TIME FOR FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES TO SHOW IMMIGRATION BACKBONE
A report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) this past week repeats a recent blunder made by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Last week, McGuinty had announced that his government would pay employers $10,000 each to hire an immigrant. Justifiably, Mr. McGuinty has been raked over the goals for saying that immigrants should be given an advantage in the job market over mainstream Canadians.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities deserves the same censure for using the plight of immigrants to get sympathy for its financial woes—especially because Canada did not need most of the 5+ million immigrants it has taken since 1990.
Both Mr. McGuinty and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) have to face the fact that long before now, they should have stood up to the federal government for its corrupt high immigration policy. McGuinty and the FCM could have used their considerable influence, but have been content to be compliant doormats.
The following are the FCM’s supposed “Facts and Figures” and our responses to them.
Starting on solid ground: the municipal role in immigrant settlement
Key facts and figures
. By 2015, 100 percent of Canada’s labour growth will come from new immigrants. RESPONSE : This is as silly as saying “By standing out in the rain, there is a 100% chance that you will get wet.” Of course, you will get wet. The point is you shouldn’t stand out in the rain. But Canada has been doing that, so to speak, for 20 years by bringing in millions of unnecessary immigrants. Our Department of Immigration has often claimed that Canada needs hundreds of thousands of immigrants. However, when pressed to tell Canadians what occupations Canada needs those immigrants to fill, it has never been able to produce any more than a tiny fraction of the total it claims.
The blunt truth is that Ottawa has been applying two mushroom-farming techniques to Canadians for 20 years : (A) Feed them lots of horse manure and (B) Keep them in the dark. In other words, for 20 years, Canadians have not heard a single sensible reason from Ottawa for our immigration intake. If Ottawa wants to bring in immigrants, let it tell us why we need them.
This is crucial now when Canada, which has not really recovered from the past recession, is about to descend into another downturn. Are we going to have all of our political parties standing up once again and saying they are proud of taking large numbers of immigrants in another recession? How much immigration madness do these people and their counterparts at the provincial and municipal levels, particularly the FCM, suffer from?
. In 2010, Canada admitted a record 281,681 permanent residents. The total number of new residents was close to 558,957 (including temporary foreign workers and foreign students). RESPONSE : The numbers are incredibly high. Is the Federation of Canadian Municipalities impressed by Ottawa’s gross senselessness? If most Canadians knew what was going on, they would call the 558,957 number a disgrace and try to stop it from ever happening again. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities should be standing up and doing all it can to end the immigration madness. Instead, its members are down on their knees looking for votes, just like Ottawa.
. The Toronto Board of Trade estimates it costs Canada $2.25 billion annually in lost economic activity when we fail to better integrate immigrants into the economy. RESPONSE : The solution is simple. In order to save $2.5 Billion in lost economic activity, don’t bring most of these immigrants here. Canada does not need them.
Immigrants falling behind
. Two-thirds of university-educated newcomers are underemployed. They work in occupations that require at most a college education. This compares with 40 per cent of their Canadian counterparts. RESPONSE : The large percentage of our own university-educated mainstream population has to be considered first. University-educated newcomers are probably under-employed for the same reason our own university-educated are under-employed : Canada did not need their qualifications.
. The unemployment rate among immigrant newcomers with university degrees was 8.6 per cent in 2009, compared with 3.5 per cent among Canadian-born graduates. RESPONSE : Newcomers are unemployed for the same reason they are under-employed. Canada did not need them.
The municipal role
. Our cities and communities welcome newcomers but are neither mandated nor funded to provide settlement services. RESPONSE : Thanks to the application of mushroom farming techniques, our cities and municipalities know very little about immigration. It is hard to believe that anyone who breathes cannot be aware of the senselessness behind our immigration intake. No city or municipality should be welcoming immigrants if it has unemployed people. Cities and municipalities should be using their influence to tell the federal gov’t to cut back on immigration. If they say nothing, they are helping to create a problem. If they don’t want to stand up, they shouldn’t whine.
. Municipalities are the first point of contact in providing shelter to refugees and grants to community-based organizations, and in enhancing programs at local community centres. RESPONSE : As long as the municipalities play dead, they have no one to blame but themselves for the ongoing immigration and refugee free-for-all.
. Collecting just eight cents of every Canadian tax dollar paid, municipalities alone cannot ensure a high quality of life and welcoming environment for newcomers. RESPONSE : The primary responsibility of municipalities is to provide as high a quality of life as possible to their long-term residents. Legitimate newcomers should have to get in line for services. They should not be leap-froging over mainstream Canadians.
. Rising housing prices and rental shortages from decades of low levels of purpose-built rental supply make it difficult for moderate-income earners to find adequate housing. RESPONSE : A steady, completely unnecessary, high inflow of immigrants has put upward pressure on house prices and caused housing to become either unaffordable or extremely burdensome to many Canadians as well as to longer-term immigrants. If municipalities had used their influence to dramatically reduce this inflow, the housing problems many people now face would have been substantially mitigated.
. 44 per cent of recent immigrant renters in Canada are in core housing need. They spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing, compared with less than 25 per cent of non-immigrant renters. RESPONSE : In the bigger centres, these numbers are probably much higher. Canada’s cities and municipalities have many Canadians who are in need of core housing. They come first.
. The potential loss of one-third of Canada’s social housing stock reduces access to housing overall. This further squeezes out newcomer immigrants. RESPONSE : Think first what the loss of social housing stock does to mainstream Canadians. How many homeless immigrants do you see on Canadian streets? The answer is not many. Why is that? Many Canadians would say it is because recent arrivals have been given priority for social housing. Who in their right mind would make this decision?
. New immigrants are twice as likely to commute by public transit, compared with Canadian-born workers. RESPONSE : Congratulations. Now what about the significant percentage of the over 5 million immigrants who after arriving since 1990, are driving cars and causing gridlock.
. There are significant challenges involved in providing much-needed services such as medical care, counselling, and job and language training to newcomers who are isolated due to poor transit options. RESPONSE : The best way to avoid “significant challenges” is to not take the people who will cause them. This will decrease the strain on medical care and counselling. Immigrants should be arriving with knowledge of one of our official languages. Canada should not be providing language training.
. Traffic delays cost Canada more than $5 billion in 2009. Today’s cost is likely much higher. RESPONSE : The more people Canada has, the more congestion it will have. Cut current immigration. Sift through the 5+ million newcomers who have arrived here since 1991, remove the large number who are here fraudulently and Canada’s traffic will be speeded up considerably. The $5 Billion figure will shrink enormously.
. The OECD cites Toronto’s economic cost of gridlock to be $3.3 billion annually. RESPONSE : Metro Toronto and southern Ontario took about 2.5 million of the 5+ million unnecessary newcomers who arrived since 1990. This large number of people have contributed substantially to the gridlock and its $3.5 billion cost. They have also added considerably to the wear and tear on the roads and the need to replace the roads and other infra-structure prior to its expiry date. Reducing the number of users, not building better transit, is the answer. Continuing to add people there will increase the costs.