TWO STORIES: (1) “NOT A RECIPE FOR BUILDING A COUNTRY” and (2) “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT”
The first was written by a Canadian who used to live on the Prairies but who now lives in Toronto. The second (slightly edited) is from the internet, LIVEJOURNAL.com, and was written by a recent immigrant to Canada from Russia.
(1) NOT A RECIPE FOR BUILDING A COUNTRY
I moved from the prairies to Toronto three years ago. Living in downtown Toronto is like living in a third world country…
Part of the problem is that so many illegals have help from many hundreds of people working in the immigration departments on lower levels in the bureaucracy…Even when I moved here initially, I received five different health cards at two different addresses –an indication of how competent they are, and how easy it is for illegals to access these things especially when so many sympathizers work in the system.
My daughter had a friend, a Canadian Caucasian from Edmonton, who married a Haitian man while on a project in Haiti. She completed her Master's on returning to Canada..then got a job for the Canadian Government in, no less, Immigration… of course. Not long after, they brought a 40 year old woman, the husband's sister, to be a nanny…to help them out with free day care. That didn't work out. She was dumped out on the street. She found help through her church and me. Ten years later and after several times being on social assistance, none of which her sponsors paid back, she is still not capable and a drain on our system and me—as I feel she has crossed my path and I can not let her perish. So now she lives in Toronto and I am helping her to try to get a job. Oh, by the way, she has a 12 year old son that she brought from Haiti. He has severe educational and learning problems…but that is only part of the story….
Because the couple had lost their chance at free daycare for their two kids, they brought over two more of the husband's nieces, aged 14 and 15 from Haiti…They were to be trained properly as nannies…Soon, the entire family sold their little house and moved from Edmonton to Toronto…But, alas, the nanny training, attending school, doing all the house work and complete culture shock caused the couple's plans not to work out. The two young teens talked to the school counsellor and both were removed from the house and put on social assistance. One stayed in Toronto, living on her own at 15-16 and on social assistance, but with threats from her uncle that she had to pay back the money he had spent bringing her here. She soon got a job and the other girl, age 15, moved back to Edmonton, where the 40 year old aunt had managed to get a job working night shift at Zellers for $7.50 an hour. The 40 year old was living in subsidized housing and now supporting her mother who had come on a Visa from Haiti. The mother was dying of cancer. The 40 year old supported her and the teen while the teen finished school. The 40 year old's mother was on extended Visas acquired by the Canadian relative who worked in the immigration department.
Oh, in the meantime, the Canadian working for immigration brought another relative from Haiti over to attend University in N.B., but after a year she dropped out and lived here illegally until who knows…The last I heard, they were making a bogus application for her as a refugee or immigrant on compassionate grounds…..Now she owns a small house in Toronto…Perhaps the Canadian who works at immigration managed to give her insight into how to stay legally or perhaps she is still not a Canadian.
The cost of treatment for the senior mother would have been $10,000 to $20,000 without health care, so they let her die. She was 80. They made sure she returned to Haiti so they wouldn't have the cost of shipping her body. They flew her back heavily dosed on medication and she died in Haiti a few days after the flight. The couple used the money they saved on the old woman to purchase another piece of property…a lake cottage, and now they have two huge houses plus the little one that the niece lives in…they take in renters and students and pay no income tax on any of that money either.
Although sponsors are responsible for the people they bring to this country for 10 years,, who ever checks up on this? NO ONE…and none of the money sucked out of the system and from tax payers ever gets repaid…
In this complicated case, most of these Haitians are hard working survivors…but there is still the matter of the first one brought…the mistake…the 40 year old that is now 50…with a 13 year old son…and no possibilities of having a career comparable to the teaching job she left in Haiti…She is on welfare, lives in the basement of the Haitian niece's house, the one who came as a student and stayed illegally…and by the way,,,she has to pay the niece $700.00 per month rent…which leaves her $200 plus $200 child credit per month for everything…She works 3 hours volunteer on Saturday morning to get a bus pass from social services…and goes to school each day to up grade her English…and hopes to take a course as a personal support care worker so that she won't have to clean.
There are so many people who do not care about this country…We allow all the people who immigrate here to bring over their family members and so every member who comes brings along several others who will never learn to speak the language…who will live off the system here…Next they will be claiming to have a right to Canada pension and old age security. As it is, they have free and full access to the health care system…as the standards for them to become Canadian are lowered because of special circumstances…
I am so disgusted with what is happening in this country….
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
This morning, as I was withdrawing some cash from the RBCs ATM at Toronto's Roncesvalles Avenue, I was pretty stunned with a greeting message on the ATMs screen. What surprised me, was the word WELCOME printed in Chinese beside the usual English and French salutations.
I have absolutely nothing against the Chinese or any other ethnic group; they can be both great guys and bastards, like in any other group randomly taken. I just wonder if I missed some important swing in Canadian politics, and Chinese (which one Mandarin or Cantonese, by the way) has now been (declared) the third official language along with English and French?
What especially makes me wonder is the fact that I came across that ATM not in the depths of Spadina/Dundas Chinatown but in Parkdale Village — that is an authentically Canadian or, rather, Polish neighborhood.
I can well predict one may start accusing me of bias against so-called visible minorities. No way.
Once again, I have no bitter feelings toward any ethnic group and their freedom to speak their mother tongue whenever and wherever they find it convenient. However, does it mean that the nationwide institutions, like above mentioned Royal Bank of Canada, should give some preference to any one of them?
Equality does not equal absurdity. The fact that there are some 100 languages spoken in the GTA, doesnt imply every notice, advertisement and road sign must be dubbed in a hundred different languages.
Still, lots of public signs designed for common use (like street signs, above mentioned ATMs greetings, etc) in Toronto bear Chinese version, not even (allegedly) official French!
I am sure Ive got a full right to express this opinion, since I myself came to Canada in 2002, from Russia. Nevertheless, it never ever came to my mind that public notices in this country should be dubbed in Russian only because it is my first language. Or that the people who have lived here for generations should adjust themselves to the newcomers' culture in any way. It simply sounds ridiculous for me.
It's merely impossible to be good for everybody, after all. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Just have a look. According to the StatCanadas recent figures, Chinese dont even make an absolute majority among the minorities; they are outnumbered by the South Asians. Logically thinking, the City Hall would have to translate the signs into Hindi or Tamil, in the first hand; but have you ever seen many officially endorsed signs in Toronto in one of those languages? I have not, with, maybe, the exception of several Indian-cuisine restaurants.
When I was leaving the country of my birth six years ago, I wasnt looking for another Russia across the Atlantic. On the contrary, I was (and still am) struggling to find my Canadian identity, to be as little a Russian and as much a Canadian as I can.
The more there are ethnic signs, newspapers, radio stations and ATMs screens in predominately (so far) English-speaking Canada, the slower the newcomers integrate into our society. Why does one need to study the official language(s) hard if he/she can well communicate in ones native tongue from birth to death, effectively not leaving a closed ethnic community throughout the life?
Immigrants are like gas that fills all the volume available. It would be unjust to accuse them for doing what they are legally endorsed to do: behave according to this law of nature. But it is a Government of this country that applies the law of hydrodynamics to the law of the State. It is a Government of this country that created the phenomenon of split loyalties, not the immigrants!
Canada must be a heaven for foreign moles and international terrorists. Who can guaranty in case of a major international crisis, which part will take many of those Somebody-else-Canadians? Just observe some fans watching World Hockey Cup when Canada plays versus their country of origin and make notes which team they are actually supporting.
When boarding a plane to Toronto in 2002, I had no intention to find myself in either China or India or Poland or Greece or Russia or whatever ethnic enclaves flourish in Canada. For six years spent in Canada up to date, I developed a strong feeling that so-called multiculturalism actually creates numerous states inside a state inside a state; thus making closer the Big Bang of the common country we are all supposed to stand for in good times and in bad.
When it comes to love, logic doesn't work. I love Canada, so Im afraid very much that officially endorsed let all flowers blossom policy (Chinese saying, eh?) will eventually blow up my new country from the inside, like it happened with the old multicultural Soviet Union or, even worse, Yugoslavia.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It looks like Canadian Government has never heard of that wisdom. Or, rather, Ottawa trades Canadian historical heritage for the sake of current political profit. I believe, one must consider oneself not a Russian-Canadian, Chinese-Canadian, Martian-Canadian, in the end of the day, but Canadian with no extras.
For me, there is no issue of the split loyalty. For me, theres no question who to support. The very decision to leave the country of my birth meant I've ceased to be a Russian (in my personal affiliation, at least) long before I landed in Pearson Airport.
That didnt mean Id become a real Canadian at the turn of a key. To be Canadian means, first and foremost, to be recognized as one by all those who were born here (and to write this letter with no grammatical mistakes). I wish I could completely assimilate though during my lifetime. I hope my soon-to-be-born child can call himself a Canadian with no prefix of Russian-; hell have more ground to call Canada his home and the native land.
I often ask my critics a childish, yet never-answered, question: if I would like my kid to grow up authentically Russian, why on Earth would I take him away from Russia? Hed be better off staying there, where his parents could afford in financial terms, to say the least,– way more flexibility than here in Canada. (Life of the newly minted subjects of the Crown is not a bed of roses, you know).
I dont know how many people are there who think similarly to me but Im hardly the only one. As federal elections are looming (ironically, as a result of the controversial immigration bill), I think our politicians ought to realize that there are different opinions on how to preserve Canada strong and free — instead of transforming this country into something completely undesireable.
When one rents an apartment, s/he obeys the rules set by a landlord, not vice versa.
When in Canada, do as the Canadians do. Or leave it.