Racism in Canada

Canadian Universities Forum (discussion group)

Subject: Racism in Canada
Here the census results are particularly depressing. Even after being in Canada for 20 years, recent immigrants are more than twice as likely as someone born in Canada to have a low income. Recent immigrants earn only about 60 per cent of what Canadian-born workers are paid.

Immigration is the area that breaks the link from education to earnings. Education attainment of immigrants has been rising, yet a recent male immigrant with a university degree earns 48 per cent of what his Canadian-born counterpart gets.

(in reply to: Racism in Canada)
GTA middle class struggles TheStar.com - Census - GTA middle class struggles

Gap between rich and poor widens while the centre lags, census figures show

May 02, 2008
Laurie Monsebraaten
Staff Reporter

The gap between the rich and poor widened, and new immigrants continued to lose ground while middle income earners struggled to keep pace, according to the 2006 Canadian census released yesterday.

Nowhere are these national trends more pronounced than in the Toronto area, home to the country´s largest percentage of new immigrants.

As a result, median family incomes (the point at which half are higher and half are lower) in the Toronto area dropped between 2000 and 2005 while they rose across Ontario and the rest of the country.

"We are becoming a city of the servant class ? who earn servant wages and live in the city´s northern suburbs ? and the downtown elite who run everything," said University of Toronto urban studies professor David Hulchanski.

"Immigrants who used to come to this country came for middle-income jobs in construction that were unionized and well paying. Today they can´t find those jobs. They are locked out by unions or education we don´t recognize, or lack of Canadian experience," he said. "So they clean our offices and hotels and universities, drive our taxis and cook our meals."

The income gap in Canada has been widening for a quarter century, according to the census.

Between 1980 and 2005, median earnings for the top 20 per cent of full-time, full-year earners in Canada increased by 16.4 per cent. By contrast, median earnings in the bottom one-fifth fell 20.6 per cent. Meanwhile, median earnings of those in the middle stagnated, inching from $41,348 in 1980 to just $41,401 when calculated in 2005 dollars.

Recent immigrant men with employment income in 1980 earned 85 cents for each dollar earned by Canadian-born men. But by 2005, the ratio had dropped to 63 cents. It was even worse for recent immigrant women, whose corresponding earnings were 85 cents and 56 cents, respectively.

Harjot Mangat, a 35-year-old lawyer from India, completed an MBA from Leeds University Business School in England before immigrating to Toronto in 2004. But the only work he has been able to find is selling electronics. "Even though my MBA is recognized by U of T, I quickly realized without Canadian experience no one was interested in hiring me," he said.

When he switched tactics and earned a diploma as a certified immigration consultant, no one would hire him because they were worried he´d compete for business, Mangat said.

So now he´s trying to put his MBA to work through a website www.help4immigrants.com. "It´s not about whether you are white or brown," Mangat said. "It´s about the haves and have-nots. The haves don´t want to let you in."

Mangat´s wife, Deepa, 32, came with the same credentials and also had to settle for retail work until last spring when she was hired by the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario as a project manager. But her $52,000 income is a far cry from the six-figure incomes most lawyers with MBAs in Toronto command.

"The drop in immigrant women´s wages should be a wake-up call for action by this government," said Toronto MP Olivia Chow (NDP-Trinity-Spadina).

"We´re bringing in people with university degrees and they are delivering pizzas," Chow said.

Across the Toronto area, median family incomes dropped to $77,693 in 2005 from $75,829 in 2000. The 2.4 per cent decrease compares with a national increase of 3.7 per cent and a provincial increase of 1.4 per cent.

"This report points to the need for leadership by senior governments," said Rob Rainer, executive director of the National Anti-Poverty Organization. "At the extreme, this gap is personified by knowledge that the highest paid CEOs in Canada earn in about 13 hours what a full-time, minimum wage worker can hope to earn in an entire year."

In Toronto, middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing, while rich and poor neighbourhoods continue to grow, said Hulchanski, who has tracked Statistics Canada income data for the GTA since 1970.

Since 2000 in the city of Toronto, only the very top and the very bottom income categories grew, he said. As a result, the city has more wealthy neighbourhoods, fewer middle-income areas, and more very poor neighbourhoods.

For the 905, only the two bottom income categories grew. It has about the same number of wealthy neighbourhoods, a decline in middle-income neighbourhoods and more growth in poorer neighbourhoods since 2000, he said.

The national numbers paint a rosier picture. Over the past 25 years, median incomes of Canadian families rose by 9.3 per cent to $63,715. Couples with children had the highest median income of all family types in 2005 at $82,943, up 21.6% from 1980, mostly due to the increase in the number of dual-earner families.

The median income of senior couples was $45,674 in 2005, a whopping 55.8 per cent increase from 1980, largely due to payouts from the Canada Pension Plan and personal savings.

However, the incidence of children living in low income families across Canada has changed very little over the past quarter-century.

The before-tax low income rate in 2005 for families with preschoolers was 19.3 per cent and 17 per cent for school-age children, compared to 20 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively in 1980.

After taxes, there were 879,955 Canadian children living in poverty in 2005, according to the census.

"We aren´t happy to see this and it speaks even more strongly for the need for action, especially with several provinces on the move with poverty reduction strategies," said Ann Decter, head of Campaign 2000, a national coalition seeking to hold Parliament to its pledge to end child poverty by 2000.

"It limits what they can do without the federal government taking action."

(in reply to: Racism in Canada)
Immigration policies boosting number of degree holders in Canada: study

Elizabeth Thompson
Canwest News Service

Monday, May 26, 2008

OTTAWA - There is a large and growing gap between Canadians when it comes to who has a university degree, with visible minorities far more likely to have a university education than white Canadians, according to a new study.

The analysis of the 2006 census results by Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, found a 20-point gap between visible minority and white Canadians aged 35-44 years old when it comes to university education

In fact, white Canadians - particularly white males - were among the groups least likely to have a university degree, certificate or diploma.

"That was the biggest surprise to me," Jedwab admitted.

The group with the highest proportion of university-educated people were Korean Canadians, where 74.7 per cent of respondents in the age group analyzed had a university degree. Filipino and Chinese Canadians were in second and third place with about 58.6 and 58.4 per cent of their community holding university degrees.

Arab Canadians weren´t far behind with university graduates making up 51.6 per cent of the population. The study found 48.5 per cent of Japanese Canadians had graduated university followed by 47.8 per cent of West Asians and 47.4 per cent of South Asians.

The levels of university education were significantly lower for Latin Americans, 33 per cent of whom had a degree, and for the black community, where 30.1 per cent had completed university.

However, the groups that were the least likely to have a university degree were white Canadians, only 25.9 per cent of whom had graduated university, and those from Southeast Asia where only 22 per cent had a degree.

Jedwab says one of the key reasons underlying the results is Canada´s immigration policy, which gives preference to those with university educations when it comes to immigrating to Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, 51 per cent of people who immigrated to Canada between 2001 and 2006 had university degrees - much higher than the proportion of 20 per cent of university degree holders among the Canadian-born population or the 28 per cent among immigrants who arrived prior to 2001.

The result is that the overall level of university degree holders in Canada has risen.

Those with university educations are in turn often more likely to push their own children towards university, said Jedwab.

"The results may seem counterintuitive to some as traditionally it is believed that immigrants who lacked some of the advantages of access to higher education widely encouraged their children to obtain it."

But while Canadians from visible minorities have higher levels of education on average than those who aren´t from a visible minority, several of Jedwab´s previous studies have shown that their higher education levels don´t always translate into better employment or better income levels. In many cases, Canadians from visible minorities with university degrees earn a fraction of what their white counterparts earn and have lower employment levels.

If those trends continue, it could become a problem, Jedwab warned.

"It´s not a good recipe for cohesion when you have a very educated population that is suffering disproportionately higher rates of unemployment and a less educated population that´s not encountering the same kind of employment challenges."

Jedwab said it also raise significant questions for universities.

"That risks creating the impression that there is less of a value in university education."

Hugh O´Heron, a senior policy analyst with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, said he wasn´t surprised the gap between visible minorities and other Canadians is large and getting larger, given the emphasis in Canada´s immigration policy on recruiting those with university degrees.

O´Heron said some countries, like Korea, have invested heavily in educating their population.

However, O´Heron said more recent immigrants to Canada, while more educated, are coming from countries that are more different from Canada than in the past, meaning it is taking longer for them to integrate into Canadian society and realize the value of their university degrees.

Montreal Gazette


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