Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Recipe For Making 'New Canadians' (but will they ever be Canucks?)

Ingredients: As many foreigners as you want.

1. Take foreigner(s) and place them in Canada.

2. Let sit for three years.

3. Voilà!  Instant  "new Canadians!"

Another Canada Day has come and gone and along with fireworks we Canadians were entreated to the showcasing of a citizenship swearing-in ceremony by the nation's media.  These ceremonies are perfunctory and attendance is not mandatory.  The one's who show up are the one's who feel like it while many others don't bother.

The impression being made is these people are Canadians now as if to imply that saying some words and signing one's name to a piece of paper is all that is required to be considered Canadian.  But we know deep down that being Canadian is more than that.

Let's put things in perspective.

Arguably Canada is the easiest nation to immigrate to in the world.  You'll have a tougher time immigrating to Mexico or India or China or anywhere else for that matter than you will immigrating to Canada.

The residency requirement for Canadian citizenship is laughably short.  One only need to have lived in Canada for 1,095 days over a four year period or for three out of four years.  You can break that time up however you wish so long as you have spent 1,095 days over four years in Canada.  For others like live-in care givers you just need two years of living in Canada and that will put you on the path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship despite technically being a temporary foreign worker and being bereft of skills this country needs.  For investor immigrants all you need to do is invest an insulting $800,000 and you can buy Canadian citizenship for yourself and for your family.  When it comes to Canadian citizenship we give it away like toys in McDonald's Happy Meals.  

It is argued that by quickly granting citizenship to immigrants - sorry, I mean to say "new Canadians"- it gets them politically engaged and voting.  Since elections are typically held once every four years this suggests that to the political parties immigration is just a voter importing mechanism which would explain why none of the nation's political parties are for decreases in immigration levels.  On the contrary they always want more immigration since more immigrants means more voters to pander to.

Our expectations for immigrants is low to the point where we don't expect them to assimilate at all yet call them Canadians just the same.  It's like the Chinese woman in the linked article above.  She lives in the largest of the Chinese colonies in Toronto, speaks Chinese exclusively almost everyday, but still thinks she's Canadian.  And to her this is what being Canadian is all about which is to say you are Canadian by not being Canadian.  Put another way you can be Canadian by not being Canadian.  None of this makes sense of course but it's a paradox allowed by multiculturalism.  It can only be rectified by either eliminating the Canadian identity altogether and replacing it with one delineated by the rhetoric of multiculturalism; or by the creation of a vague Canadian identity that is based on the acceptance of something called "Canadian values" which are values not unique to this country but are shared by the western world.  In either case nothing uniquely Canadian is created.

With that said are "new Canadians" really Canadians or just foreigners with Canadian citizenship?  Are they Canadians or just Canadians on paper?  Does staying put for three years in Canada while hiding away in an ethnic enclave - a politically correct euphemism for colony - really make one a Canadian?  I don't think so.

Equally important is do "new Canadians" even care?  I don't think so either.  To them Canadian citizenship is a legal document that grants them entitlements to Canadian society.  Canada is just the easier America to get into and unlike the United States we don't have a clearly defined cultural identity so to them there's nothing to assimilate into.  Canadians may disagree with them on that but to the "new Canadians" they don't see it.  To them Canada is a land of entitlements and benefits, it's a harbour in a storm, it's an ATM machine and a shopping mall and nothing more.

It's too easy to immigrate here and we give away citizenship too readily and this creates those attitudes and sense of entitlement.  We need to toughen the immigration laws, citizenship requirements, and be more selective while decreasing intake quotas but that goes without saying.

So as another Canada Day comes and goes and we anticipate the arrival of the next one we should pause and reflect on what kind of country immigration is creating.  Canada has been described as a "nation of nations" but I think a nation of colonies is more accurate.  If you speak Chinese all day and everyday and live among other Chinese doesn't make you a Canadian.  You're a Chinese national living among other Chinese nationals in a Chinese colony on Canadian soil.  You're a colonizer, not an immigrant, no matter how long you lived here.  Same can be said of Italians, south Asians, or Portuguese and so on.  Being a Canadian is a choice expressed by one's acts, loyalties, and emotions and not by what some words on a piece of paper say.  You may say you're Canadian but your actions tell us otherwise and on a subconscious level we know the difference.  You may say you're Canadian and have all the legal documentation that says so but can you truly say you're a Canuck?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suggest a citizenship training period of at least 10 years from granting of residency to granting of votiong rights.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't of said it better, you were a lot politer than I would of been. They reap the benefits on our soil only and keep their so called multiculture in so called cults. They should be made speak fluent english before any are allowed into our country and made to speak the language as their first language. Also 10 yrs in this country among the other people not in Mini China, mini Italy etc., and they say we are rascist, Hello we do not receive what they receive when they come here. To me there is nothing ruder than any of them standing in your way in a mall or grocery store talking in their foreign tongue. Come on real Canadians speak out your feelings and stop sitting in the bushes complaining about them all.

Anonymous said...

China has a larger population than Canada. They need our landscape. Since us white folks aren't breeding, it's inevitable that the worlds population will move around to balance people vs land.

I have no issue with people who come here and speak their exclusive languages. In fact, it bothers me how few Canadians speak more than one language. I've met people who speak 5+ languages - they are the ones with a bright future in a global job market.

Your protectionist views rely on the world staying stagnant. Sure it sucks that we're being left behind in the real-estate market - but a lot of Canucks are outsourcing their retirements in places like Mexico anyway. If we only want to be here six months a year, why are we so concerned with making sure other people can't come here? And why should Mexico allow so many of us to live there, when we want to keep everything for ourselves here?

We can't have our cake and eat it too. When my ancestors came here, they were fleeing economic hard ship and were seeking land. They didn't speak the languages here. They came in and took the land away from the Indigenous peoples, put up fences, built roads, exploited the environment and locked First Nations kids up in Residential Schools. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, we don't like it.

I say suck it up. The world is changing, and since white people are no longer increasing their population, it's time to give up on having control over the worlds land and resources.

From a born and bred Canuck

Anonymous said...

I am a born and bred Canadian. I had the unfortunate experience with a rude Somalian cab driver who first criticized me about where I live. "Fancy for you White people." Then told me Canada will be better when all the "White people die off." This was July 2nd, even though he claimed to be here 20 years, still driving a cab. I guess we should be grateful he was working at all. So all those that think racism is only towards minorities (and I think White people in Toronto are the minority) are very mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason many born and bred Canucks aren't breeding is because of falling wages and rising costs. If there were fewer "new Canadians" wages would be higher and housing costs would be lower. More Canadians would be able to start larger families sooner and the natural birth rate would be higher.

Anonymous said...

Ahh.. Another one on china's payroll. I suspect you're not maximising all the space in your own home. You don't mind if i come over and use some of it do you?

Anonymous said...

It's also inevitable that people will resist the inevitable movement of people...like the Indians resisted the movement of Europeans into their land or the Israelis resist the movement of Africans into Israel.

If you're a lifeguard they don't hire you because you speak 5 tongues, they hire you because you can swim.

Right there is an annual migration of 600,000 Canucks to Mexico. LOL.

The big difference between your ancestors and now is that the roads, buildings and infrastructure is already built. The indigene did not offer European refugees, escaping persecution in their homelands, free premium healthcare.

Despite the continual famine in Ethiopia the population there has more than doubled. The European has increased the carry capacity of that land enormously. If that is withdrawn there will be a Malthusan collapse in Africa of biblical proportions. The four horsemen of the apocalypse will ride again in Africa and around the world if resource generation is denied to Europeans.

Anonymous said...

I laughed when I saw this bit today on a journalist complaining that Muslim cab drivers wouldn't pick her up at the airport at 1:30 am because she had a dog (in a carrying case). It is funny because this columnist is the type that normally panders to immigrants, but funny how it hit home. I avoid cabs (great, I'm now inconvenienced in my own country) because I find I get scornful stares from the mainly Muslim drivers who don't respect women.

Toronto Sun - 16 July 2012

Anonymous said...

This is true about citizenship, but Canada has a much stricter selection process for permanent residence, which is necessary before the 3-year wait can even begin. It is permanent residence that gives one the right to stay in Canada, study and work - citizenship only gives the right to vote. Permanent residence is actually pretty hard to qualify for, especially for someone who wants to apply the honest way.

I am an immigrant from Eastern Europe (please don't hate on me!) I came to Canada at age 17 to study... it took a Masters degree, both official languages, a year of skilled work experience and an "aced" health exam for me to finally qualify for permanent residence 9 years later. It took so long because I did it the right way instead of getting phony documents and health exam results. I love Canada and Canadians and do everything possible to integrate. If it wasn't for my accent, you wouldn't know I'm a foreigner. I do get annoyed when other immigrants disrespect Canadians, say bad things about Canada or show no desire to integrate. I feel sad that they make Canadians hate ALL immigrants!

PaxCanadiana said...

This is true about citizenship, but Canada has a much stricter selection process for permanent residence, which is necessary before the 3-year wait can even begin.

If a Filipino nanny can get permanent residency status after two years of baby sitting then how hard can it be?

It might be strict to a degree but in comparison to other immigrant receiving nations it may be considered the easiest. You may say getting Canadian citizenship is a strict process but that's a subjective position to have because how can we really know what is and is not strict? For me, I say that the process isn't strict enough.

I live in Toronto. The city is awash with "new Canadians" who have absolutely nothing of real value to offer the country aside from cheap and ready labour. It leaves one scratching their head asking how the f**k does someone like this get into the country. And there are loads of these people. If obtaining permanent residency is so strict then how are there so many of these people here?

If you live in Toronto, or any major Canadian city, you should know this by now. If not you'll realize it soon enough.

Anonymous said...

@PaxCanadiana,

I am always shocked at how large numbers of uneducated, unskilled people from countries with no culture are able to get in. Have you seen the article on CBC about how an airport in Toronto banned taxi drivers from using its bathrooms after problems with excrement left on the walls and floor? That's South Asian culture... so disgusting, yet they obtain immigration easily.

As for me... a young professional with Canadian credentials, I suffered from the bottleneck requirement of one year full-time professional work experience (not easy to get in the middle of a recession, with a temporary work permit!). Nevermind that I come from a civilized country, am already integrated into society (90% of my friends are Canadian), or have lived here since age 17 - none of this gives me an edge over a rude 50-year old taxi-driving punjabi "engineer", who qualifies for immigration while a 23-year old engineering graduate from a Canadian university does not.

I think Canada's immigration policies are crazy - they encourage the wrong type of immigrants from the wrong countries, while blocking those who have the capacity and desire to contribute to Canada. The live-in caregiver and Investor class programs are a total joke, and the family reunification program is biased towards cultures with large families. They have plugged up the queue to an extent that normal people have a slim hope of even bringing a single parent over (and no, I'm not interested in abusing the Canadian health care system - just want my mom to live with me for a few years...I'd gladly pay her expenses).

Immigration policies are made by lazy and apathetic civil servants. As long as it looks good and doesn't contradict "multiculturalism", they can go for their lunchbreak and then go home at the end of the day. I am convinced no other country in the world has such stupid policies in this day and age... seriously, something must be done very soon.

Anonymous said...

"It leaves one scratching their head asking how the f**k does someone like this get into the country."

This scene stems back 25 years ago when Toronto was still "relatively White" in population.

I wasn't paying "too" much attention at the mass 3rd world influx at the time, but was becoming more aware judging by the ever-increasing foreign faces on the streets.

One such scene still remains with me to this day.

I'm driving along downtown King St. E. near Church St. in late April or early May, and spot this frumpy-looking Black woman holding the hand of Black 10 yr. old boy at the street corner.

She was wearing a heavy 1950s style winter coat placed over a colourful printed dress. Her head was covered with a similar vintage-style winter hat, and one in style that I used to wear as a boy in 1953. You know... the fake lamb's wool interior lining with heavy padded flaps that could be wrapped around the ears or fastened above the head in warmer weather.

Well, her heavy coat was button-up tight around her neck, and her ear-flaps were firmly secured around her ears in temperatures estimated to be about 16C. Although I don't have a clear picture what the boy was wearing, I suspect it was of a similar attire.

"So, how did this entirely out-of-place or (incongruous-looking) woman come to be standing on a street corner near Toronto's main business district?".. I asked myself.

I knew of some instances where educated and professionally qualified Europeans were having a difficult time in immigrating to Canada, and so my thought at the time was similar to your statement "How in hell did this (illiterate?) woman get into Canada?"