TORONTO - “Quotas”.
In some government and political circles, that’s a dirty word.
But it is one of two words that explains the inconsistencies between stated government policies and the realities on the ground.
The other is money.
Six months ago, the Mayors of five Northern Ontario submitted written requests to the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Immigration pleading for some mechanisms to draw potential immigrants to their cities and their industries.
We need people to sustain the viability of our economy and our social infrastructure, they contended. “Quotas” begin when one fi rst answers the question: “should we have Immigration?” If so, how much is enough? How do you measure the appropriate amount?
Demographers and economists know only too well the economics of immigration. No one asks them. Newly minted Premier Doug Ford said, “we need to take care of our own first”. Who? How?
The cities in The North are experiencing population decline and an erosion of their local human resources market.
Prime Minster Justin Trudeau would seem to focus on conveying the impression that Canada is a welcoming place, a generous, forward-looking for others. But not for everyone.
“Quotas”, decided by policy-makers or consequential to their decisions, tell us whether Politicos like Trudeau live a lie or are perpetrators of deliberate obfuscation. For example, his government’s Supplementary Information (2018-2020) Immigration levels plan, call for a “target”, not quota, of 177,500 Economic Migrants, under six different categories, in 2018.
They are arbitrary numbers, serving only up to provide semblance of a thought process that “justifi es” or “legitimates” decisions. “Policy positions” drawn out of a hat to make us feel positive or negative about someone else’s actions – the immigrant’s decision to leave their own home and locate here with us.
Nonetheless, governments of all political stripes admit to a national incongruency represented by the presence of 1,000,000 undocumented workers in our midst – people who work day in and day out because it makes economic sense to someone – without “papers” to prove they have the right to be here.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister for Immigration, MP from York- South Weston in Ontario, former clandestine refugee and former Immigration lawyer knows that this underclass of exploited workers challenges everyone’s sense of fairness.
There are an estimated 500,000 of them in Ontario. He prefers to give his attention to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (target, not quota, 1,000); Caregivers program, target, 17,000.
He is also attentive to the Quebec Skilled Workers and Business program (target, 28, 900) despite the fact that the provincial government and opposition parties complain about their ability to integrate.
He is providing $11,000,000 to soften the blow. The Economic Migrants category also establishes a “target’ of 55,000 under the Provincial Nominee Program.
For Ontario, that has so far meant an increase in the recruitment of International Students to fi ll under-used inventory. These students pay two to three times the provincial allocation for education.
Taken together with food and accommodation it is a tidy annual benefi t of $25,000 to $45,000 for the hosting institution.
A recent government report placed the number of International Student Visas at more than 500 000. If accurate, that’s a cool $12.5 billion to $35 billion annual injection into the economy. No long-term obligations on our part.
Those “students” appear to anticipate returning “home” upon graduation.
Let’s go back to the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) category.
If one does not fi t under the “target” of 43,000 reserved for the four classes of refugees and protected persons, one can always apply for H&C.
But there are only 3,500 spots available. There is a limit to our kindness, apparently. Arbitrators even set aside Supreme Court directives to keep the best interests of the child in any determination. This is what they have done in the case of the Neves and Demitri families.
There must be a quota on Portuguese speakers and Italians.
Thank you Minister Hussen for clearing that up for your Prime Minister.