TORONTO - The numbers coming from Refugees and Immigration Canada are disconcerting at best. They have always been a cause for debate, but never have they been so indicative of the void that is the “rationale” behind the demographic agenda behind them.
To begin with full disclosure, the Corriere Canadese is an Italian language daily newspaper. It reflects an Atlantist perspective (i.e., European orientation), and more specifically a connection to Italy, from where more than 1.5 million Canadians originated. The truth is, we are no strangers to the development of this country, having been a signifi cant part of “building it from the ground up”.
Some will be surprised to discover that Italians were very much a part of the early exploration and settlement of what became New France, subsequently the Colonies of Her Majesty and Confederation. Along with the Chinese, they were the most numerous labourers in the construction of the CPR.In the Toronto area, the Ward was teeming with Italians in the late 1800s. Distinguished by their dedication to family and equipped with an enviable work ethic, they were an integral part of the infrastructure and industrialization projects of the day – and into this century. They were also no strangers to the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination.
The colonialist mentality of the dominant Anglo-Celtic majority actively discouraged their enlistment in the “Canadian forces” during World war I. In World War II, despite being declared enemy aliens, many volunteered to fi ght overseas. They have been stoic to say the least.
In the post-war period, tens of thousands of young families left Italy to join in the creation of a Canadian dream until the economic miracle of the Sixties pushed Italy into the elite categories of industrialized nations. For a while, the torrent of immigration turned into a trickle until Pierre Elliot Trudeau (PET) shut it down completely.
Quebec’s “Quiet Revolution” did not win the hearts of Italians who had come to Canada and preferred the advantages of a “Canadian milieu”. After the school riots in St. Leonard and the pressures of Francophone separatist-terrorists of the early Seventies, PET’s government decided for a complete overhaul of Canada’s immigration system. That new system did not include the recruitment of Europeans.
Brian Mulroney, his replacement in the Eighties, tweaked the system a little to introduce an entrepreneurial/investor class of immigrant– almost exclusively targeting an anxious Hong Kong class of business person looking to get “insurance” in advance of a Chinese take-over of the island.
Interestingly, to placate Quebec and to get its buy-in to his attempt at a Constitutional reform – the failed Meech Lake Accord – he offered that immigration would proceed in step with the then demographic character of the country. Quebec would gain access to roughly 25% of the available pool of potential immigrants. They would have to be Francophone… preferably French.
A “Quota System” surreptitiously crept in. Immigration Ministers in the last two Administrations (Conservative and Liberal) have aggravated the ensuing mess with their on-again, o¢ -again Pilot Projects, language requirements dictated by unreliable language programs set by foreign authorities and general disinterest in the collateral damage that is the current 1,000,000-strong undocumented workers and their families.
Under Trudeau II’s fi rst mandate, close to 60% of all immigrants originate from three countries in Asia. In the fi rst three quarters of this year, 25% of all immigrants came from India. One must scroll close to the bottom of the list of originating countries before a European who does not come from England or France reaches beyond 1%.
Canada needs more people. The Corriere has always held that growth is a desirable economic goal and that it cannot take place without the “critical mass” of a population to sustain production and consumption. Our opinion does not enjoy unanimity. That having been said, it seems that, at least under this Administration, there is no room in its “quota system” for the relatively young, educated and skilled men and women leaving Mediterranean Europe for other places. More specifically, from Italy. For the last five years, approximately 120,000 Italians (primarily between the ages of 19 ad 45) have left their country. That is equivalent to the population of Thunder Bay in Ontario on the move every year. Yet, they comprise less than 0.4% of immigrants accepted into Canada.
There must be a public policy logic that escapes the Corriere. These are skilled potentials, easily integrate able in a familiar secular/Christian environment where a social-economic milieu of 1.5 million will give them a “soft landing”. The quota system excludes them. To Canada’s detriment.
It’s time to change the Minister (Hussen) before he tears down his Leader and his Party.