Emigration: One man’s loss is another man’s gain

di Joe Volpe del 2 August 2018

TORONTO - Insight, interest and decisiveness are the essence of the determination that allows societies to turn disadvantage to gain, even it means to profit from another’s “misfortune”.As it is life, so it is in matters of National interest. A study released in Italy yesterday by SVIMEZ, an organization that tracks and ana-lyzes the economic and social trends specific to Southern Italy, has some disturbing data for Can-adian policymakers and legisla-tive leaders.It could not have been more timely, given the issues of migra-tion, refugees and economic dis-placement that are so in vogue in our limited little market. And startling; in the context of the implications of the Report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) as reported in these pages by Francesco Vero-nesi, yesterday.The CCPA deplored the grow-ing disparity between rich and not so rich. In fact, the top 87 Canadian families in the country have a total net worth equal to the combined economic worth of the bottom 33% of our population – 12 million of our 36 million inhabitants.Ours is a Land of Opportunity. Some beg to differ. Atlantic Canadians consistently fare more poorly on the wealth in-dex than the rest of us. Those same 87 families (some of them from those Atlantic Prov-inces) are as rich as the entire population of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia combined. Why do those Canadians en-dure such disparity? They don’t. They clamor for and demand government infrastructure, pro-grams that aim at some sort of income stability, and others that promote mobility of goods, servi-ces and people. Ahh, people; the population is in decline, deaths are beginning to outnumber live births. People leave, emigrate; there is no-one to replace them.In Italy, the divide is not East-West, but North-South. The problems are similar, even if rooted in internal political hist-ory that goes back centuries. According to SVIMEZ, and, as reported at page 3 by Francesco Veronesi, people can only take so much. In the last 16 years, more of 1.8 million residents picked up and left – an average of 112,500 per year! A full 50% of them young, well educated or well-trained, talent-ed and anxious to build a future. They are leaving home to do it.They are not coming to Canada. Over the last 10 years, 250,000 went to England (London); 150,00 to France about 100, 000 to Ger-many, an equivalent number in the USA and Australia.Heck, they are going to, and are welcome in, places like South Africa, Singapore, China; but not Canada. Over the last ten years, a mere 6,424 have been landed here, an average of about 600 per year.It is difficult to make any other conclusion than the obvious one: Canadian governments don’t want them. They can’t speak English – or more specifically, they cannot satisfy the English competency tests for entry. They can speak “work”.Canadian governments (no par-tisanship intended) seem fixated on other priorities. Over the last three years at least, immigration would appear to be confused with refugees and the perceived multilateral obliga-tions to help those most in need – United Nations recognized, or those who appear unannounced at our borders. It is little wonder that the most frequent refrain uttered when “immigration issues” surface usually runs something like, “let’s take care of our own first”.Populist rhetoric, no denigra-tion implied, whether Italian or local, feasts on the confusion. But, Immigration is a demo-graphic-economic consideration, while refugees normally fall in the category of humanitarian obliga-tions (and come with a cost to the host). Not a hill on which to stake pol-itical capital.Italy, already either the oldest or second oldest population in the world and with a negative popu-lation growth, is emigrating its human resources talent. Too bad for her.Canada needs that resource. It is unclear what Canadian rep-resentatives are doing in Rome or what policy advise they are prof-fering to Canadian governments back home. Carpe Diem!
(to follow)

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