Is Canada a Racist Country?

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Subject: Is Canada a Racist Country?
Here?s some advice for would-be immigrants
BY GEORGE ABRAHAM

7 March 2007

IN THE face of overwhelming evidence that new immigrants to Canada are not doing as well as the rest of the population or those who came here in earlier years, a "Buyer Beware" warning would seem appropriate. The latest official study on the subject paints a bleak picture: roughly half of all immigrants in recent years have fallen into poverty in their first year in Canada.


To top it, well-qualified economic migrants are doing even worse than those who come in through family sponsorship. Put together, the two headline findings have turned Canada?s immigration policy on its head. The policy is based on the premise that Canada must compete with other western nations for well-schooled immigrants who are almost immediately employable and hence an asset to the economy.

Au contraire , the Statistics Canada study found that 34 to 46 per cent of new immigrants suffer a "low-income spell" during their first year in Canada. Low income was defined in the study as an annual earning of less than $26,800 (Cdn) for a family of four ? lower than half of the median income of the rest of the population. And, those in the so-called economic class (with impressive academic and job credentials) were more likely to fall below this income level than those who got their landing permits thanks to relatives already in Canada.

Jeffrey G Reitz, one of this country?s leading immigration scholars and a professor of ethnic, immigration and pluralism studies at the University of Toronto, finds the data deeply troubling. While accepting that all immigrant-receiving nations "discount" foreign credentials to some extent, he is surprised that there is no dearth of visa applicants. (There are currently about 800,000 on the waiting list.) He suspects that Canadians sponsoring their relatives may be part of the myth-making that sustains high immigration levels.

"Sometimes the brother may be running into problems (in Canada), but he will not tell his family," Professor Reitz says by way of explanation.

Canada switched to a points system in 1993, placing a premium on academic qualifications and those with skills aligned with its so-called knowledge economy. From roughly a third of all immigrants in that year, the proportion of migrants in this ?economic? class has gone up to 60 per cent in the intervening years. Impressive credentials were meant to translate into jobs and, therefore, respectable incomes soon after touch down in Canada.

One of the things that changed with the new points system was the de-linking of immigrant numbers from the state of the economy. In previous years, governments took in more or fewer immigrants based on the number of jobs that the economy was generating. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney?s government changed that in 1993 by introducing an annual target number that has risen over the years to become about 250,000 currently. In retrospect, that now seems like a not-so-smart idea.

Garnett Picot, one of the Statscan study?s authors, says, "The study found that the declining chronic low-income rate over that period was primarily associated with improving labour market conditions (falling unemployment rate), and not much with the changing characteristics of entering immigrants ? In other words, it was a business cycle effect."

In plain language, this means that it does not matter what your qualifications are; immigrants will do better in good economic times and run the risk of poverty at other times. Sounds straight forward, but unfortunately, immigrants cannot choose when they land. That is determined by Canada?s capacity to process applications, rather than the economy?s ability to generate high-paying jobs.

The latest Statscan study comes on the back of another paper that tracked the departure rate of new immigrants. Here, again, it was the skilled and business classes who took the fall. It looked at immigrant men between 25 and 45 years of age who landed in Canada in 1980. The findings were equally sobering: by 2000, a third of them had left Canada, with half of them leaving within 12 months of landing. Differentiating them by class, the study found that the likelihood of departure was highest for business and skilled workers (four in 10); then three in 10 for family class and two in 10 among refugees.

Obviously, immigrants who are supposed to do well are not, and they are voting with their feet. Is this because Canada over-sells itself? Martin Collacott, a 30-year veteran of Canada?s foreign service and currently a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, agrees that "false pretences" are a part of the problem, adding that "prejudice on the part of employers" is also to blame. Kamal El Batal, an agronomist from Morocco who arrived in 1993, knows all about the hidden barriers that take people like him to the edge of poverty.

El Batal applied 15 times for a job at one of Qu?bec?s large agricultural cooperatives, only to be constantly turned down without even being called for an interview. In frustration, he sent out his r?sum? to the same employer using a pseudonym, Marc Tremblay ? the most common name in the province of Qu?bec. He was immediately called for an interview and might have ended up working for them but for a complaint he filed with the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

In late February, he was vindicated and awarded $15,000 in damages. Marc Tremblay aka El Batal said after the verdict that, "This proves there was discrimination on the basis of my name." He is now a candidate in provincial elections scheduled at the end of the month.

Frustration among the immigrant classes is building. A Calgary couple last year took the government to court claiming compensation and redress for the hardship they have endured since their arrival in Canada. The Supreme Court, however, dismissed their case. "It is a hard case to make," says Prof. Reitz. "There is no legal obligation for governments to get jobs for every immigrant. There is no obligation even for the native born."

George Abraham is a writer based in Ottawa, Canada

[04-04-2007,04:01]
Anonymous
(in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
It´s not that Canada is racist, and we need immigrants because we have a declining birthrate.

It´s just we don´t need adult immigrants. We have plenty of working adults already. We won´t let in guys who will work in the trades or rural areas, and businesses are wary of foreign universities (with good reason).

The only immigrants we need are youths and children to make up for certain demographic shortages. And if they go through school in Canada there is no assimilation problem.

Shit, I should run for PM.

[04-04-2007,04:18]
Anonymous
(in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
Only let immigrant children into Canada? Do you know how stupid you sound?

Canada´s racism is hidden, but you´ll notice it once you enter the job market like I have. Every company I´ve been interviewed at never has a "non-white" manager doing the hiring, and all the managers are white.

UofT Grad





[04-04-2007,14:52]
UofT Grad
(in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
You´ve never had a non-white manager? And you presumably have been interviewing in the GTA? Give me a break. Out of my 10 managers I´ve had maybe one that WAS white. Are you interviewing for the fashion industry or something?

And that comment about demographics... that sounds stupid to you? UofT has lowered their standards I guess.

[14-04-2007,19:29]
Anonymous
true to a certain extent (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
Racism in Canada is true to a certain extent, but mostly restricted to the GTA. What has happened in toronto is countries within city. look at the suburbs divided by race/ nationalties and within the city the streets are divided by the same. brampton- punjabi-indian, vaughn/woodbridge-italian, richmond hill-jewish, markham- asian/ chinese, scarborough- srilankan, toronto i wont even go there. This trend will not lead to a strong Canada which is what I want, everybody wants. I am visible minority just immigrated to Canada three years ago. I consider myself to be a Candaian of East Indian descent and not an Indian living in Canada. This country has some faults just like all countries do, but it is a great nation, a beautiful country and most importantly it is my home, it is my country, because thats the way i feel. It is upto us to make it better, stronger and leave it that way for future genrations.
[07-08-2010,15:15]
jay
Racism exists (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
I have had many Jobs in Canada and have often noticed that racism exists in mostly middle aged or old aged people. One guy who worked at Canada´s Top company told me that he was being harassed at workplace and feared that if he reported the harassment, he would be laid off with "with out cause".

I have myself been subjected to racism as I have a beard and belong to Islamic Faith. I have overheard people refering me to Talibans and have often noticed people staring me especially RCMP police officers. I think my beard reminds them of terrorists and they fear that I may be part of a hidden Islamic terrorists group or refered to as sleeper cell. I have told people that I am more Canadian than Canadians but I guess we would have to live under this opression and be labelled as "islamisTS", and "terrorisTS".

Despite all this, I have encountered numerous people from Canada that have welcomed us and made us feel at home. I thank all Canadians racists or not because we are part of this great Land and I hope that in future when the next generation grows up, this generation operates on equity basis irrespective of race, colour, ethnicity, and beliefs. This is what I have been taught in Islam and this is I hope to practice.

:)

[09-02-2011,01:19]
Anonym(back2)
Racism in canada (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
I am a white canadian whose family came in 1640 and I only speak english- we are the canadian culture. I am now in my 40s and have never had stable work since age 20. So does this mean that the government of canada is racist to my province and people who are all white?? The reason I Ssay this is we pay the same taxes are ontario and all the govt jobs and offices and work has been lost to ontario and quebec and massive immigration for the past 25 years. THIS IS WHY there are 2 million of us who had to leave our great province to cities like toronto, vancouver and ottawa, but the big problem is although we are educated, we are not being hired due to minority hiring in government offices and bilingualism. In my case I cannot move yet again to a bigger centre where only minorities who do not follow our culture, religion or ways get hired over me. I already lived in bc and alberta and now I am in ottawa which has a huge influx of outsiders who the government brings in and lies to them overseas by telling them we are full of jobs when the fact is there are 1 million canadians working as temps for 11 an hour because they cannot find a full-time job in the government. Canada also lost 1 million jobs since 2008 so why are we bringing in more and more people who dont care about our country, people or culture and take our jobs and alot of them are very rude and racist to us canadians. I even have friends whose parents were immigrants who stand beside me and say YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS SUPPOSE TO BE GETTING A GOVERNMENT JOB NOT A DAMN IMMIGRANT- YOUR PEOPLE BUILT THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND THEY ARE VERY ANGRY ABOUT IT TOO. They also dont like, as my self, how canada has changed, alot of people lie, womens rights are going down every day, there are hundreds of gangs in our streets now and we had no gangs in canada other than the biker gangs inthe 1970s.
[26-09-2011,21:22]
Janice Marquis
subjective vs objective (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
I think many of you need to understand how a fair comparison can be conducted.

For example, a guy a few years ago submitted fake comput-generated resumes, which were only different by their white or middle-eastern names. The diffence in getting interviews has been 60%

Similar studies exist. You can always refer to scientifically just articles, rather putting your personal experience in. The racism is there for sure!

[04-02-2012,10:57]
mor
(in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
Canada gives everything to everyone else but its own people in need. In today´s economy, with the unemployment rates still soaring, I´d like to know why Canadians are NOT given the same opportunities as the poorer canadians who cannot afford decent education, or get decent low cost housing to help. Oh wait, that´s right, we´d rather throw our money on people coming here that have never paid taxes, we set them up with 3 meals a day, a great education, and a few years off having everything paid for to help them. Wow makes me wish I wasn´t born here, cause heck, I cud just wash up on the shores and get everything handed to me for the sole reason of coming from a "lesser" country.

Comon people, if you cannot help your own, do not help others. If ALL canadians had help and jobs, we´d ALL be in the position to help out others....

I just love all the inequality in Canada´s system. Canada´s system rewards social assistance dependancy, and does not encourage ones to better themselves. Yet at that same time, we seem to have all the resources in the world to help out other people but our own... wow congrats canada, you´ve done it! Youv´e turned racist against your OWN PEOPLE! Congrats and give yourselves a pat on the back..

[13-03-2012,13:50]
anonymous
(in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
Canada gives everything to everyone else but its own people in need. In today´s economy, with the unemployment rates still soaring, I´d like to know why Canadians are NOT given the same opportunities as the poorer canadians who cannot afford decent education, or get decent low cost housing to help. Oh wait, that´s right, we´d rather throw our money on people coming here that have never paid taxes, we set them up with 3 meals a day, a great education, and a few years off having everything paid for to help them. Wow makes me wish I wasn´t born here, cause heck, I cud just wash up on the shores and get everything handed to me for the sole reason of coming from a "lesser" country.

Comon people, if you cannot help your own, do not help others. If ALL canadians had help and jobs, we´d ALL be in the position to help out others....

I just love all the inequality in Canada´s system. Canada´s system rewards social assistance dependancy, and does not encourage ones to better themselves. Yet at that same time, we seem to have all the resources in the world to help out other people but our own... wow congrats canada, you´ve done it! Youv´e turned racist against your OWN PEOPLE! Congrats and give yourselves a pat on the back..

Try feeding, clothing and education the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Canadians in poverty first before lending a helping hand to the rest of the world...

[13-03-2012,14:01]
anonymous
canada's hidden racism (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
Canada should be denounced to the International court for luring decent well educated people around the world to later discriminate against them. My advice to those people that swallow the bait: become a citizen of Canada and once you get your passport cross the border into the USA and the nightmare will be over. I did it and it worked for me. It was like leaving hell and arriving in heaven. Thanks good lord I could leave Canada.
[18-03-2012,18:27]
luis calle
Yes ! (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
I will answer that question for you. Yes, thanks to our left-wing government (who are the minority)- multiculturalism has created hundreds of racists communities all over canada now. We have racist chinese, racist east indians, racist iranians, shall I go on. Each ethnicity thinks they are the best and only care about their own people, this is fact. I do find alot of the earlier nonwhite, nonchristian immigrants who came 30 years or more ago became canadian right away and integrated and alot of them do not like the way canada is turning and how immigrants dont change and expect the dominant culture to change..just because all these outsiders are here it does not mean we have to like them, we are just tolerating them and they are tolerating us. Its like having a party and uninvited guests come- u have to tolerate them until they leave or move to another room.
[26-03-2012,20:57]
Janice
in the meantime! (in reply to: Is Canada a Racist Country?)
I am out of work, I am white and my family has been here since 1630. I am educated and have held great jobs. My friends who are canadian born and educated are also all out of work. In fact one is a chef whose been looking for 2 years in ottawa for work! The college kids cannot find summer jobs- this all started since 2008 when canada lost 1.5 million high-paying jobs that have never been replaced. We already have the most educated workforce in the world that is why people arrive here from around the globe but the problem remains we have the highest unemployment in the G7 countries hovering at 25% and something needs to be done about it NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[26-03-2012,21:01]
Janice



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