TORONTO - Canadian Immigration Policy has no appetite for Italians. It is either short-sighted, uninformed, downright bigoted or all the above. It does not appear to matter which party is in government.
Our government’s Immigration policies (there is a new one every month) seem to be generated in a void. Brexit has raised the issues that strain intra-Europe tensions which, in turn, threaten the survival of the Union.
For for better or for worse, that Union, former Yugoslavia aside, has guaranteed peace and prosperity on a continent where war and destruction have been a defining historical feature.
Immigration is at the top of the list of those issues. It has raised old animosities in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
The reverberations are influencing public attitudes towards “new arrivals”, their religions, their pigmentation, their social norms and their ability to integrate.
The British have advised hundreds of thousands of Continental Europeans (particularly their Polish, Italian and Portuguese residents) that, if they are in the country after March 30, 2019, without applications for Permanent Residency in the system, they would be considered the Canadian equivalent of “undocumented workers” and could face extradition.
Over 300,000 Italians who have moved to Britain under the Schengen rules could face deportation. By one estimate close to Polish sources (but not authorized to speak on the record), over a million Poles in Britain and Ireland have already been “put on notice”. A survey of the popular press from Britain unveils increasingly hostile public reaction to these unwanted immigrants.
Canada and its Minister for Immigration – does it still have one? – seem to be confused about what to do with its own, arguably self-induced, problem of asylum seekers (“refugeeism”) and “undocumented workers”.
How would it handle the ripple e.ects of this potential exodus? Would it even care? Over the last four years, Europeans have been witnessing a veritable inundation of overland migrants, motivated by a desire to escape war torn Middle-Eastern countries.
In that same period, 600,000 African victims of modern-day people smugglers – “slavers” (there is no polite description to describe these criminals) - and North African war-lords, operating freely in failed states, have found their way, nightly, into Italian territory aboard dinghies and ferryboats that just as often dumped their human cargo into the Mediterranean’s watery grave.
Two years ago, the EU bought the support of Turkey (price, 4 billion euro) in to returning 400,000 Syrians, Kurds and others back to their homeland.
Ironically, over the last five years, Italians themselves have been leaving the Peninsula by the hundreds of thousands. The unemployment rate in parts of Italy among the prized cohort of 19 to 39-year-olds approaches the 40% mark.
These are young men and women, educated or trained and willing to work, looking to build a future elsewhere – at no cost to the host country. Canada has been deliberately keeping them, Poles, Portuguese and other Europeans out, hiding behind a language-based policy (IELTS) as justification.
Over the last 15 years, deterred first under the hostile Harper government, then by the indi.erence of the Trudeau regime, Italians, have chosen the more welcoming environments of pre-Brexit England, Germany, France, Australia, the USA, Brazil – countries where the language requirement does not seem a requisite for success.
Migrantes is a think tank/publication that charts demographic movements in and out of Italy from villages, towns and cities with monthly regularity. We have cited its works for five years, as have the Italian equivalent of StatsCan.
Now it has caught the attention of Breibart News. It notes that between 2005 and 2015, 10,000 doctors and 8,000 nurses left Italy. Breibart considers it a veritable “brain drain” for Italy and a “brain gain” – more like a windfall - for host countries.
Canada probably couldn’t use any (I apologize for my sarcasm). The Italian State invests $250,000 in training a doctor. This is Money that Canadian provinces would not have to invest; and, they get a “ready-to -go trainee” for cash strapped health care jurisdictions.
Whether government MPs or Opposition politicos, the refrain from Canadian Legislative representatives is always the same: “we need to respect the process”.
Yet, on a whim, Canada’s Prime Minister could tweet a $50 million commitment to a pet project promoted by a US comedian, Trevor Noah.
Tomorrow: pilot projects