The Canadian government has passed new legislation which extends the foreign worker visa program from one (1) to three (3) years in the past 6 months. On December 15, 2008, professionals seeking to work temporarily in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can now receive work permits for up to three years, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced today. Previously, NAFTA workers were required to renew their work permit every 12 months.
Below is a letter written by an EconoChristian.com writer who is dismayed with the Canadian government’s repeated attempts to displace and reduce the middle working class of citizen in that country. Indeed, it has already undermined middle class workers by its unfettered immigration policy which allows some 400,000 new immigrants into the country. Proponents argue that increasing immigration increases economic prospertiy, while critics argue it actually limits economic opportunity because a majority of immigrants granted citizenship are sponsors of highly skilled immigrants.
Skilled immigrants are what Canada needs, not the former type of person. Indeed, the reason so many immigrants are admitted is because a majority of them are sponsored into the country (often family members), but also because of humanitarian reasons. Essentially Canada is a dumping ground for all kinds of people who do not contribute anything substantial to the economy.
If one were to look at other countries such as Japan and other Asian countries, one will quickly discover that their economies are prosperous not because of increased immigration, but because of an export-oriented economy and a high savings rate that the Japanese have been known for and is ingrained in their cultural consciousness. Canadians, on the other hand, and Americans, have extremely low savings rates and are actually borrowing money from places like China. Take a look at the growing trade deficits and the US dollar holdings of treasuries the Chinese have because of these deficits.
OUR GOVERNMENT’S OWN RESEARCH CONTRADICTS WHAT IT IS DOING
The federal government’s own research has told it that with regards to Canada’s economy, immigration consumes 99% of the economic benefits it produces. With regard to population decline, in 1990, when Canada had a population of 26+ million, Health and Welfare Canada’s demographic research told the federal government that Canada’s population would continue growing until 2026 with half (130,000) the immigration we have today, so population decline should not have been an issue to be looked at in 1990. The same Health and Welfare study concluded that Made-In-Canada alternatives (such as making use of 45+ year old unemployed males and encouraging more females to enter the workforce) are superior to immigration in dealing with a larger number of older people in Canada.
In other words, the federal government’s research contradicts what it is doing. (See highlights of the major federally-sponsored studies entitled “Charting Canada’s Future” and New Faces In the Crowd” in the “Research” section of this web site) (Canadian Immigration Watch, 2009).
I am writing to protest my dismay to the changes in the Federal government’s immigration rules which now allow foreign workers to remain in Canada for three (3) years instead of one (1) year. I am writing you to halt your destruction of the labor force of our country, as well as undercutting the permanent residents of Canada by importing cheap labor from other countries.
The United States has taken similar steps to fill supposedly vacant positions for which employers “can not find applicants” for, particularly in the engineering, scientific, and information technology fields, by instituting the H1B Visa program. Much evidence, particulary from government studies, institutes, and numerous other think-tanks have found that there is indeed no such labor shortage (1) and that the only reason the government has instituted such “temporary” guest worker programs is to undercut the American working class.
There is strong evidence [2,3,4] from numerous think-tanks and institutions showing that a similar situation in Canada is developing, and that the real reason we are changing our immigration rules to allow more supposedly highly-skilled immigrants and foreign workers is just to undercut permanent Canadian resident citizens’ earnings. An example is the skills and labour shortage in the Eastern Canada region (2), where top University professors dubbed Nova Scotia a “low wage ghetto” due to the increase in productivity in the past 15 years, but an overall reduction in wages.
Why would someone stay in a Province that continually reduces wages, does not allow workers to easily unionize, or has an employer which does not participate in training and/or profit-sharing programs?
I severely question why our elected representatives and those whom we pay taxes to continually try to undermine our way of life by importing cheaper labor from other countries instead of providing incentives to corporations/companies to train existing employees in “higher skilled labor” or paying them sufficient wages to perform “jobs that regular Canadians do not want to do.”
I am also very, very disappointed that you, our elected representatives, do not invest public funds or provide tax incentives for companies to train permanent resident Canadians in the the areas of the economy that need these workers.
Indeed, this kind of practice was largely shown to have been extremely detrimental to other countries in the past who have practiced completely open borders, such as the Corn Laws of Great Britain; the bracero program of 1942-1964 that is so often touted by immigration enthusiasts as the example of how well such things work; as well as a study in 1991 by the Economic Council of Canada found that periods of immigration were not directly linked to periods of high growth .
A study by the C. D. Howe Institute, a conservative think tank, suggests that immigration cannot keep Canada’s population young and could possibly contribute to population ageing in the near term. Employment statistics also bring into question whether skilled worker immigrants, with a 34% unemployment rate, are successfully meeting existing labour market needs in Canada. Many developed nations have much lower fertility rates than Canada but have not embraced immigration (Japan, Korea, etc).
In conclusion, I am writing to you to do your duty and lobby the Federal government to limit the amount of immigrants we admit each year, as well as reduce the amount of time temporary workers from other countries stay in our country; taking our positions when a fully-qualified or potentially fully-qualified Canadian could already take the job. I am very tired of paying taxes to our government when it does nothing to attract and retain quality companies to provide spending power to permanent Canadian residents.
Canadians are not fooled by the government Public Relations material which is released to the media for consumption of the public. We do our home-work and experience these events daily and we do not agree with the increases in immigration or the need for longer-staying foreign workers when permanent resident Canadians could be trained to fill these jobs.
(1) A study by the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University also found that there is no shortage of U.S. engineers. Eighty percent of respondents to a Pratt survey say U.S. engineering jobs are filled within four months, and 88 percent didn’t offer signing bonuses.
(2) Larry Haiven, a professor at Saint Mary’s University, said the report he wrote for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows while productivity has increased over the past 20 years, Nova Scotia’s wages are lagging far behind.
(3)No Elixir of Youth: Immigration Cannot Keep Canada Young, Backgrounder, C. D. Howe Institute, Number 96, September 2006, URL accessed 29 November 2006