Is Canada Flying Into A Recession With The Crass And the Shameless In The Cockpit?


Recent announcements of funding for immigration settlement in British Columbia demonstrate that the federal and some provincial governments are completely out of touch with the economic reality that many Canadians are facing.

For example, Welcome B.C. , a provincial government department which provides services to immigrants, received $109 million from Ottawa's Citizenship and Immigration department. A recent news item stated that, of that amount, it was awarding the Surrey and Vancouver School Boards a total of over $2 Million each for workers who would provide settlement counselling to new immigrants. Since B.C. accepts about 20% of all of Canada's immigrants, it is probably safe to assume that Citizenship and Immigration will dole out around $500 million for similar “Welcome” programmes (for school districts and others) across Canada this year alone.

According to a report in The Surrey-North Delta Leader, Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer, who also serves as Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Immigration, has commented on the $2 Million to the Surrey school district : Our schools face a number of challenges and the province's continued commitment to this program is vital to assisting schools with providing new, innovative models for welcoming newcomers into our community. Mr. Hayer is a Sikh immigrant who came to Canada in 1972.

Immigration Watch would like to direct the attention of Mr. Hayer and many others to two items. The first is a 1924 letter written to the U.S. Congress by Samuel Gompers, founder and president of the American Federation of Labor and himself an immigrant to the U.S. :


“America must not be overwhelmed.

“Every effort to enact immigration legislation (setting limits to numbers) must expect to meet a number of hostile forces and, in particular, two hostile forces of considerable strength.

“One of these is composed of corporation employers who desire to employ physical strength (broad backs) at the lowest possible wages and who prefer a revolving labor supply at low wages to a regular supply of American earners at fair wages.

“The other is composed of racial groups in the United States who oppose all restrictive legislation because they want the doors left open for an influx of their countrymen regardless of the menace to the people of the adopted country.”


We ask Mr. Hayer and prominent members of other ethnic groups to think carefully about the last sentence of that letter. We ask them also to note that although Mr. Gompers was an immigrant, he saw a clear danger in immigration being used to leave the doors open for an influx of large numbers of people from his country.

Mr. Hayer and fellow Sikhs comprise a significant part of Surrey, B.C.'s population of 400,000. Many are recent arrivals. They, the Chinese, the Filiponos and other ethnic groups have to answer several major questions :

(1) Is their primary objective in Canada to bring in as many of their countrymen as they can ?

(2) Are we to assume that they see no “menace”, both in good times and in a recession, in cheer-leading high immigrant inflows ?

(3) In particular, do they see nothing “menacing” in diverting tens of billions of dollars from necessary Canadian social projects such as housing for the homeless or reducing poverty, to the support of a giant diaspora from their countries?

(4) Do they understand that all the required homeless housing for Canada could have been built with a fraction of the billions thrown away on senseless and, from the point of view of many Canadians, “menacing” immigration ?

(5) Finally, to re-phrase Samuel Gompers' words: Do they see any problem with Canada being overwhelmed?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, his fellow premiers all across Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and a host of federal, provincial and municipal politicians can guess at the answer these people might give to these questions.

At this point, Mr. Kenney's department, in particular, has to justify both importing hundreds of thousands of additional people and writing a blank cheque for more hundreds of millions of dollars to assist these people in settling here. Mr. Kenney is not to blame for the post-1990 crassness and shamelessness of bringing in close to 5 million people, most of whom Canada did not need. But he and his government have a responsibility for the future and will be held to account if they repeat the crassness and shamelessness.

The second item we call to the attention of Mr. Hayer, Mr. Kenney, most politicians at every level, their supporters and union leaders is a recent immigration development in Australia—a country which competes with Canada for the highest per capita immigration intake in the world.

Several weeks ago, Australia's Prime Minister stated that Australia had a tradition of lowering immigration in times of high unemployment. Now, faced with high job losses, Mr. Rudd has announced that Australia will be cutting immigration.

According to Brisbane's “The Courier Mail”, “up to $30 billion in planned mining developments are in doubt because of the sudden downturn in world demand for (Queensland's) coal”. “The 133,500 skilled migrants applying to work in Australia will now be required to have a job sponsored by an employer or by a state government before they arrive, or meet a critical skills list….” (See “Immigration Tightened To Save Jobs.”)

Recent reports state that Canada will lose 7000 jobs per week for the next 18 months. Why are we hearing no calls for immigration cuts and more thoughtful requirements (similar to those announced in Australia) from Mr. Kenney, the Prime Minister, the leaders of all the other three parties, prominent members of ethnic groups, unions and others ?

Do we have only the crass and the shameless in Canada's cockpit?


For the full Surrey North Delta Leader story, see “$2 million for school settlement workers”.

For the full The Courier Mail story, see “Immigration Tightened To Save Jobs”, December 17, 2008.,23739,24816259-952,00.html