addresses. The answer is no, it has not been wise to do so and every excuse used to justify such high numbers fails upon closer examination.
With an apparent immigrant underclass already established in Canada's major urban centres importing record numbers of more immigrants into the country will make matters worse. Marry this to youth unemployment and what you have is a disaster in the making.