Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Canadian Immigration Flaws

Immigration is something that is needed in Canada. We have a population of 30 million or so, while America has a population of 300 million, and about the same land space as Canada. Even if you take into account the inhabitable parts of the north, we still have a very low population. Also, we have a birth rate of 1.5 children per woman in their life time. Pretend for a moment that we would never have any more immigrants, imagine how much our population would fall within 80 or so years. America has a birth rate of 2 children per women, and if you take the fact that you need a man to have a child, too, their population will be quite stable for a long time to come. But what I'm saying is that we need a decent amount of immigration to keep our economy stable, and even more if we want to grow.

I would like to write about a few problems and things that need to be improved in our immigration system.
1. Process of Immigration
Immigration takes time and money. To become a permanent resident of Canada, it will cost you at least $1000. While this is not terribly expensive, $1000 could be used to pay rent or a month or two. And in Canada, we need immigrants. We should be encouraging people to come here, not telling them how much to pay. The average waiting time for 80% of immigration applications is 46 months, just about 4 years! And this is just for one member of the family to get here, after one is here, it takes at least a year, but more often than not, it takes several years. This waiting time is quite inappropriate for Canada. I do realize that there has to be reference checks, etc. that may take awhile. I think we should hire more people to do these checks, so immigrants can get here faster, and we can lower the unemployment rate!
2. Amount of Immigrants Accepted
According to Statistics Canada, between 1991 and 2001, there has only been 1,830,680 immigrants. That works out to be 183,068 immigrants per year. That is an incredibly low number. There are approximately 230,000 deaths per year in Canada, and about 340,000 births (and babies will take at least 16 years until they start working to grow our economy). We need to accept about 260,000 immigrants a year (that much, as long as they are evenly distributed across Canada, not all in Toronto) to grow our economy.
3. Recognize Foreign Credentials
When immigrants apply for immigration to Canada, they are usually told that their post-secondary education will be recognized in Canada, and they'll find work as a doctor or doing whatever they were trained to do. Unfortunately, it is too often that, when they get here, their degrees aren't recognized by the government, so they have to become a janitor or a taxi driver, even though they are a doctor or an engineer! I think that we should create a test for many different professions (kind of like a final exam) that the immigrants have to pass so that we know they are properly qualified, and if they pass, they are entitled to work in that profession.
4. Equal Rights: Canadians & Immigrants
There is one quick note that I would like to mention about equal rights. I found out that in Canadian Citizenship and Immigration policy, it says: If you were married outside Canada, you cannot apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse. However, if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you may qualify to sponsor your partner as a common-law or a conjugal partner. So we allow same-sex marriage to be performed in Canada, but if it happens in other countries, it is not valid? What about equal rights? Are Canadians all of the sudden more supreme than others? This is discrimination based on sexual orientation, I thought that wasn't allowed in Canada, especially by the government.

So as you can see, we need to significantly change our immigration policy if we are to even grow our country and our economy and if we want to have an equal country for all.


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Anonymous said...

We are going to have to really pick up on our immigration failures. Immigration is the only way that we are going to be able to grow our economy, and make Canada a more significant country in the world (not by invading countries, like Harper believes)

Anonymous said...

You talk about allowing immigrants into canada to increase the population, then you go on about how same sex partners should be allowed to enter. While i have no problem with same sex marriage i do find it a little hypocritical that you would make both arguments are same sex marriages are not going to attribute to the increase in population that is needed.

Nishant said...

More immigration is not a permanent long term solution.Canada currently has the highest immigration rate per capita in the western world. The government needs to create tax incentives for Canadian couples to have more children. By the way, having children does stimulate the economy right from day 1 as parents spend money on various childcare expenses. This in turn creates job in the childcare industry and creates economic growth. Right now, 260,000 immigrants are allowed to come in the country, many of them dont have any jobs when they get here and consequently live off unemployment insurance. This is a drain on taxpayer money and is one of many reasons why our tax bill hasnt decreased. We need to streamline our immigration system so that we dont issue permanent resident cards on arrival but rather issue immigrants temporary work permits so that immigrants wont have problems finding jobs when we get here. The government should aim to issue 150,000 PR cards every year and encourage birth rates domestically rather than relying on immigration to avert population decline,

Anonymous said...

even though there are definitely some flaws in canada's policy the alternatives are allowing in people who havn't been properly checked for a dangerous past.

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