Whoa Diane !! You Are Conducting Consultations About Labour Needs? Then Consult With Real Canadians, Not The Immigration Industry

“Whoa Diane !! You Are Conducting Consultations About Labour Needs? Then Consult With Real Canadians, Not The Immigration Industry”

The bulletin consists of a July 15 article (Challenges of immigration Policy) by Mehdi Rizvi, who asks an important question : “Why do we still need to bring in more skilled immigrants when we already have thousands who have not been able to get jobs in their chosen fields?” It also consists of astute comments by readers.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley, who is currently consulting with groups across Canada, should be spending much more time listening to Canadians rather than to the country's immigration industry which is dedicated to serving its own interests. Both Ms. Finley and provincial nominee managers must beware of being duped.


Challenges of immigration policy

Mehdi Rizvi
Community Editorial Board
The Star.com
Jul 15, 2008 04:30 AM

The House of Commons recently passed Bill C-50, which reformed the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to process applications by skilled immigrants much more quickly.

It also limited an immigrant from sponsoring unskilled and elderly relatives to avoid stress on our social support and health-care systems. It is expected to help reduce the current backlog and will be applied on immigration applications received after Feb. 27, 2008.

The bill delegated extra powers to the minister of immigration to prioritize applications of skilled immigrants, and some commentators and interested parties have expressed reservations about the transparency of the process.

Why do we still need to bring in more skilled immigrants when we already have thousands who have not been able to get jobs in their chosen fields?

Can we attain the objectives of the recent changes or will we continue to offer mismatched, low-paid jobs to highly skilled and educated immigrants?

Can we co-ordinate policy-making and policy outcomes, or do we simply not care about the results which seems to be the case given the current socio-economic condition of skilled immigrants who have arrived in the last five years?

Australia passed through a similar immigration experience in recent years but the Australians made progressive and timely changes that dramatically improved the situation. Their experience has many lessons for us.

The Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa generates research to improve public policy in Canada. The institute recently invited Professor Lesleyanne Hawthorne to read her research paper: The Impact of Economic Selection Policy on Labour Market Outcomes for Degree Qualified Migrants in Canada and Australia.

Hawthorne is associate dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Melbourne, and currently is working for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development comparing patterns of high-skill immigration across 10 member nations from New Zealand to Canada.

I had a chance to speak with her before her address. She explained that by 2005, Australia's population was 24.6 per cent foreign-born, compared with Canada's 19.2 per cent. The great majority in both countries held university degrees but their employment outcomes were disappointing. Canada has maintained a human-capital model of selection, admitting immigrants with limited English language ability, unrecognized credentials and skills in fields with weak market demand.

By 2006, China, India, Pakistan and Philippines were the main sources of immigrants despite a clear Canadian-employer preference for temporary foreign workers from the United States, Britain, Australia and France.

The human-capital model of selection also failed in Australia, which opted for intensified screening for selected employment attributes.

According to Hawthorne, Australia achieved great success by defining six key attributes that make a “good skilled applicant,” most notably “obtain a job soon after arrival that uses their skill, becoming quickly established, not requiring social benefits, while making a positive contribution to the country's economy, labour market and budget.”

In 2006, 83 per cent of principal applicants were employed within six months of arrival, with 60 per cent immediately using their credentials and skills. Australia started screening immigrants based on pre-migration English language skills and mandatory credential assessment and awarded bonus points for high-demand professions.

Immigrants to Canada still face the same poor labour market outcomes because of a lack of co-ordination between researchers, policy-makers and employers. The government frames policy but employers retain the power to hire and they have their own preferences.

It is to be hoped that the latest amendments to Canada's Immigration Act and the provincial nominee program will improve matters but it is more important to accommodate skilled immigrants who have been doing unskilled jobs here for years and years.

This may be done by controlling the inflow of new immigrants, absorbing currently unemployed and low-paid skilled immigrants into their related fields and giving them a chance to succeed.

At the same time, Canada needs to focus on labour market needs, locally available skills and revision of the point system with the goal of creating a demand-based immigration system. This can only be achieved by close co-ordination among researchers, policy-makers, employers and immigrant community members.

Mehdi Rizvi is a chemist of Pakistani origin who came to Canada in 1999.


Comments on this story :

Extended Family

As for extended families here is my story – my great-great grandfather came here, an economic refugee of Ireland, before Canada was a nation, by himself at the age of 16. He contributed to building this country, starting his career as a laborer and ending up a farmer. If he had brought his “extended” family here he would have starved to death supporting them because we did not have welfare then. Welfare is intended to take care of the marginalized persons who are already Canadians, not operate as some international charity. We should stop the extended family business. All immigrants should be admited soley on their individual prospects to BENEFIT CANADA as a productive worker. Unless you are the spouse or child of an immigrant, there should be no offer of family class immigration made.

Posted by Seanm4t at 3:09 PM Wednesday, July 16 2008

Finding Jobs

I have multiple degrees from Canada's premier domestic university, years of experience and I have trouble finding a job that utilizes my skills, and have to settle for less. And guess what, not only was I born here, but so were my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents. It's not so much about your qualifications as it is about who you know and leveraging your network of business contacts. Canada is full of nepotism in the employment market. Immigrants who come here with some doubtfull third world credentials, and then expect to waltz into the job of their dreams are unrealistic.

Posted by Seanm4t at 2:50 PM Wednesday, July 16 2008

Welcome to the new world

The US had to restrict immigration laws as well after to many parents came and then were dumped on the social services system despite contract to the contrary. With the US tightening of immigrants many had fled to Canada. I agree that Canadian immigrants in country now are often neglected and maltreated when it comes to jobs. Good story from one immigrant to another.

Posted by SMC at 6:22 AM Wednesday, July 16 2008

How does one get to immigrate to Canada?

I would like to see a transparent system that allows Europeans to immigrate here. I have a few relatives who have tried many times (they have the money and skills) and have yet to get very far with the immigration. My niece got a one year permit and worked and paid taxes from day one and was told she had to leave the country. She followed the rules. It seems very one sided as to who gets into this country and what the process maybe. My other niece gave up after working for 2 years and applying and went to Africa.

Posted by takart at 5:53 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Liberals lowered requirements to import voters

When the Liberals were in power they repeatedly told us, the public, that immigration is important for Canada. The truth is it was important for the Liberal Party of Canada. They dropped the requirement to be a productive member of Canadian Society. The reason for this is because immigrants with nothing what-so-ever to offer Canada would be very likely to vote Liberal for the rest of their lives out of gratitude. As the Liberals jacked immigration numbers every year, it was mostly people from the poorest of the poor countries that contributed to those increased numbers. Now we all wonder why our health care system is strained to the point of almost being useless and drug crime from the growing number of impoverished neighbourhoods has been sky rocketing across Canada.

Posted by JNG at 3:15 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Where is the immigrants due diligence?

Many current immigrants are not employed in their chosen fields? What fields are those? When they applied to come here did they ask whether their degrees were recognized and what the job market was for their qualifications?–Seems that the onus is put on Canada and Canadians–When you are a Canadian, it is up to you to get job–you are not entitled to one in your field because you have a degree–

Posted by zen888 at 2:35 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

paul martin's government changed these rules

Funny, cause in '99, when I came here, I was screened (not actually tested) for my English skills and I my application was awarded points based on the demands in Canada for my profession. It was the Liberal government under Paul Mrting that droped these criterias in 2002 or 2003.

Posted by AD1999 at 1:52 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Extended Family

Agree with an earlier commenter… There is no need for Canada to allow Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Aunts/Uncles… If we assess that an immigrant is a good fit, why assume the whole family is? It merely strains the system. I'm all for new people of working age coming to Canada, where they will contribute to the country just as native-born citizens do. But come in just in time to collect old age benefits or welfare or use the health care system? That's not fair for anyone.

Posted by SpinStopsHere at 1:19 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Extended Family Means Extended Stay

I also don't agree that immigrants should automatically be allowed to bring extended family. When my own family arrived here fifty years ago, they were on their own. They rarely saw their extended family after that. Expectations on both sides can result in bitterness, disappointment and resentment as well as alienation of the newcomer resulting in sponsorship breakdown. If the new immigrant is a senior/young person/or wife with little education or experience that person immediately needs welfare and assisted housing. It's not fair to us and it's not fair to the person involved.

Posted by Whitby Girl at 12:52 PM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Immigrants are shocked to be treated as Canadians are

I know the rhetoric too, but immigration is just there to increase population. There are many players in the economy that grow simply from population growth. Canada lets in people of all sorts of ages and abilities. There wasn't a skill shortage before this latest wave of unemployed immigrants came here either.

Posted by Bleading Heart Socialist at 11:41 AM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Extended family means extended stay

Luckily all my 1st generation immigrant siblings to Canada have jobs and those that could not find jobs became their own bosses – Mum and Dad included. What we lack is family – the extended type. As much as there is a chance they 'might' become a burden a Canadian welfare/health system eventually they would also definitely alleviate day to day family physical, mental and financial pains.

Posted by footrest at 11:22 AM Tuesday, July 15 2008

Astounding this hasn't always been our policy

Mr. Rizvi's suggestions are so sensible that it is astounding this hasn't always been the basis of our immigration policy…matching prospective immigrants closely to the job market…slowing immigration numbers from time to time until those already here find jobs…how many Canadians, and how many disappointed immigrants, simply assume this is our policy because it makes so much sense, and how many immigrants are astonished to learn they have been invited into a chaotic, haphazard, sink-or-swim “system”

Posted by 1967PontiacGTO at 11:12 AM Tuesday, July 15 2008