UBC Prof’s Evidence Damns Business Immigrant Programme
1. Canada and other countries began giving immigration priority to Business Immigrants (BI’s) in the late 1970’s. In UBC Professor David Ley’s book, Millionaire Migrants”, he refers to the BI as “homo economicus”, that is, “economic man” whose economic capital was prized over the social/educational capital that many traditional immigrants had brought here. This new type of immigration indicated a change from permanent immigration to temporary and circular immigration.
2. Canada is one of 30 countries that have business immigrant programmes.
3. David Ley’s focus is on economic migrants who came from Asia, particularly Chinese from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Over 33 million Chinese have migrated to other countries, 7 million outside of Asia.
4. In 2001, 73% of Chinese Canadians lived in Toronto (410,000) and Vancouver (343,000), a result attributable in part to the BI programme.
5. Although Canada’s motive was to stimulate its economy, the motive of many of Vancouver’s BI’s was to get Canadian citizenship which they regarded as an “insurance policy” against Mainland China’s potential interference in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
6. Canada soon saw that its objectives and those of the Chinese BI’s were opposite. David Ley says : “Departure from the bull markets of East Asia to the slow if steady returns and high taxation of Canada was a dubious economic proposition, and migration was seen much more as an a project to maximize family objectives : geopolitical security, educational options for children, quality of life for the nuclear family and often (a better place for) ageing parents.” (P.26)
7. In 1988, Vancouver’s EXPO 86 lands (about one-sixth of Vancouver’s downtown area) were sold to Hong Kong billionaire Li Kashing at a bargain price. He had been involved in property purchases in Vancouver and other Canadian cities on a small scale in the late 1960’s. David Ley says that in the same year, Hong Kong immigrant David Lam was appointed Lieutenant Governor of B.C. This was a very clear symbolic counterpart to the sale of the Expo lands and a clear signal to Asia that B.C. was open to entrepreneurs. (P.55)
8. Between 1980 and 2008. about 400,000 immigrants entered Canada through the BIP. Canada’s high BIP numbers are attributable to how easy it was to enter Canada. (BI’s had to get only 35 points to satisfy immigration requirements compared to 67 for skilled immigrants). (Pp.58-59)
9. Between 1980 and 2001, most immigrants (about 78%) went to three areas : Toronto–40%; Montreal–14%; Vancouver–14.2% Most refugees went to Toronto (35.8%) and Montreal (18.5%). Only 7.0% went to Vancouver. (P.60)
10. Language inability is correlated with immigrant failure : 57% of BI’s could not speak French or English, compared to 44% of all immigrants.
11. Korean entrepreneurs were more successful than the Hong Kong and Taiwanese groups because they worked in non-ethnic areas. (P.111) Vancouver and Richmond entrepreneurs recorded the weakest performance because they competed with one another. Their experience confirmed European experience where “breaking-out” of the enclave was seen as a necessity for success. (P.112)
11. Surveys showed that relatively few BI’s (62%) were planning to work here, thus subverting government objectives. This compared to 76% of all immigrants and 85% of skilled workers. Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South Korea accounted for most of BI’s to Toronto (58%), Montreal (54%), and Vancouver (80%). Most South Koreans came as entrepreneurs. Vancouver took 15,000 more BI’s than Toronto between 1980 and 2001. This was to cause significant increases in Vancouver’s housing market, and make most housing unaffordable. (P.63)
12. A national panel study of more than 12,000 immigrants who landed in 2000-2001 found that 37% of BI’s in Vancouver had purchased single family housing within 6 months, compared with 17% for other immigrants and refugees. (This was an indication that these immigrants had a readily-availble supply of cash.) (P.64).
13. Canada’s senior immigration officer in Hong Kong incorrectly described Business Immigrants as immigrants landing on their feet running. (Pp.64-65)
14. Ottawa boasted about all of the money that BI’s brought with them : According to Ottawa figures, from 1986 to 2005, $8.7 Billion had been registered in subscriptions and about 25,000 jobs maintained or created. It would not be long before officials suspected that the job creation numbers were inflated. About $27 Billion was brought to the Vancouver area in the years 1988 to 1997. (P.70) Huge inflows of billions arrived at banks. (P.71) BI’s sought ways to put money into safe places in order to avoid taxes. Peter Newman’s book, “Titans”, portrayed Asian BI’s as success stories. The Vancouver Sun ran abridged segments of Newman’s book on its front pages. David Bond of the Hong Kong-Shanghai Bank of Canada boasted that if he were the czar of immigration, he would send a fleet of Boeing 747’s to Hong Kong to pick up BI’s. All of this hype was false. Ottawa assumed that these people would be revealing their assets and that it would be receiving significant revenue from Business Immigrants, but that did not happen.
15. In fact, a senior Citizenship and Immigration manager said that gov’ts did not know if the BIP was working—-even after 15 years. (P.108)
16. Many BI immigrants were cheated by immigration consultants. Ottawa knew about this, but did nothing for 24 to 25 years. In 2004, it required consultants to organize themselves into a self-regulating association. “Among the paradoxes of the BIP is how a programme so revered by senior governments has contributed so much anguish among its clients.” (P.120)
17. David Ley conducted two surveys of BI’s. The first was on 24 immigrants. The second was on 90. The results did not flatter the programmes. A large number of BI’s did not file tax returns because they were no longer here. They had satisfied minimal requirements and then left to pursue better opportunities elsewhere. Another study by Marger did a panel study of 70 entrepreneurs in the early 1990’s. Seven years later, half of his panel had disappeared. The majority of the missing were from East Asia.
18. Australia and New Zealand have recorded similar outcomes. Quality of life and better educational opportunities for their children were considered more important than satisfying government objectives.
19. Ottawa tried to introduce laws requiring all Canadians to disclose assets, particularly those being held offshore, but a lobby developed among millionaire migrants in Vancouver, not among WASP lawyers in Toronto, to oppose such legislation. The Chinese lobby was supported by the Glen Clark NDP government in B.C. and by the federal Liberals. By 1998, after China had re-taken Hong Kong and fear of China had eased, investor and entrepreneur immigration from Hong Kong and Taiwan had fallen by 94% and 78% respectively. Many wanted to keep their offshore assets secret in order not to pay their share of taxes. British Columbia MLA Jenny Kwan stated that “the Chinese are very private with their money. This law goes against our culture,” implying that the Chinese should be allowed to operate in Canada by a set of rules much different from those that applied to most Canadians!! (P.96)
20. Between 1987 and 1997, Hong Kong had been the largest source of immigrants to Canada, reaching 30,000+ per year. However, after 1997, this number fell to 2000 per year. (Pp.73-74) Ottawa’s foreign assets disclosure laws and the Asian Financial crisis that began in 1997 were two important reasons. (P.77)
21. David Ley says ” The economic circumstances of immigrants among the ethnic Chinese population in Canada have been poor. Tax returns in 2000 showed average incomes of $15,000, half the average for the entire population. BI’s reported even lower incomes, around $13,000 with many households declaring incomes below the official poverty line. This was an indication of deliberate mis-reporting of true income and income tax cheating.
22. Entrepreneurs had to show success within two years. They were supposed to be monitored by officials every 6 months. Such monitoring often did not occur, but Ottawa allowed them to stay. To avoid not staying in Canada for the required time each year, business immigrants would go to the U.S., fly to Asia and later return to the U.S. and enter Canada without the perusal of immigration authorities. Many immigrants paid consultants to remove immigration requirements for them and later acquired citizenship illegitimately. CIC was aware of hundreds of cases of fraud, but did little.
23. By the late 1980’s, 50,000 to 60,000 Canadian university graduates worked in HK. Other estimates said that over 200,000 Hong Kong residents held Canadian passports. (P.226) For many HK’ers, return is a distinct possibility; for some, an intended probability. David Ley says that a 2007 study by the Chinese-Canadian Historical Society of B.C. includes the startling estimate that two thirds of Chinese-Canadian males with Canadian citizenship but of Hong Kong origin, and between the ages of 25 and 44, live and work outside of Canada. (P.92)
24. Price Waterhouse reviewed the entrepreneur and self-employed streams in 1989 and found that over half of its list who had landed in the past 2 to 3 years did not respond. Of the other half interviewed, only half were meeting the requirements while only 35% of these businesses were profitable. The consultants concluded that the annual BI scorecard was significantly inflated. In 1992, Ernst and Young concluded that the Investor Immigrant programme exaggerated by three times its actual employment benefits. In 1999, a senior forensic auditor from the World Bank told CIC that its Investor programme contained systemic corruption. It was “a massive sham. The middlemen made hundreds of millions of dollars….Claims about the benefits of the programme in terms of job creation and investment have been widely inflated.” A CIC administrator said that the availability of large capital funds and weak supervision led to “a feeding frenzy, driven by provincial corruption and hungry lawyers, a very dirty programme that brought out the worst in our legal and business group”. (P.121)
25, Smelling money, some CIC Department employees left to become immigration consultants.
INTRODUCTION–CHAPTER 1 :
1. Old paradigm of permanent immigration is giving way to temporary and circular immigration. (Global commission on International Migration)
2. Best example of (1) : 40,000 to 50,000 “Canadian” citizens living in Lebanon in 2006 during civil war and 25,000 “Australian citizens also in Lebanon. Hong Kong has 200,000 “Canadian” citizens.
3. Current Migration is different from past migration : (a) much individual agency / acting now + (b) much migrant transgressing now, undermining the authority of the state
4. Globalization Utopia : “a flexible, fluid and mobile space. an open space that knows no boundaries” growing homogeneity (P.4)
5. Ley’s interpretation : continuing importance of geography in transnational migration (P.5) Hong Kong for making money. Canada for quality of life. (P.5)
6. Men often return to Asia. Women and children stay in Canada. Asians emphasize buying property, tearing down houses, building new–alienating Canadians.
7. Neo-liberalism : human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets and free trade” (P.6)
8. “Homo Economicus” : Neo-Liberalism’s ‘rational economic man, incarnate as the business immigrant. Policy in many countries has prioritized economic migrants. (See P. 6)
9. This book’s emphasis : In the 1980’s, the nation state withdrew its social safety net and favoured economic migrants. The 2007-2009 recession provided a devastating lesson of how the lossof purchasing power can drive the system into recession and dysfunction. (P.7) (The nation state has fought against globalization. Neo-liberalism is more murky than actions of governments.)
10. When the state assumes that a successful entrepreneur in Hong Kong will repeat success in Canada, he is ignoring much that will cause failure. (P.8)
11. The year 2007 was the first year in which temporary migrants (TFW’s and students) outnumbered Immigrants.
12. Canada’s share of economic migrants rose from 39% in the 1980’s to 58% in the years 2000 to 2006.
13. Canada is one of 30 countries that have business immigrant programmes.
14. Ley incorrectly says that “the Chinese suffered virulent racist marginalization, containment and exclusion” . (P.10)
15. The Chinese have migrated within China and created many new cities. Over 33 million of them have migrated to other countries. (P.10), 7 million outside of Asia.
16. In 2001, 73% of Chinese Canadians lived in Toronto (410,000) and Vancouver (343,000). Of the 753,000, 280,000 landed during the 1990’s. (P.13)
17. SARS incident illustrated negative side of migration from Asia to Canada. (P.14) SARS CAUSED 44 DEATHS, BETWEEN 375 AND 438 INFECTIONS AND AROUND $1 Billion in costs to the Toronto area.
18. Ley repeats his point that the Chinese were victims, showing that he knows little about this issue. (P.16)
19. Between 1980 qnd 2001, almost 330,000 immigrants landed in Canada through the BIP, making the Canadian programme the most successful in the global immigration marketplace. Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea accounted for over half of all the business immigrants landing in Canada and three-quarters in B.C.
20. Clara Law’s film “Floating Life” tells the “insettled nature of living between cultures, of re-location as an often traumatic adventure….” (P.21)
21. Li Ka-shing sent his son Victor to head the family’s business in Vancouver and son Richard to Toronto. Ley seems to be playing cheerleader here. (P.21)
22. The motive of many BI’s was to get an “insurance policy” by acquiring Canadian citizenship. One weealthy Chinese imigrant was murdered outside his (Shaughnesey ?) house.
23. “The transnational migrant with mobile identities who eludes the possessive arm of the state has undercut the traditional assimilation model.” (P.26)
24. “Departure from the bull markets of East Asia to the slow if steady returns and high taxation of Canada was a dubious economic proposition, and migration was seen much more as an a project to maximize family objectives : geopolitical security, educational options for children, quality of life for the nuclear family and often ageing parents.” (P.26)
25. To BI’s, East Asia was their money-generating station. Canada was their consumption station. (P.27) The net effect of capital seeking property …was the marked inflation of house and condo… prices in Vancouver and its inner suburbs, a causal connection that was vigorously contested….”
26. Ley says this book began in the early 1990’s with the demolition of old houses in elite neighbourhoods close to his own. It continued for 15 years. He read hundreds of letters sent to Vancouver City Council. He became co-director of the Metropolis Project, a long-term, federally funded project interdisciplinary study of immigration and urbanization. his emphasis was on wealthier immigrants from East Asia. A series of projects followed. Interviews with 250 households followed. A telephone survey of 1500 households occurred next, and then interviews with 60 returnees to Hong Kong. Newspaper files plus translations of Chinese articles. Federal databases, the Landed Immigrant Data System, the longitudinal Immigrant Data Base (IMDB), Planning documents, , consultants’ reports and house price data helped. Kathyarine Mitchell’s “Crosssing the Neoliberal Line” was especially helpful on the house price issue. Two field visits to Hong Kong and one to Taipei helped, plus interviews in Chinese by bilingual assistants.
Chapter Two : Transition From The Orient to the Pacific Rim
1. Ley makes many mistakes : He says (a) “Orientals were recruited and harshly treated in the dangerous work of railway building through the Rocky Mountains (600 died?) ; (b) “With characteristic insensitivity, the same year the railway was completed, the first of a series of disciplinary laws was enacted, introducing a head tax upon Chinese landing in Canada. (c) “Their market wage was habitually below tghe going rate…” (Pp.32-33) ; (d) the many Chinatowns were examples of containment measures and were similar to the many reserves set up foe natives.
2. Ley mitigates his statement by citing two researchers who admit that Chinese were exploiting Chinese. (P.35)
3. Canada’s centennial, Expo 67, immigration act revisions, recognition of China, declaration of multiculturalism, etc. all evoked a sense of maturity and self-confidence. Signs of a changed status for Chinese were opposition to the demolition of Chinatown and federal intervention to prevent urban “renewal”. Mau Dan Housing Co=Op in 1981. Deficits of 1970’s led to more right-wing policies of opening borders and emphasis on economic immigration policies.
4. Canada’s contacts with Asia were spurred by Trudeau’s own trips to China. Japan was the first Asian country that Canada had significant economic ties with—followed by Hong Kong and Singapore. Canada’s initial trade with China was in surplus with things like wheat.
5. Canada’s trade with Japan flattened in the 1990’s and has not improved much since then. Canada–Hong Kong to Vancouver air connections grew greatly and exceeded those between Vancouver and London. Canada sponsored several trade delegations to China, some modest early ones, but quite extravagant later ones. Much fanfare went on but the promise of Canadian jobs was disappointing.
6. J.S. Furnivall, a British colonial administrator, once commented “In the plural society, the highest common factor is the economic factor, and the only test that all apply in common is the test of cheapness.” Consequently, ” In a plural society, the community tends to be organized for production rather than for social life.” (P.50) Woodside says that “Asia Pacific is a factory-like ‘plural society’ of the Furnivallian sort writ large”. Its member states have serious internal class, ethnic and gender divisions…. But what holds them together are market relations, a lowest common denominator familiar to neo-liberal administrations in North America”. Michael Goldberg and others think this way also. This is far more one-dimensional than the views of innocents (like Trudeau and others) who visited China.
7. The 1960’s optimism and expansion of social programmes (tripling of the number of social workers in 1960’s and almost tripled again in the 1970’s) reached a brick wall in the mid- to late-1970’s with oil shocks and recessions. The federal debt rose to over $600 Billion in 1996-97. The economic recession of the early 1980’s was the deepest in 50 years. (P.50)
8. Expo 86 was to be an economic stimulant to B.C. It lost $300 million, but had 22 million visitors and was proclaimed a great success. (P. 54)
9. The EXPO 86 lands were sold to Li Kashing in 1988. He had been involved in property purchases in Vancouver and other Canadian cities on a small scale in the late 1960’s. David Lam was appointed Lieutenant Governor of B.C. in 988, the clear symbolic counterpart to the sale of the Expo lands and a clear signal to Asia that B.C. was open to entrepreneurs. (P.55)
10. In 1961, there were only 60,000 ethnic Chinese in Canada, an increase of 14,000 since immigration restrictions had been lifted in 1947. (P.56) Reductions in family class and refugee categories by 2009 showed that the new emphasis was on economic factors. (P.56) About 53% of all business immigrants between 1980 to 2001 came from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. (P.56) The BIP was established in 1978 and had two sections : Entrepreneurs and Self-employed. In 1986, the Investor section was added. (P.57)
11. Between 1980 and 2008. about 400,000 immigrants entered Canada through the BIP. Canada’s BIP success is attributable to its low threshold for entry (35 points compared to 67 for skilled immigrants). This showed that financial capital , not human (educational) capital mattered most for the BIP. (Pp.58-59)
12. LIDS data are deceptive because they do not account for the fact that immigration consultants often determined under which category BI’s would enter Canada. For example, some listed their wives’s qualifications (nurse) and are classified under skilled worker category. The LIDS data under-estimate the number of BI’s. (P.59)
13. Between 1980 and 2001, most immigrants (about 78%) went to three CMA’s. (P.60) Toronto–40%; Montreal–14%; Vancouver–14.2% Most rtefugees went to Toronto (35.8%) and Montreal (18.5%). only 7.0% went to Vancouver.
14. Of secondary migrants, Toronto (28%) and Vancouver (30%) led while Quebec and Montreal was a major loser (44%). BI arrivals in Vancouver were the wealthiest. 57% of BI’s could not speak French or English, compared to 44% of all immigrants.
15. Relatively few BI’s (62%) were planning to work here, compared to 76% of all immigrants and 85% of skilled workers. HK. T, PRC and SK account for most of BI’s to Toronto (58%), Montreal (54%, and Vancouver (80%). Most SK’s come as entrepreneurs. Vancouver took 15,000 more BI’s than Toronto between 1980 and 2001. (P.63) BI’s, particularly Investors, comprised about 6% of total Metro Vancouver’s population since 1980. This had a major effect on housing prices. A national panel study of more than 12,000 immigrants found that 37% of BI’s in Vancouver had purchased single family housing within 6 months, compared with 17% of other immigrants and refugees. In Toronto, about one half in Tortonto were in apartments, primarily as tenants. (P.64).
16. CONCLUSION : Canada’s immigration intake changed from an emphasis on those of a European background to those of an Asian background. The cause was the change in national origin preference plus a a neo-liberal emphasis on homo economicus. The Pacific Rim was portrayed as an economic opportunity. The senior immigration officer in Hong Kong presented them as immigrants landing on their feet running. (Pp.64-65)
CHAPTER 3 : CALCULATING AGENTS : MILLIONAIRE MIGRANTS MEET THE CANADIAN STATE
1. Peter Newman’s book, “Titans” , portayed Asian BI’s as success stories. The Vancouver Sun ran abridged segments of Newman on the front pages. One was on Terry Hui, a friend of the Li family. Kevin Wong, clothing manufacturer, also appeared in same light. Steven Wu, a Taiwanese immigrant appeared also. However, Ottawa was interested in tapping the wealth of these people. This changed their attitudes toward Canada. (Pp. 66-67)
2. Ottawa boasted about all of the money that BI’s brought with them : from 1986 to 2005, $8.7 Billion has been registered in subscriptions and about 25,000 jobs maintained or created. About $27 Billion was brought to the Vancouver area in the years 1988 to 1997. (P.70) Huge inflows of billions arrived at banks. (P.71) BI’s sought ways to put money into safe places in order to avoid taxes. David Bond of the HSBC stated that if he were the czar of immigration, he would send a fleet of Boeing 747’s to Hong Kong to pick up BI’s.
3. Between 1987 and 1997, Hong Kong was the largest source of immigrants to Canada, reaching 30,000+ per year. However, after 1997, they fell to 2000 per year. (Pp.73-74) Ottawa’s foreign assets disclosure laws and the Asian Financial crisis that began in 1997 reduced immigration dramatically. Immigrants stated that quality of life and educational opportunities were prized by Chinese. In addition, Chinese students had many opportunities to professional education that they would never have had in an overly-competitive Asian environment. (P.77)
4. Another key reason for immigration was political : unease over Mainland China’s effects on Taiwan and Hong Kong.
5. Key point : Economic migrants said that economics was not an important reason for coming to Canada. Many were in their 40’s, had already made fortunes and wanted a slower life style. (Pp.79-80) Ley asks Important question : “”But in becoming Canadian, are they also subverting the expectations of the BIP that enlisted them precisely for their entrepreneurial difference? (P.81)
6. Interviews with HK migrants showed that departees were arriving in Canada ‘with deep anxiety rather than great expectations; …many of them expected the worst” (P. 83)
7. Return migration was planned by these migrants before the very beginning. (P.84)
8. Many immigrants were cheated by immigration consultants. Ottawa knew about this, but did nothing for 24 to 25 years (2004) when it required consultants to organize themselves into a self-regulating association.
9. Business immigrants had to invest $400,000 in a 5-year Canadian fund, subject to the whims of the market and predatory partners. Entrepreneurs had to show success within two years. They were monitored by officials every 6 months. Such surveillance was unusual for these immigrants. Files were closed (approved) with little monitoring. To avoid not staying in Canada for the required time each year. immigrants would go to the U.S., leave from there and later return to the U.S. and enter Canada without the perusal of immigration authorities. Many immigrants paid consultants to remove conditions for them and later acquired citizenship. CIC was aware of hundreds of cases of fraud, but did nothing.
10. A study (2007??) by the CCHistorical Society of B.C. includes the startling estimate that two thirds of males of HK origin, and between the ages of 25 and 44 , live and work outside of Canada.” (P.92)
11. Ottawa tried to introduce laws requiring all Canadians to disclose assets, particularly those being held offshore, but a lobby developed to oppose such legislation. The Chinese lobby was supported by the Glen Clark NDP government in B.C. and by the federal Liberals. By 1998, investor and entrepreneur immigration from Hong Kong and Taiwan had fallen by 94% and 78% respectively. Ley says nothing about the real cause of HK people returning to HK : the end of fear of Mainland China. Neither do Mason Loh, Manyee Lui and a host of other ethnic lobbyists and Canadians who held such offshore assets and wanted to keep them secret in order not to pay their share of taxes. Jenny Kwan stated that “the Chinese are very private with their money. This law goes against our culture.” (P.96)
12. CONCLUSION : A real estate lawyer told Ley that the Chinese kept two sets of books in order to deceive their own governments. They expected to do the same thing in Canada. When they were told they could not, they revolted. (P.96)
CHAPTER 4 : GEOGRAPHY (STILL) MATTERS : HOMO ECONOMICUS AND THE BUSINESS IMMIGRATION PROGRAMME
1. BI’s have definitely had an impact on Canada, particularly Vancouver. They have bought expensive houses, vehicles, and many costly consumer goods. Ley says that he believed what government and boosters of the BI programme said about its success. He asks one big question at the beginning of this chapter : Is what they say true? (P.99)
2. Ley did 24 exploratory interviews with BI’s. They told him that the “insubordinate practice of fieldwork” can overturn cherished preconceptions. (P.99)
3. Thirty people were interviewed : 7 with a man; 11 with a woman; 5 with a husband and wife jointly ; 1 with two men together. Eight household heads had come through the investor category; 8 therough the entrepreneur; 2 in the self-employed stream; and 6 as independent skilled workers. Respondents took whatever category would get them into Canada. (P.100)
4. The median time since landing was 6 years. Of the 24 households, only half had a member working in Canada. Of the 12 working here, 5 owned a store or fast food outlet; 3 were in import-export businesses; 3 had part-time jobs; and 1 was an office manager.
5. All said that economic success in Canada was difficult to achieve. One BI complained about the taxes here, the low rate of return and the long time it took to achieve success. Another complained about environmental barriers while another said labour problems were too big. A number chose early retirement and said that Vancouver’s quality of life was unequalled. (Pp.100-103) Their contribution to the economy of Canada was through consumption expenditures. They found that their experience was not needed and was unrecognized.
6. Many operated in a crowded (saturated) enclave economy. (P.104) They had to steal customers from one another. Mr. Chen was one of a very few success stories. He had a ginseng business and in addition planned to sell hot tubs in Taiwan. (Pp.106-107)
7. Stats gathered by gov’t focused on the number of jobs created and investments secured through the BIP, but these concealed the truth about whether the BIP was working. A senior manager said that gov’t did not know if the BIP was working–even after 15 years. (P.108)
8. Ley did another survey on 90 entrepreneurs to determine if the BIP worked for the. The median age in this group was 41 at the time of landing. Families consisted of four (2 children) , had satisfied the requirements of the category and had been here for 8 to 9 years. All had been successful in their home country. Most had little English and only a quarter were working in a place where some English was required. Half had sold their business shortly after satisfying the requirements. They had done so because it was not performing well. Soon after, the males resumed their activity in Asia and became astronauts. When asked if the business made money, broke even or lost money, 42% reported a positive net balance, 31% a negative net balance, and 27% broke even. (Pp.109-110)
9. Many entrepreneurs moved out of manufacturing, construction and import-export into retailing and restaurants. They did so to satisfy gov’t requirements. Entering manufacturing, etc. took too long. Gov’t wanted quick results. Korean entrepreneurs were the most successful of the HK, T and K groups because they worked in white areas. (P.111) Vancouver and Richmond entrepreneurs recorded the weakest performance because of intra-ethnic competition. Their experience confirmed European experience where “breaking-out” of the enclave was seen as a necessity for success. (P.112)
10.Limited education and poor English were correlated with failure (Mr. and Mrs. Chan). (P.113) The short time periods caused many people to enter businesses they would never have entered and precipitated failures. Larger statistical samples confirm the outcomes observed so far and expand the validity of the results.” (P.114)
11. Toronto data shows that Mainland and Taiwanese Chinese were performing poorly. (P.115) Ley does not ask whether these figures might reflect tax evasion and unreporting of income. Stats show a very high home ownership level in Chinese, but also a low level of reported income. Poverty rates were similar across all residential areas, including the wealthy ones. Ley describes this as a “profound census abnormality”. (P.117) , but says the BIP results he gathered explain this abnormality.
12. A final reconfiguration of the data by destination city showed that total income for the Chinese immigrants who settled in Toronto is 30 % higher than for the wealthier households who live in Vancouver.
“Those who brought the most in terms of economic capital and business experience achieved the least; those who brought the least have done better.” (P. 118)
13. In the landing years from 1980 to 1995, a median number of at least 32% of business class tax filers in B.C. declared no earnings at all from either employment or self-employment, a figure that contrasted unfavourably with the lower median value of 22% for all immigrants and refugees. (P.119) This took the BIP even further from the goal of accelerating economic development. Tax filer returns tabulate a total national population of about 125,000 business immigrants and their family members landing between 1980 and 1995, who are represented in the tax returns. But landing cards indicate a very much larger number who entered Canada through this period., in the vicinity of 240,000 persons” EXPLANATION : A LARGE NUMBER DID NOT FILE TAX RETURNS BECAUSE THEY WERE NO LONGER HERE. THEY DID WHAT THEY PLANNED TO DO AND THEN LEFT TO PURSUE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES IN ASIA OR IN THE U.S. AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND HAVE RECORDED SIMILAR OUTCOMES. QUALITY OF LIFE AND BETTER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR CHILDREN WERE CONSIDERED MORE IMPORTANT THAN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEMSELVES. (P.119)
14. “Among the paradoxes of the BIP is how a programme so revered by senior governments has contributed so much anguish among its clients.” (P.120) Marger did a panel study of 70 entrepreneurs in the early 1990’s. Seven years later, half of his panel had disappeared. The majority of the missing were from East Asia.
15. Price Waterhouse did a detailed review of the entrepreneur and self-employed streams in 1989 found that over half of its list who had landed in the past 2 to 3 years did not respond. Of the other half interviewed, only half were meeting the requirements while only 35% of these businesses were profitable. The consultants concluded that the annual scorecard was significantly inflated. Ernst and Young concluded that the Investor Immigrant programme exaggerated by three times its actual employment benefits. A senior forensic auditor from the World Bank told CIC that its Investor programme contained systemic corruption. It was “a massive sham. The middlemen made hundreds of millions of dollars…Claims about the benefits of the programme in terms of job creation and investment have been widely inflated.” (P.121) The availability of large capital funds and weak supervision led to a feeding frenzy, driven by provincial corruption and hungry lawyers, a very dirty prograamme that brought out the worst in our legal and business group. (P.121) Department employees left and became consultants.
16. Auditor : The annual scorecard was largely derived from numbers supplied by the operators who benefited from the investment funds. The same self reporting is also evident in the emtrepreneur programme. Lack of resources at CIC resulted in very little monitoring. Ley says only 7% of files received site visits. Managers told Ley that applicants were not usually asked for proof of their investmentlevel or jobs created. Deportation is a penalty, but only 2 to 33 households were deported in 10 years. Flipping of businesses occurred often. This violated the spirit of the programme. It also resulted in multiple counting of jobs created and other benefits. When a Minister once asked to meet a successful case person, officials stated : “Oh no, we can’t use the same old one. Does anybody know of any successful recent cases?” (Pp.122-123)
17. The idea that the BIP was supervised and people were monitored was almost completely false.
18. CONCLUSION : In what ways has the world come to be understood as global? Rapid communication and travel has helped to foster this idea. Canada’s BIP , and its equivalents elsewhere are based on the idea of the substitutability of locations, that both capital and entrepreneurial acumen be unproblematically transplanted from East Asia overseas. Geography does matter. Canada differs in language, tax system and in regulation from East Asia. Business immigrants were often confused by geography. Globe talk misses the point of the continuing role of local knowledge. (Pp.123 to 125)
CHAPTER 5 : EMBODIED REAL ESTATE : THE CULTURAL MOBILITY OF PROPERTY
1. Chinese believe in owning a piece of land for a house and another for your body. Earth is important to the Chinese. Property is a major factor (one quarter to one half) on the HK stock exchange. Real estate accounted for about 30% of HK gov’t revenues in the 1990’s. Property is so important that new property developments displace world news on the front pages of newspapers. Property prices doubled between 1985 ans 1989. They tripled between 1989 and 1994, providing the wealth to be used in Canada. Old buildings in HK are disregarded. This attitude carried over to Canada. (P.129-129) Chinese have high home ownership rates wherever they go. Chinese often bought more than one house and used the second or third houses for rental income.
2. Real estate agents like Grace kwok,, Manyee Lui, and Patsy Hui arrived before the HK flood and prospered, giving advice to new arrivals on how to succeed. Foreign buyers such as the British and Americans have left their imprint on B.C. and other parts of Canada. Chinese since as early as 1988 have been advised that Canadian land is cheap and that even those who don’t intend to live here should consider buying.
3. Concord Pacific was sold by the Li Kashing family to the Hui family in 2003 who the took control of Marathon and Oxford, thus extending their interest into many Canadian property markets, (Pp.136-138) In the mid-1990’s, half of all sales outside the downtown peninsula were to Asian buyers, most with Chinese names—twice as many as would be expected for their proportion of the population. Winnie Chung has soared to near the top of realtor sales by operating almost solely in an immigrant, non-English-speaking market, the ethnic Chinese market. (P.140)
4. The number of ethnic enclaves (30% or more visible minority) in Canada rose from 6 in 1981, to 74 in 1991, to 246 in 2001. Of the 246, Chinese dominated 156, Indos most of the rest. Richmond has attracted many Chinese because of its shape, a dragon’s head with a pearl in its mouth. (Pp.143-144)
5. Canadians emphasize “floating capital” (Cash?) while Chinese stress “real Capital” (Property) New malls and other developments took names of Hong Kong areas or Chinese background. (Aberdeen Mall rooftop mast in shape of Chinese junk) (P.145)
6. The property bust of 1997 and the exodus to HK resulted in Chinese realtors sinking. No Chinese realtors were listed in the top ten realtors in 2000. Even Manyee Lui’s Hallmark Properties faltered. (P.147)
7. Goldberg is a cheerleader of globalization. : Volatility will accompany globalization. John Logan : In the past, real estate has been a local business. Globnalization has change that. Toronto house prices doubled between 1985 and 1990. Vancouver prices doubled between 1985 and 1994. (P>152)
8. Correlations between the variables are unusually decisive : over the 25 years 1977 to 2002, a positive corellation co-efficient of 0.94 between Vancouver house prices and net international migration contrasts with a negative correlation of –0.57 with net domestic migration. (In other words, house prices rose when net international migration rose. House prices rose even when net domestic migration fell.) Advocates of Global flows were suggesting that domestic migration, not immigration, was causing house prices to rise. (P.152)
9. Made-in Canada variables —the national bank rate, the provincial unemployment rate, net domestic migration to Vancouver, and rental vacancy rates—were all surprisingly ineffective predictors of house price trajectory between 1971 and 1996. (Pp. 152-153)
10. Levels of foreign direct investment in Canada, overseas visitors to B.C., and several measures of net immigration to Vancouver, including BI’s, were all part of this larger constellation of growth stimuli that were tightly aligned with rising house prices. Studies show that it is hard to see a strong correlation between a single factor such as immigration and a result. (P.154)
11. The percentage of immigrants in a census tract shows positive and rising correlations with changes in dwelling value for each period, reaching r=0.45 for Metro Vancouver in 1996. The role of Chinese ethnicity simultaneously rises steadily as a predictor of of increasing dwelling values, and by 1996, has reached r=0.56, substantially higher than any of the variables—income, occupation and education—describing socio-economic status , a factor that might normally be expected to be the leading predictor of changing dwelling values. (P.155)_So, a close relationship exists between rising house prices and globalization.
12. Factors : (a) Incorporation into a trans-Pacific region bound by capital and immigration flows had been the purpose of Canada’s Asia-Pacific strategy–encouraged by elites and government at all 3 levels.
(b) The wealth of the tiger economies and the desire to diversify made them open to Canadian overtures. (c) An orientation to real estate investment was culturally determined and aided by reports of previous arrivals. (d) Vancouver property prices were low and efforts were made in asia to sell property there. (e) This significant role of Asian finance was evident in certain areas of metro and by the share of properties bought by asian buyers. (f) Evidence of statistical analysis shows tight bonding between immigration and MLS prices.
13. The globalist forces joined to create the Laurier Institute in 1988-89 whose purpose was to hide the influence of wealthy immigrants, to promote multiculturalism, and immigrant integration and ward off nativist tendencies. It said it had “no political or business affiliations”, but it was obvious that it was connected to the real estate industry because its sponsors included major players in Pacific Rim finance, real estate, trade and transportation. (P.157) Its task was to disabuse “controversial suggestions that…the Chinese were the cause of increased real estate prices”. The work was entrusted to the Canadian Real Estate Research Bureau at UBC—people like Michael Goldberg.
14. Its first report absolved investment capital from outside canada . “Instead, ‘everyone’ was implicated, especially middle-age baby boomers. The Laurier reports lacked credibility within the real estate industry. But its reports had the desired effect. They convinced news teams that once were critical of BI’s to believe. Domestic immigration into Metro was low or negative, but did occur in other areas of B.C.
15. Despite rising house prices, real median family income in Metro Vancouver actually fell by 3% between 1990 and 2000, creating an unbreachable affordability barrier for many families. (P.160) .
CHAPTER 6 : IMMIGRANT RECEPTION : CONTESTING GLOBALIZATION…OR RESISTANT RACISM
1. “…At several geographic scales, and prompted by a variety of stressors, political mobilization against lowering the defences to expansion of the unfettered domain of the market already existed before the the arrival of millionaire migrants in significant numbers after 1986.” (P.163) (Ley is too cautious and timid. He repeats the charges made by academics.)
2. A complex mix of both anti-growth sentiment and also protection of place plus a reluctance to embrace cultural diversity opposed the inflow of wealthy Chinese. (P.163) Dissent against open borders in Vancouver was already galvanized. The B.C. gov’ts of the 1980’s promoted a neo-.liberal agenda and brought the province to the edge of a General Strike. The NDP took power in 1991 and remained there until the early 2000’s. The resistance to the neo-liberal agenda was the context into which millionaire migrants moved. (P.165)
3. Opposition to the neo-liberal agenda of rapid growth rose at the municipal level against Vancouver’s growth-promoting NPA and resulted in the formation of strong elected municipal opposition in the early 1970’s—at the same time as multiculturalism was introduced in Ottawa. The former fought freeway construction and destruction of Chinatown. Neighourhood groups arose, the Shaughnessey Heights one in particular expressing an Anglophile sentiment. It was very successful and took its case to lower SHaugh where it encountered the inflow of wealthy Chinese. The conflict between two sides was expressed in a debate between architect Arthur Erickson who believed in a 10 million population for Vancouver and retired Vancouver City Planning Head Ray Spaxman who favoured limiting economic liberalism. (Pp.168-169)
4. The Vancouver Election of _____ featured Gordon Campbell against Jim Green. Green appeared to be winning until a Vancouver Sun series called “Future Growth, Future Shock” appeared, pretending to be a dispassionate look at the issue of growth and edited by two UBC professors of planning. The series was a pre-meditated attempt to sway the election. It worked. The NPA won. Alan Artibise, the Planning Professor who directed the series, admitted that the two academics had been commissioned by the development industry. (P.169)
5. “The Future Growth, Future Shock” series came a year after the Laurier reports. It showed how academics had helped the globalization side to win another victory. Ley would probably disconnect himself from these academics, but by going along with the conclusions of Ward, Roy and others who damned early B.C.’ers for their defence of their province and country, he puts himself in bed with Michael Goldberg and the real estate industry. In quoting a Pew study of 2002 which said that 77% of Canadians believed immigration produced more positive than negative outcomes, he shows considerable naivete. He says that no other nation recorded a figure over 50% to the question.
6. Ley cites other polls which stated that in times of recession, Canadians did not have a positive view of immigration. In 1993, 70% of Canadians had negative attitudes towards immigration, but those numbers did fall. Ley quotes the work of Dan Hiebert who is an immigration booster and who probably worded polling questions in such a way as to skew the answers to get the result he wanted. (P.172) Ley gets too hung up on the notion of racism. He does concede that it is hard to judge a large segment of a population to one word.
7. Ley says that fellow academics, Kobayashi and Peake tried to define “whiteness” as power to enjoy privilege by controlling dominant values and institutions, and by occupying space in a segregated landscape. (P.172) He lists Kobayashi’s three phases of multiculturalism which she says has evolved into addressing barriers to immigrant integration. (P.173) Ley also concedes that groups react to threats to their areas on the basis of their fusion of place and identity. He says the residents of Chinatown, Shaughnessey, and Boston’s Little Italy shared a threat to themselves and acted accordingly.
8. The president of the HK–Canada Business Association estimated that about 30 Vancouver building projects had been marketed entirely in Asia Pacific without any public sales in B.C. (P.177) This practice became general knowledge with the marketing of the Regatta condominiums in 1988. This smacked of the worst feature of the branch plant economy which locals had fought against just before.
9. The Regatta sales happened 2 weeks after the federal election over the FTA in which Vancouver voters voted against the FTA, but lost the election. The sale of Regatta was seen as an example of cultural imperialism. The head of Concord Pacific, Terry Hui, was called into the acting Mayor’s office. He apologized for the insensitivity, promised that Vancouver buyers would have first option on CP projects when they were ready to sell, that pricing would reflect local conditions not the HK demand premium, and expressed the desire that purchasers/investors not buy multiple units. This contrition was undercut because the promises would not apply to condos built on land parcels that CP sold to other HK developers. A year later, locals learned they would have only a 24 hour edge over HK sales. Hui took charge of CP a year later and gave locals a two-week notice before Asian sales began.
10. The sale of the Expo lands (one sixth of the downtown area) to Li Kashing in 1988 at a bargain basement price had angered many. Demolitions of apartments in order to construct condos and inflated house prices convinced locals that the local land market was being treated as part of a distant investment portfolio. Donald Gutstein, a champion of neighbourhood defence, described causes and consequences of Vancouver’s absorption into a global real estate market. It sold like hot cakes. (P.179)
11. Observer in HK : “When a (VANCOUVER) property can be bought , sold, leased and even managed from offices in HK, it is bound to create a backlash, which it has. And many are now coming to view that sort pf “investment” in Vancouver as colonization.” (Collins 1989a)
12. David Lam took the side of Canadians in opposing outside speculation. Libby Davies did not.
13, Two Chinese-Canadians in South Shaughnessy expressed contempt for Canada in letters to Vancouver City Council : “”We must allow some things to die before we can have a full life….” And ” The world is changing all the time, so will this city.” (P.183)
14. SHPOA vigourously opposed the new homes. So did groups south and northwest of them. A Kerrisdale group wrote its own bylaw and forced it through Vancouver City Council in 1990. Eventually, most rersidents wanted a 40% reduction in flooe area in new houses. In Oakridge, the demolition of older bungalows reached 3% per year, but opposition to demolition was weak. Good Comments : (a) “We need guidelines. The unique characteristics of the neighbourhood require limits.” (b) “We want to stress that this is place to live not just a place to make money out of.” (c) Part of me has dies with the trees. I bitterly regret what has happened. The two amputated stumps remain as mute grave markers to what has been destroyed.” (Pp.186-187) A South Shaughnessey group of Chinese property owners developed. They claimed that a bylaw restricting the size of a house was undemocratic, that Canada was supposed to be a democracy,. These people were joined by developers and real estyate agent. Their letters outnumbered those of the SHPOA. City Council backed off with a bylaw. (Pp.188-190)
15. A group of contractors used the term “racism” to describe all opposition. (P.191) They and others accepted the preservation of Chinatown, but opposed the same status being given to Shaughnessey (SHPOA). A meeting of SHPOA and Chinese new owners followed. A compromise followed that with a minimal reduction in size of the new houses in return for the new houses imitating the old ones. (Pp.193-194).
16. The resistance to the wealthy new owners was decribed by some as “Anglophilia”, that is, a love of one’s roots and traditions. Ley agrees with this conclusion. He would have done better by not even dignifying the playing of the race card with “oxygen” and page-space.
CHAPTER SEVEN : ESTABLISHING ROOTS : FROM THE NUCLEAR FAMILY TO SUBSTANTIVE CITIZENSHIP
1. Clara Law’s film “Floating Life” looks at the split Asian family, one daughter in Australia, another in Germany, and a son and parents in HK.Migration is gendered. The father uses spends most time in the country of origin, while the mother and children live in the country the family migrated to. The father is an astronaut, travelling back and forth, sometimes involved in affairs in HK and the mother and children are depressed in the destination country. The father often cannot find work in Canada and the family sometimes struggles with finances. Males often lose face in Canada because they are cut off from the success they had in Asia. Women like living here because the living environment is better and the education system presents many more opportunities. The male is often the one who presents the idea of returning to the country of origin with the “trailing wife”.
2. In California, astronaut wives refer to themselves as “widows” and some who live where “widows” are concentrated refer to their streets as “widow streets”. (P. 202)
3. Asian women often did not have to work because their husbands had very good incomes, but some did. Many became much closer to their children after they had lost nannies. Separation weakens male patriarchy. Places impose their cultural effects. When children took on the role of translators, family power was up-ended. Children sometimes took paths in education that they would never have taken in Asia. Children often feel the relationship between their fathers and themselves have fallen apart. Rich gifts can lead to bad results, as in street racing of expensive gift cars in Richmond. Kids often feel pressure to conceal the absence of their parents who are not meeting residence requirements. Asia (Pentium 3) is regarded as fast. Canada (Pentium 1) is regarded as slow.
4. Among the 90 interviews Ley conducted in 2002, education was a key factor among 40% of them in deciding to come to Canada. Education is a method of upward mobility in Asia. Most schooling is rote learning for exams. Many parents think Canadian schools are not strict or demanding enough. Children from Chinese-speaking homes attained scores at least 10% better than the scores of Canadian-born students. An astonishing 70% of children of Chinese-speaking families attained a university degree, a rate 2.5 times as high as Canadian-born. (Pp.208–209)
5. West-side schools in Vancouver always do well on provincial exams—as do private schools such as Little Flower Academy, York House, St. George’s, Crofton and St. John’s. Some of the latter recruit in Asia. West-side schools are full while East=side ones operate below capacity. (Pp.209–211)
6. A degree from a western university confers social and cultural capital on students who want to return to Asia. (Pp.211–212) Asian students can get paid much more if they have a western degree. Fraudulent colleges and universities have sprung up in Canada and have cost some international students dearly.
7. Churches have benefited greatly from immigration. Many Koreans are Christian in Korea and carry their faith to Canada. Chinese are not as connected to faith, (most have no religious affiliation) but significant numbers are. Some Asians discover religion here and are transformed by it. Some acquire a “home” in the church which offers them both material and social–emotional support.
8. Many NGO’s offer support services to immigrants. SUCCESS has existed since 1973 and has many (now 20 ??) offices in B.C. It even has pre-settlment offices in Asia. It …”sees itself as a bridging, not an inward-looking institution .” (P.219) Ley praises SUCCESS and ignores its more sinister goals.
9. The 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey showed that Chinese were less likely to volunteer. Chinese vote more than Sikhs. Raymond Chan became an MP and Cabinet minister. Jenny Kwan became an MLA. Getting a passport and citizenship were seen as “insurance policies”. Citizenship had an extra value : people could leave for as long as they wished and did not have to worry about getting checked !!! Chinese take Canadian citizenship much more often than immigrants from the U.S. and U.K. After 6 to 8 years of residence in Canada, 87% of immigrants had taken Canadian citizenship versus 57% from the UK. BI’s have least connection to Canada. “Plying transnational routes apparently disrupts establishing Canadian roots.” (P.221–223)
10. Distance can corrode the bonds of even the Chinese family. (Pp.224)
CHAPTER 8 : ROUTES AND ROOTS : THE MYTH OF RETURN OR TRANSNATIONAL CIRCULATION
1. The winner of the Miss Hong Kong pageant from 1997 to 2000 and again in 2007 had entered from Vancouver. The popular musical variety show, “Our Chinese Heart” was taped in Vancouver by Chinese state television in November 2008 to be broadcast throughout the global diaspora. Exuberantly billed as “the biggest Sino-event ever” in North America, the show’s name, with its call to a shared national sentiment, reveals the ongoing political attempt to consolidate the the imagined community of the overseas Chinese and sustain loyal ties with the Mainland. The show also disclosed Vancouver’s role in staging that diasporic project. (P.226)
2. Other signs of binding of the two sides : Chinese Canadian Association (3000 members) in HK, HK Canada Business Association (4000 members) , and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in HK (800 members). By the late 1980’s, 50,000 to 60,000 Canadian university graduates worked in HK. Estimates : over 200,000 HK residents hold Canadian passports. (P.226) For many HK’ers, return is a distinct possibility, for some, an intended probability.
3. The stories of those (Europeans) who migrated to NA, but then returned have not been told. Estimates : between a quarter to a third of European immigrants to NA returned to Europe. The following are among the family strategies that the Chinese take in Canada : (A) the working settler model–the 2006 census shows 218,815 HK-born and 68,225 Taiwanese still living in Canada. (P.229). The economic circumstances of the ethnic Chinese population in Vancouver have been poor. Tax returns in 2000 : average incomes of $15,000, half the average of the entire population. BI’s reported even lower incomes, $13,000. (B) Retirement—mean age in the BIP was 40 to 54 years. A large minority of them indicated they would not be working in Canada, despite the fact that they had entered as economic migrants : 11.000 from HK and 3,000 from Taiwan from 1980 on. (P.230)
4. (MORE TO FOLLOW)