Immigration Industry Logic : Your Dog Bites You, So You Turn Around And Kick The Cat

Immigration Industry Logic : Your Dog Bites You, So You Turn Around And Kick The Cat



Federal Cabinet Ministers announced last Monday a number of measures designed to speed up processing and recognition of foreign credentials of immigrants. The federal government will spend about $319 million on new and previously announced programmes. According to The Vancouver Sun, “All the programmes are aimed at overcoming obstacles facing foreign-trained workers and easing skills shortages across Canada.”

However, the logic in this action is like the logic in a situation where the dog bites you, so you turn around and kick the cat, says Immigration Watch Canada. The sensible thing to do when a problem arises is to deal with the cause of the problem. The federal government is again ignoring the cause.

For example, the federal government tells us that there are many foreign-trained skilled workers in Canada doing menial jobs or who are unemployed. The question it has to ask is, “Why?” . It has to be open to a few answers. Instead, the federal government limits its answers to one. It blames professional organizations which are in charge of checking foreign credentials (pretending, among other things, that there are absolutely no problems with such issues as fraud).

If the federal government were to ask an honest “Why?”, it would find out that it is bringing in many people that it does not need. It might also find out that Canada has many Canadian-Born skilled workers who are also looking for jobs. In summary, it would discover that both Canadian-Born and immigrants are rotting from lack of use. Are both the current large number of credential seekers and the presence of about 2 million Canadian unemployed an indication that the economy’s labour absorptive capacity has been exceeded?

For example, in the year 2000, over 15,000 engineer immigrants entered Canada. In the same year, 10,000 new engineers graduated from Canadian universities. The logical questions to ask were the following:

(1) Was the Canadian economy capable of absorbing the large number of new graduates and the new immigrant engineers?

(2) If the Canadian economy was not capable of absorbing all of them, why did Canada bring in 15,000 engineers?

(3) Now that the federal government has created this problem, does it make sense to kick the professional credential-checking bodies and tell them to wake up?

In other words, who should be told to get a life?

The truth is that engineers are not the only surplus skilled workers. While there may be a very few job areas where Canada needs workers, there are dozens of other skilled categories where Canada is already producing large numbers of skilled workers. Wouldn’t it make sense to conduct an inventory before telling prospective skilled worker immigrants that Canada’s streets were paved with gold?

And what should be done now about the problem of Canadian-Born/Long-Term citizens and recent immigrants competing for the same jobs? Who should be given preference in the job openings that do appear?

The answer to that question is obvious to the majority of Canadians, but, as critics have repeatedly said, the federal government compounds the problem it has created by applying completely unjustified equity employment guidelines. This often means that Canadian-Born/Long-Term citizens are displaced from job queues and visible minority immigrants are given preference.

The most blatant example of this is recent job advertising in Canada’s Foreign Afairs Department. Once again, equity employment officials have tried to disguise their efforts with an appropriate amount of mud. But the result is still that 50% of 100 positions available (40 in political/economic categories and 60 in trade) are to be allocated to a number of minority groups (many of them recent immigrants), despite the fact that these groups make up less than 20% of the Canadian population.

Feds, take note: when the dog bites you, don’t turn around and kick the cat. Canadian workers have put up with more than their share of injustice, and, if poetic justice still lives, you will get the treatment you deserve.


A number of Canadians interested in the notion of the Trojan Horse immigration factor will be intrigued by a recent Toronto Star editorial by Haroon Siddiqui. Mr. Siddiqui has done well in his adopted country, but, as his words show, he won’t win awards for gratitude, humility or reliable research.

Why hugging an immigrant is a good idea
Increased diversity by 2017 will challenge assumptions, starting with negative narratives against non-whites


Twelve years from now, would we still have an Easter long weekend? Most likely, considering how entrenched our holidays are. But the question is relevant, given our rapidly changing demography, as projected by Statistics Canada to 2017.

The study shows non-whites, most of them non-Christians, doubling to 7.12 million. That’s seven Saskatchewans.

Ontario will have 4.1 million visible minorities. That’s more than all of Atlantic Canada.

Muslims will number 1.45 million across Canada, Hindus 584,000 and Sikhs 496,000.

Our folklore has it that immigrants better not change our “Canadian way.” But they always do, for the better.

Over time, they change our politics, public policy, foreign relations and business, as well as the mythologies and narratives that underpin our media story lines and public opinion.

As historian Desmond Morton has famously said, every generation of Canadians feels compelled to redefine Canada, and does. Ours already has, making Canada confident of its pluralistic identity and assertive of its values, independent of America.

As an immigrant nation, we have always had a changing demographic landscape. But the current shifts are remarkable.

When our immigrant population hits 22 per cent by 2017, it will reach a level not seen since 1911-31. It will be double the rate of immigration to the U.S. Only Australia is in our league.

Also, unlike other nations, our diversity is truly global.

Blacks and Latinos dominate the American rainbow. German immigrants are mostly Turks. French immigrants are mostly Arabs from the Maghreb. Canada’s population is the most heterogeneous.

We are also the most urbanized people, and our cities as also our suburbs the least white in the Western world.

Visible minorities will form majorities in the Toronto and Vancouver regions.

In Toronto, South Asians alone will cross the 1-million mark the bbiggest concentration of a visible minority group in any Canadian city. That would also make Toronto the biggest Western centre of that diaspora outside the Indian subcontinent.

In Vancouver, Chinese will be the biggest visible minority (591,000), while in Montreal it will be blacks (200,000).

Such diversity will challenge and change many of our assumptions, starting with our negative narratives against immigrants, against non-whites and against the big cities.

The first to go it’s already on the way out is the suppopposition that we do immigrants a favour by letting them in. We don’t. We get them because we need them.

Immigrants already provide 60 per cent of our population growth. By 2020, they will supply 100 per cent. Without them, we’ll suffer population declines.

They are also our main source of skilled labour.

Most immigrants are visible minorities, who are younger than the rest of the population and healthier, with a mortality rate that’s only a thiird of the Canadian-born.

When 100 visible minorities will be old enough to retire, 142 others will join the workforce. In the rest of the population, for every 100 people leaving, only 75 will replace them.

In other words, visible minorities will increasingly pay for our pensions, medicare and senior care.

Be nice to them.

Politicians already are.

The Reform/Alliance party long ago gave up its anti-immigrant, pro-white rhetoric. Stockwell Day’s anti-Arab, anti-Muslim post-9/11 tirades, in the name of national security, got little traction.

Unlike in Europe, no immigrant-baiting party can do well in Canada.

Next to go will be the traditional rhetoric against the big cities, especially Toronto.

Urban centres are bigger engines of economic growth than ever. They have also forged our pluralism and cosmopolitan identity. It is doubtful if another Mike Harris can build a career berating his own capital.

Also dead may be the notion of forcing immigrants away from the cities. They won’t leave.

For non-European newcomers, the lure of the city is bigger than the lure of the loon. They do not relate to the cottage culture. They spend their spare cash travelling abroad, often.

While our demography has changed, our public discourse, especially in the media, hasn’t to the extent it must in order to keep up with the times and also better inform public policy.

If immigrants continue to be portrayed as “problem people,” when they are clearly not, municipalities will face an uphill battle getting their New Deal for Cities.

Similarly, the debate on immigrant integration needs to clarify that what’s being asked is not a handout but equality of opportunity.

Non-white foreign-trained immigrants are being denied access to trades and professions far more than their European counterparts with similar education and experience.

A job being the best tool of integration, it is in our enlightened self-interest that we ensure a level playing field.

There will be an increased need to debate systemic discrimination in the workplace, already well documented, especially in the federal civil service.

Employment equity and the need for adequate ethnic representation on boards and commissions are on the top of the agenda of most visible minority groups.

Neither the media nor our politicians would be able to sweep those issues under the rug much longer. Policy makers will have to “put visible minorities front and centre on the national agenda heading towards 2017,” says a paper released along with the StatsCan study.

If we fail, we risk “a potential environment of large-scale political unrest and revolt among ethnic minority groups.”

Finally, it is already clear that new Canadians have strong views on several international issues, and hence on Canadian foreign policy.

They have been in the forefront of opposing U.S. President George W. Bush’s pax Americana. They led Canadian public opinion against the war on Iraq.

Happily, their views on American hegemony and unilateralism have dovetailed with traditional Canadian values.

Some newer visible minority communities, such as Sikhs and Tamils, are beginning to have an impact on Canadian foreign policy. Others will, in time.

Chinese and South Asians (2 million each by 2017), can play significant roles in helping Canada make inroads to the emerging economies of China and India if Ottawa has the wit to woo those two communities.

Whatever the challenges ahead, this much is already proven: in their own unassuming way, Canadians have pulled off a remarkably peaceful demographic transformation within a generation and are headed for more.

Haroon Siddiqui usually writes Thursdays and Sundays. His email: Additional articles by Haroon Siddiqui