Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail

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Subject: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail

July 11, 2006 Globe and Mail - Canada

Canada not welcoming to immigrants, study finds
Program cutbacks slow integration


Canada is undermining the integration of immigrants and contributing to their social isolation despite the fact that the country relies on immigration for population and labour market growth, says a new report obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The latest waves of newcomers are better educated than their predecessors, but they have had a more difficult time obtaining employment, reuniting with their families and getting language training, proper housing and even health services.

Some of the more than three dozen immigrants interviewed said they are worse off than they were in their homelands, according to the report, which was undertaken on behalf of Community Foundations Canada and the Law Commission of Canada.

"I interviewed one woman from Bulgaria whose husband is now back in Bulgaria sending money to support the family here. To waste human resources like this is a crime," says Sarah Wayland, author of Unsettled: Legal and Policy Barriers for Newcomers to Canada, which will be released tomorrow. "To fail at social inclusion also has costs in terms of ethnic and race relations, human rights, the settlement process and mental health."

Every year, between 230,000 and 260,000 immigrants come to Canada. The RBC Financial Group recently found that immigrants who have arrived during the past two decades have had a harder time catching up to their Canadian-born counterparts, a trend attributed in part to cutbacks in settlement programs and difficulty finding work.

One in six young, highly educated male immigrants leaves Canada within a year due to the job market, a 2006 Statistics Canada study shows. "That is quite shocking. Canada should be trying to keep those people," says Ms. Wayland.

Ottawa and the provinces have acknowledged the difficulty immigrants face getting their foreign credentials recognized and have created initiatives to overcome these barriers. The federal Conservatives´ first budget called for the creation of an agency to help foreign professionals integrate into the work force. The Ontario government has announced a $14-million investment in two dozen programs to help foreign-trained professionals and tradespeople upgrade their skills and training.

However, these efforts fail to address other obstacles. The selection system can be onerous, forcing many immigrants to wait a long time for family reunification. The average time to bring in parents and grandparents has increased to as much as a decade, and the federal government is facing a lawsuit that accuses it of discriminating against certain kinds of applicants and causing unacceptable delays.

Other difficulties include lack of access to language classes, according to Faye Wightman, CEO of the Vancouver Foundation, which supports programs for immigrants. Federal funds to teach English and French as second languages have not increased since 1996, and newcomers say the classes are not sophisticated enough.

The study´s conclusions reflect other research that has found a lack of civic engagement among second-generation immigrants. "You cannot assume people are becoming more integrated, the longer they´re here," says Ms. Wayland. "The children of immigrants who grow up here may have a more jaded outlook. Many have experienced discrimination in school or just feel disengaged."

Ms. Wightman says her foundation funds a successful leadership training program for immigrant youths, who then train others. "It was so popular that 90 youth applied for 18 available spaces," she says. "We need more of this."

The study outlines several other recommendations to assist newcomers including the following:

Reduce processing times for immigration and family sponsorships;

Build capacity of educators to meet language needs of immigrant children and youth;

Provide interpreters in hospitals and schools;

Improve access to regulated professions.

It also says prospective immigrants should be given more accurate information about the Canadian job market.

Canada´s selection criteria for skilled workers could also be adjusted. Currently, the system favours highly educated white-collar workers, even though blue-collar workers are needed.

Exactly! (in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
This article gives just but a hint of how hard it is for most people who come to Canada.

It´s actually even worse for most people. Many people lose their entire life savings on a dream, and wind up living in poverty the rest of their lives in Canada, or returning to the country of origin, broke and burnt out!

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
Man, this send a chill down the spine especially for someone like me who is planning to land in Canda soon....


(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
in Canada most of us have more month left than pay cheque. How can a new Canadian expect to support themselves PLUS support a family back home - I don´t understand.

People are supposed to speak english or french before they come to Canada. why are we needing interpreters?

how many of those 1 in 6 male who landed never intended to live here? How many times do we hear about people going back to the US or there home country immediately after they land to carry on their activities. Those people are part of that statistic.

sorry - I get tired of the whinning sometimes.

Yes, we absolutely need to do a better job of recognizing credentials.

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
Canada is back at its best game: Playing the wuss. I think it is good for the health of the immigrants that it is as tough as it is to assimilate. Regardless how easy or tough, you can never expect Indians to assimilate anywhere. if it is a profound slave-mind that literally uproots them from their home country (which they actually despise with great passion), their tribal, cast and linguistic affectations further divide them into finer groups. Indians cannot assimilate with other Indians even after a century of living in an adopted country! But one should never pity these immigrants. I know I will never pity them for even a fleeting moment. Their are driven by an impulsive and uncontrolable greed to move here, oftentimes abandoning a secure life at home. Who are we to tell the slaves there is nothing wrong with loving your own country of birth?

I hope Canadian govt will not make any substantial changes to the existing policy. It is already many times liberal than that of the US. Economic refuges are to be detested and held in great contempt. But they must be given enough room to grow and advance. During this process, the local society MUST demand the immigrant to meet and well surpass the needed levels of skills. If the guy is in Bulgaria and is sending his woman money to live in Canada, it is his problem. There are South Koreans who keep their wives and children in the US, while the men stay home and send cash for maintaining the women. I used to wonder what these women do if they develop serious momentary need for pleasure. There are many types of madness and Canada should not begin to find ways to accommodate all these variants. If an immigrant chose to move here, let him/her do all changes and adaptations (skills, behavior and so forth) to succeed here. if they want to use Canada as a cash cow while disparaging the country brutally and planning teror attacks and so forth, they soundly deserve punishment... in whatever form it can be dished out.

righteous man
(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
Wow- Lots of hostility in this forum.

Listen, it´s unfair of Canada to let people in, if these people aren´t going to have a fair chance at obtaining employment even though they have the credentials.

As for speaking English, English is our first and only language. That has nothing to do with the problem that Canadian employers are just plain hostile in most cases towards anyone who wasn´t born here.

Now, if that is the sentiment of the vast majority of Canadians, and Canadian employers.... then DON´T HAVE IMMIGRATION IN CANADA.

In our situation, had we known exactly how much resistence there was, we´d never have come here. Believe me.

But Canada makes out either way, because they collect a lot of money into their economy when people uproot their lives and come here.

So, let´s not be cruel people. If you don´t want Americans, Indians, or whomever --- and only Canadians, then tell your politicians to get rid of immigration altogether.

Or is it that Canada is addicted to the economic benefit provided by all these immigrants who eventually go broke and head back home.

D in BC !

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
not everyone is hostile.

Our country is 139 years old. everyone here is an immigrant. in my community, 50% have arrived in the last 10 years. As a native born, white Canadian - I am the minority.

I do not agree with the statements by RM. I think racism and intolerance is everywhere. People bring it with them.

Immigration should be a win-win. I am not sure which ´canadian employers´ you are referring to. I am a Canadian employer and I hire who can do the job- I don´t care what colour they are or where they are from.

The CIC websites state very clearly what people should do in preparation for immigration. it states very clearly about accreditation and language. Most people choose to gloss over that part of the process. Yes, Canada can do a better job of recognizing credentials. Personally, I prefer the Australian model - get your stuff organized and approved on your own dime first and then apply. Maybe a few people would give up before they start rather than whine at the other end.

If you are thinking Canada is the land of easy jobs, free medical and a cadillac lifestyle - you have been reading the wrong travel guide. If you think Canada has immigration because we want your money - you obviously have no idea what is spent trying to integrate people into our country.

David - BC is screaming for workers. The only thing I can think of that is stopping you is your attitude.

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)

Thanks for writing. But actually, as I´ve said, my partner is the one looking for work and aside from the 70+ jobs in the Greater Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island also, he has applied to hundreds of employment recruiters in Ontario and BC.

Do you deny the results of the studies as reported in the Globe and Mail, a major newspaper in Canada?

Our experience is that he has not been able to connect with any Canadian employers -- while at the same time, he´s had the phone ringing off the hook with American employers during the few months we´ve been trying to return to the USA.

Unless, our phone is broken, or unless you are in a specific field that has a dire labor shortage, then I really don´t know why there is such a disconnect here.

The Globe and Mail is a major newspaper in Canada and it reported on a major study that found that "1 in 6 highly educated" immigrants leaves Canada within a year because they have trouble finding work.

No one expected in our situation for people to come to us.... but we did expect that we´d have a fair chance. And at least in the fields where he is qualified, and also in the related fields he´s applied for positions in, he´s heard NOTHING.

Are you a blue collar employer? What specifically do you do?

My partner left a very good paying job to come to Canada. He´s never had a problem obtaining employment unti he came here.

I´d like to believe what you say, but again, you must be in another field that has a dire labor shortage.

Even a welcome guide to British Columbia, mentions that people have enormous difficulties finding work when they come here!

By the way, if you are really from BC, you should know that medical isn´t totally free here. Each person pays a premium depending on income level.

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)

I call $59 a month for medical, free.

I am a white collar employer. I could not find a junior admin assistant that had enough english skills to write a letter at $17.50 an hour. If you can´t answer the phone - you are no good to me. I don´t care if you have a PhD in marketing. I can cope with an accent but I am not going to train you how to say ´hello, may I help you´ or "I am sorry, she is not in at the moment, can I take a message or would you like her voice mail´ or how to write a letter that says - ´further to our discussion of July 14th, we wish to confirm....´ Give me a break. I am not going to employ someone that sends me a resume with typo´s and lousy grammar unless I need someone for physical labour.

I really struggle with the 1 in 6 going home. Like I said before - who is part of those statistics - the folks going back to the US to continue with their work permit in hopes of getting a Green card? or those who have gone back to continue in their jobs back home and decide later if they want to come to Canada?

Yes, it is difficult for some people to find work - and Canada needs to do a better job with licensing and accreditation. People also need to be realistic about jumping in to a new country and labour market - particularly if it is from a non-western country.

If your partner applied for 70+ jobs and he did not get one - I would suggest he have someone look at his resume to see what the obstacle is. It might be the style of resume, it might be something very simple that he can adjust to improve his chances. It might be something missing!

I know I am sounding harsh - and I am sorry. It is a hot afternoon and I am cranky:)

(in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
It gets old to try and talk to whinners...sorry.
CANADA DOES WELCOME IMMIGRANTS (in reply to: Canada NOT welcoming to immigrants - Globe & Mail)
Since the world is full of misunderstanding one does not have to conclude that Canada does not welcome immigrants.Personally I have seen people going there without any problem and while in Canada,they do enjoy peace.

I would like to go in Canada because I have never heard any thing wrong about that peaceful country even me I am looking for the opportunity to go there. The time when GOD the Creator will open the door for ( God´s time) I will find myself living in a peaceful country which is CANADA

May the Creator protect CANADA

Celestin Barici Mpande