Canada requires selective migration
By David B. Harris
Special to The StarPhoenix
October 15, 2010
(Harris is an Ontario lawyer and director of INSIGNIS Strategic Research's international and terrorist intelligence program.)
Amidst their confused discussion about immigration in the opinion piece, Don't polarize immigration debate (SP, Oct. 7), the two articling law students attributed to me a “repeated and reckless wish, often made before American audiences, to see Canada shut down what he termed its 'out of control' immigration scheme.”
It is ironic that Kashif Ahmed and Eric Miller let loose this unpleasant, misleading barrage while pluming themselves on their commitment to “compassion”.
For years I have said Canada will continue to need immigrants. In a social-welfare state, however, immigrant intake must be selective and economically rational. With the largest per capita immigration in the world at a time of recession and serious unemployment, the evidence is of excessive numbers, poor selection and abject failure.
Between 1990 and 2002 — before the current recession — immigrants entering the country came with a net cost of $18 billion a year. “Each immigrant,” writes emeritus economics professor Herbert Grubel, “absorbs $280,000 over their lifetime in Canada.”
The Ahmed-Miller compassion calculus omits the human cost: Deflated wage rates; deepening aboriginal and youth unemployment; cuts in health, education and other social welfare; high-density living, traffic jams and pollution; reduced foreign aid; and higher taxes.
Then there is public safety. We cannot credibly screen the roughly 300,000 people coming to Canada as immigrants and refugees each year (possibly double this, depending on accounting methods). Some immigrants complain bitterly about destabilized communities and extremist infiltration of our institutions.
Ahmed and Miller should look at my report of moderate Muslims' concerns in Canada, Report from the Northern Front: Montreal Redux.
How is all this not a system that is “out of control?”
It remains only to remark on the gratuitous reference to an “American audience.” Having made relatively few speeches in the U.S., I cannot help wonder to which anti-American gallery the authors might have been playing. I certainly trust that the aside was not meant to convey an inaccurate and distasteful insinuation of disloyalty to Canada.