Stop The Fast-Tracking Of 38 Occupations And Other Senseless Actions


Last week, our Department of Immigration stated that they would fast-track applications for workers in 38 occupations. The big question is this: Is it true that Canada has shortages in these 38 occupations?

Preliminary evidence and the 71,000 November job losses in Canada indicate that the claim is weak, if not false. Therefore, our Department of Immigration should put a hold on its fast-tracking decision immediately and take steps to stop the growth of unemployment by reducing immigration.

Here is the evidence.

Ten of the 38 fast-tracked occupations are in the trades. For example, our Immigration Department has claimed that shortages exist for (1) chefs, (2) cooks, (3) industrial electricians, (4) non-industrial electricians, (5) plumbers, (6) steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers, (7) welders, (8) heavy-duty equipment mechanics, (9) crane operators, and (10) drillers and blasters

Another 7 are occupations which entail the supervision of skilled workers in those and other trades. For example, Immigration has fast-tracked (1) construction managers ; contractors and supervisors in (2) pipefitting trades, (3) carpentry, (4) heavy construction; and supervisors in (5) mining and quarrying, (6) oil and gas drilling and service, and (7) petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities. If there is no need for additional skilled workers, there should probably be no need for additional contractors and supervisors.

Together, the skilled occupations and the supervisors comprise about half of all the 38 occupations that our Immigration Department says are experiencing labour shortages. It is probably safe to assume that claims of shortages in the other half are suspect—if probably also not true.

According to Wayne Peppard of the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council, it takes time for unemployment to work its way through the system and to show up in statistics. B.C. has been one of the major destinations of immigration. The last few months indicate that unemployment is increasing. At this point, the claim that B.C. has labour shortages is probably not true. Furthermore, according to Mr. Peppard, B.C. was not prepared for the boom it has experienced because the provincial government had significantly weakened the province’s ability to respond to an increased demand for skilled labour. It had done that by undermining the apprenticeship programmes that were in place up until 2002. According to another spokesperson at the Council, the B.C. government was so ideologically committed to abandoning that programme that thousands of potential B.C. skilled workers did not get the training they needed. The result was shortages.

As Immigration Watch has said before, Canadians have frequently heard the immigration industry and some business leaders say that our immigration system is “broken”. To them, that has been the cause of so-called “labour shortages”. The truth is that if Canada’s immigration system is “broken”, it is because these people have broken it. The chief goal of these people has been to sabotage the regulations in the system and to lobby for an even wider immigration door to be opened.

Mr. Peppard stated that the Council supports the general principle of bringing in foreign workers, but only if a genuine need exists and only if foreign workers are not brought in as cheap labour. However, the Council says that some employers have used the labour shortage in order to import workers who can be paid less. Mr. Peppard said that the Council had launched a complaint against one employer who had imported workers from Central America to drill a rapid transit tunnel in the Vancouver area. The Council had protested that the employer was underpaying the tunnel workers and intimidating them so that they would say nothing. On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, that complaint was upheld and the employer has been ordered to pay around $2 million in back wages.

Canada’s immigration department has also fast-tracked three kinds of engineers : mining, geological and petroleum. According to Marc Bourgeois, a spokesman for Engineering Canada in Ottawa, “data shows that across the country, and the profession across the board, there is no lack of engineers”.

Immigration Watch is waiting for Engineering Canada (and other organizations which represent the remaining occupations on the list of 38) to provide details. We will present further results soon.

In the interim, here are some important observations about the “List of 38” and another two lists we have analyzed :

(1) The lists are significant exaggerations of any real shortages. In November, 2006, our Minister of Immigration released a list of 170 occupations in which B.C. and Alberta supposedly already had worker shortages or would soon have shortages. Canadians might accept that there were shortages in a few occupations, but the claim that shortages existed in 170 occupations should have provoked questions, if not outright disbelief. Our Immigration Department has reduced its list to 38, an indication that it has been embarrassed by the sheer ridiculousness of its previous lists. But the Department is still not exercising enough caution.

(2) Many of the claims, especially those on the longer lists, make no sense. As Immigration Watch has previously stated, even the most superficial look at the longer list of occupations demonstrates that. Who could be expected to believe that Canada was short of real estate agents, journalists, athletes, editors, dancers, biologists, and dozens of other occupations like this? Who does not know that in most of these occupations Canada has had an excess of applicants for decades ? The people who prepared these lists are either extremely sloppy or are completely shameless.

(3) The lists are intended to deceive and create panic. With a few minor changes, the November 2006 list was re-presented in March, 2008. On that occasion, Philip Hochstein, President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of British Columbia, made the so-called “case” for more immigration. Hochstein stated that with the Olympics coming to town and a massive building boom, British Columbia would have about one million job openings over the next five years.

But, according to him, during that same time period, only about 650,000 students would graduate from the province’s high schools. In his view, it takes about five years to process applications for the immigrants expected to fill the gap. “We don’t have a need five years from now, we have a need right now.” Even if Canadians accepted his simplistic thinking, does Mr. Hochstein realize that B.C. belongs to Canada and that there are many other provinces in Canada, some of which have graduates looking for jobs? If his claim is true (and that is a huge “IF”), who should get these jobs : Canadians or outsiders?

(4) The lists are presented without evidence. Hochstein’s wild assertions (and the B.C. government’s recent equally-wild agreements with the Philippines to bring in large numbers of workers) should have prompted reporters to ask where they got their figures from. Why? Because there is a great amount of evidence to show that Canada did not need most of its post-1990 immigrants and certainly does not need another flood of the same magnitude. Our immigration industry likes to distract us from the real issue by saying that immigrants are doing poorly because their credentials are not being recognized. As we have pointed out before, even our Department of Immigration admits that around 80% of post-1990 immigrants have no credentials to get recognized !!. With regard to those immigrants with foreign credentials, we ask this question : What is the point of bringing in journalists and others, for example, when there is already a surplus of them here ? Should our journalists be expected to give up their jobs to new arrivals in order to be charitable to them, to show that “credential recognition” is occurring, or, even more absurd, to “create diversity” in their ranks ?

(5) The lists (and Canada’s immigration industry which profits from the high immigration which follows) ignore the enormous economic and cultural costs of unnecessary immigration and of campaigns to “Create Diversity”. With regard to economic costs, a recent report by the Ontario Association of Food Banks states :”35.8% of New Canadians live below the Low Income Cut-Off, compared to the Canadian average of 15.6%”. (P.4) “In real terms, poverty costs every household in Ontario from $2299 to $2895 every year.” (P.4) No one has calculated the economic cost of diversity advocacy and immigration-driven Employment Equity, particularly to white males. But we suspect that this gov’t-initiated (a) employment line queue jumping and (b) job displacement has been high.

With regard to the culturally-divisive costs, if some Canadians are still naive enough to think that diversity advocacy and the nonsense that it has engendered is not a problem, they don’t have to look far. They need only consider last week’s decision by the Carleton University Students’ Association (17 to 2 vote) to stop contributing to the Cystic Fibrosis campaign. According to the Association, they did that because that disease affects only white males. What clearer symptoms do we, the “doctors”, need to see that “Diversity” is a cultural disease, that it has initiated discrimination against many Canadian-born in favour of the newly-arrived, and that it has achieved epidemic proportions in Canada ? Some of our politicians and other Canadians sit squarely with the Carleton Students’ Association and, like it, deserve to be held in contempt of Canada. Others sit timidly on the sidelines, waiting to be led. If the timid ever needed an example of Canadians’ disapproval of diversity advocacy, the overwhelming uproar across the country to the Carleton Students’ Association action was it.

The disease called diversity (and its accompanying high immigration and overall senselessness) needs a cure. So does the fast-tracking of 38 occupations and the unjustified immigration it will cause. That cure is to turn the immigration tap down—indefinitely—to a trickle. That’s the only way that Canada, the patient, can recover.



(1) To read the Nov. 18, 2006 Immigration Watch analysis of the list of “occupations under pressure”, search the Immigration Watch web site at

(2) To read the March 28, Globe and Mail article, “Businesses applaud proposed immigration law” which includes a list of “occupations under pressure”, search the Immigration Watch web site at :

(3) To see the full Ontario Association Of Food Banks Report, go to :

(4) To read Rex Murphy’s view of the Carleton University Students’ Association action, see

(5) The following is a list of the 38 occupations Ottawa has deemed (in late November, 2008) in “high-demand” and which it will fast-track through the immigration process:

-Financial managers

-Computer and information systems managers

-Managers in health care

-Restaurant and food service managers

-Accommodation service managers

-Construction managers

-Financial auditors and accountants

-Geologists, geochemists and geophysicists

-Mining engineers

-Geological engineers

-Petroleum engineers

-Specialist physicians

-General practitioners and family physicians

-Audiologists and speech language pathologists

-Occupational therapists


-Head nurses and supervisors

-Registered nurses

-Medical radiation technologists

-Licensed practical nurses

-University professors

-College and other vocational instructors



-Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades

-Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades

-Contractors and supervisors, heavy construction equipment crews

-Electricians (except industrial and power system)

-Industrial electricians


-Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers

-Welders and related machine operators

-Heavy-Duty equipment mechanics

-Crane operators

-Drillers and Blasters: surface mining, quarrying and construction

-Supervisors, mining and quarrying

-Supervisors, oil and gas drilling and service

-Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities