Foreign Credentials: Another Phoney Guilt Trip!
Dear Immigration Reformer:
We’ve all heard the pathetic story of the East Indian medical doctor
of the Chinese engineer reduced to driving a cab. It’s enough to make your
eyes tear or your nose run.
It gets worse, the guilt argument continues. See, Canadian society is
cold and “racist.” We won’t let these people work to their full potential.
We blight their lives and lose out on what they could offer us. Bottom line:
We have failed THEM. WE must do more. Actually, the hard pressed taxpayer
must do more – more ESL programmes, more special job training. In this
election, all political parties have taken up the cry that we must do more
to recognize foreign credentials. Even the Harper Conservatives have fallen
for this nonsense.
Liberal MP and one-time cabinet minister, the hefty Maria Minna had
a novel proposal: “Ottawa should pay part of the initial salaries of
immigrant engineers and other professionals to help establish them in their
fields in Canada. (Toronto Star, January 12, 2006)
At the same meeting where Minna proposed this crack brained idea,
the Green Party candidate had a tear jerker of a story about another
immigrant professionl we’d failed. Social activist Michael Shapcott “he’d
met a Chinese-trained doctor who was currently working at a pizza shop. ‘She
has a teenaged fellow who is her boss and he’s pushing her around and …
she started crying when she told me that,’ Shapcott said. ‘We have about
5,000 doctors who are trained in other countries, who are ready to work
here, but they are not able to work in this country.’”
Oh, the humiliation of it all, having to take orders from a
teenager! Any talk of this underemployed MD going back to China?
Now, the slightest scrutiny of this foreign credentials guilt
nonsense reveals huge flaws. Take Shapcott’s pizza peddling Chinese doctor.
Not to be too nasty, but does she speak English. An excellent command of
English (or French) is essential to practice medicine in Canada. Would you
want to go to a GP and try to explain to a foreign doctor who can’t speak
English well your very personal problems and symptoms. Worse still, would
you want to hear his diagnosis of your problems?
Another point. Why would a trained doctor, enjoying a prestige
position in China pull up stakes and move to Canada without a firm job
It’s entirely possible that this doctor has no medical training at
University degrees and certification of all sorts are widely sold
throughout the Third World.
There’s an epidemic of phoney degree certification in China, where a
recent census found 600,000 Chinese more claiming to hold university
degrees than have been awarded by Chinese universities. “SHENZHEN, China
(AP) — On a heat-seared thoroughfare outside the five-story Shenzhen Book
City, a dozen men are handing out tiny pink business cards to the
pedestrians streaming past. A short, slick man in his 20s beats out his
swarming rivals to approach a visitor. ‘Can I help you? What documents are
you looking for?’ asks the smiling man, who offers a card bearing the name
Li Hua, of Southeast Asia Evidence (Group) Co. Ltd. After a bit of haggling,
Li agrees to provide one of his products — a top pedigree university
diploma for 250 yuan, or $32. The man calling himself Li is one of thousands
of touts who haunt bookstores and universities campuses throughout China,
seeking customers eager to embellish their records with fake diplomas and
other documents. The competition for good jobs has made the counterfeiting a
lucrative business — and a headache for the government and universities. It
appears to be thriving despite a government crackdown.
The widespread use of forged credentials has raised doubts in Western
academic and business circles about the qualifications of Chinese students
and job applicants. It’s also an embarrassment for Chinese universities
striving for world-class status. State-run Chinese news media reported that
the national census in 2000 recorded at least 600,000 more college or
university graduates than the actual number of degrees awarded. Zhou
Shaosen, Communist Party secretary at Nanjing University, told the state-run
Xinhua News Agency that a Shenzhen organization asked for authentication of
four different styles of Nanjing University diplomas. All were fake.
The national government set up six centers around the country in May
2001 to verify college diplomas. The center in southern Guangdong province
says about 800 out of 3,500 certificates checked through this past March
proved bogus. “ (CNN, August 5, 2002)
We’ve heard the oft-repeated reproach that many foreign engineers are
driving cabs or doing security work. The fact is that thousands of people
have taken phoney degrees and certification to Canadian immigration
officials in China and India. They quickly get approval to immigrate. Of
course, they’re not really engineers and couldn’t pas a provincial
certification examination if their lives depended on it. Yes, they may well
be driving cab, but, having lied and scammed their way into this country,
that may be all they’re good for.
Five years ago, we reported in the Canadian Immigration Hotline the
following: “Immigration officials are probing a scam in which well-heeled
immigrants from India and China are streaming into Canada posing as
professional engineers. … The probe began after the Canadian Council of
Professional Engineers became suspicious of the authenticity of documents
submitted to them for approval by immigrants abroad. Immigrants applying to
come here as engineers have to be approved by the CCPE. Once approved, the
immigrants are given a visa to settle in Canada, where they have to be
licensed by the provinces to become engineers. ‘The CCPE has provided a
lengthy list of cases where they were suspicious,’ immigration documents
say. CCPE spokesman Terence Davis said the council last year assessed 23,000
potential immigrants who wanted to come here as engineers. About 80% are
approved. Davis said the immigrants must pass tests and other requirements
before being licensed by the provinces. Immigration officials said many
applicants submit phony university transcripts and resumes. Once they arrive
in Canada, many go underground and few work as engineers.” (Toronto Sun, May
10, 2001) Something to remember when the next study reminds us how difficult
it is for highly educated immigrants to pursue their chosen profession in
(deeply racist) Canada.
Another reason some foreign engineers may have trouble finding work in
Canada is that there is a surplus of engineers. Again, you’d think that
sensible people would check and obtain a job offer before emigrating here.
Perhaps, the lure of medicare and other freebies exceeds the need to secure
In the following March 18 2004 letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin
from Daniel J. Young, President and Chair, OSPE (Ontario Society of
Reports: “Taking the year 2001 as an example, about 10,225 internationally
educated engineers settled in Toronto alone – a number greater than Canada’s
entire graduating class of engineers combined, in a city with only 17% of
Canada’s jobs! According to data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
engineers represent 70-80% of all the regulated professionals immigrating to
Canada. This was before the 2002 reforms to the Canadian Immigrant and
Refugee Protection Act, which removed any notion of demand-matching controls
for immigration. ….Uncontrolled supply to our profession is also unjust
to the thousands of students who are turned away *** yearly from entry into
Canadian engineering programs, and to the approximately 9,000 young women
and men who graduate from those programs annually. The voice of this segment
of our profession is not heard in the media as clearly as it should be, and
the universities, which profit from their unregulated tuition fees, are less
than receptive to their plight.*** Foreign-student enrolment in engineering
programs in Canadian universities has almost doubled since 1998, and at the
master’s level increased by almost 70%.” .(Ottawa Sun Aug 25 2005)
According to Barry Wallace (Mississauga) writing in Ottawa Business
Journal (December 19 2005) : “In 2001, the number of recent university
graduates from Canadian engineering schools who entered the labour market
exceeded the five year average of newly created engineering jobs by 26
percent. The number of foreign trained engineers who arrived in 2001 exceeded the
domestic supply of recent engineering graduates by 82 percent.
Forty-five (45) percent of the engineering jobs created in a five year
period went to foreign trained engineers.
However, these jobs were secured by only 25 percent of the foreign trained
engineers that arrived in this period.
Seventy-five (75) percent of the foreign trained engineers were not needed.”
Furthermore, many foreign universities don’t train people to Canadian
standards.If in fact, we need more doctors, why don’t we put the resources into
training our own than in trying to bring unqualified foreigners up to
scratch. It’s time to spend money on our own people, rather than on
As for alleged foreign professionals being underemployed in Canada,
so too are many Canadians. I was talking the other day to a highly intelligent
university junior studying Slavic languages and history at an Ontario
university. Her summer and part time employment? No, she has not found work
in her field, say in a government department dealing with Eastern Europe or
in an import-export firm. She works in a minimum wage job in retail sales.
Underemployed? Absolutely. Shouldn’t we be giving job preferences to our own
rather than to poorly qualified or language challenged foreigners?
Immigrationwatchcanada.com carries the following very revealing
statement by a graduate student of East Indian origin.
”I watched a Canadian news report recently that alleged there is a
high rate of poverty amongst new immigrants. This report cited ‘lack of
recognition for foreign degrees’ as the main focal point of the problem. I
am a fairly mild mannered person, but hearing this report made me feel like
a radical right winger when in actuality I have been a life long human
rights advocate. But this report was outrageous! It was clearly politically
motivated and callously ignored the plight of university educated Canadians
living in poverty in Ontario and across the nation.
Please be aware of a new, distinct, social class that is emerging
in Canada: highly educated Canadian citizens, possessing University degrees,
and living in poverty. This yet unrecognized social class is emerging slowly
but surely. I feel for new immigrants who are now facing the struggle of
adjusting to life in a new country but that’s a risk many of our ancestors
went through for the chance at a new life. I won’t say a ‘better’ life
because many of the new immigrants are from affluent backgrounds and arrive
with substantial savings and almost instantly own properties that Canadians
work their entire lives to possess.
I am a first generation Canadian and I have lived in a Toronto
suburb my entire life. My family immigrated to Canada from India in the late
sixties. My father and mother both hold university degrees from their former
homeland. They worked hard for their degrees but my parents
would probably be the first to acknowledge that not everyone in India has to
work honestly or even study to obtain a degree! In India the wealthy middle
class, can buy anything, even a Ph.D. The rampant corruption that plagues
India, infests every facet of life in that country!
The sad state of rampant corruption has been reported by well-
respected journalists both within India and outside for generations. Even
the development of basic road infrastructure cannot be accomplished in many
Indian States because the equipment and supplies are sold off by corrupt
officials in positions of power. Yet, we Canadians are expected to believe
that the same degree of corruption has not infiltrated the Indian education
system? Are we supposed to set aside the rules of critical thinking and
logic in favour of ignorance for fear of being called racists?
I am shocked, stupefied, and horrified to discover that bachelor’s
degrees and master’s degrees from India are now being recognized in Ontario
as almost exactly equivalent to Canadian degrees. This recognition is taking
place without English as a Second Language Testing or any kind of Content
Specialty Testing for the applicants alleged area of specialization! In
fact, I have reason to believe that Indian PhD’s in Social Work are being
given exactly the same recognition here as a Canadian PhD in Social Work! If
new Indian immigrant students intend to proceed to Teacher’s College, and
claim they have degrees, they are required to do only English as a Second
Language testing. They are not required to do any undergraduate level
courses in Canada. In effect, they can skirt the system.
Tens of thousands of Canadians spent between $20,000 – $30,000 at
Canadian Universities in the late 1990’s obtaining a Canadian University
Honors Degree! Not to mention more years spent on worthless Canadian College
Diplomas and Certificates that are not even given the equivalent recognition
of a questionable foreign degree from countries such as India that are doing
nothing to end corruption or even limit it! For god’s sake, this is
outrageous! Shame has gone missing from our lives for the government to
allow this to occur.
Why not do a survey of how many Canadians with bachelor’s degrees
would like to proceed through the 10 month long Teacher’s College Program?
And through subsidies, gain the stamp of approval necessary to become
teachers? I am flabbergasted that the government would prefer to fund
shortened teacher’s college programs to allow new-comers to become teachers!
How does this formula translate into taking care of your people?
This past fall, Ryerson University started a Bachelor of Social Work
Program. Enrollment is limited to those who can prove themselves to be ‘new
immigrants’. According to reports, this program costs “new immigrants” only
one thousand dollars per year. In contrast, the regular BSW program, which
Canadian-born take, costs more than one thousand dollars PER COURSE!
York University won’t allow Canadian students with a Canadian honours
degree in Sociology or Social Science to apply to their Master of Social
Work program but they will allow students with foreign university degrees in
any subject at all, to apply to the Master of Social Work program as long as
there was ‘some’ social work at some point in their undergraduate program.
Students with Canadian Social Service Worker Diplomas with high honours in
combination with Canadian University Degrees in Social Science have been
prevented from applying to the York University Master of Social Work
program! Is this madness?
I have given 8 years of my life and thousands of dollars of my money
and watched it flushed down the toilet! My degree has proven to be more
worthless than a used bus transfer!
So while new immigrants are the focus of heart wrenching news reports
and human rights campaigns for equality, where do my rights come in? Where
do the rights of all Canadians who toiled at Canadian Universities come in?
Don’t we deserve to eat? Don’t we deserve to have nice homes? Don’t we
deserve anything? Don’t we have the right to expect anything from our
province, our country?
Furthermore, while tens of thousands of Canadians students’ vie for
limited positions at Canadian Teacher’s Colleges, these foreign-trained
students waltz in, apply, and have the upper hand from the get go. The
primary requirements that applicants competing for entrance into Teacher’s
college must possess are A) Pre-service Teaching Experiences and B) Grade
Point Average. All the students with Indian degrees I have talked to seem,
very conveniently, to have an abundant supply of teaching experiences and
top marks!!!!!!!!!!! Can anyone really verify with accuracy and authenticity
the value of such teaching experiences and grades when they are reported by
institutions and private companies within a country internationally known
for its rampant corruption?
At the Canadian university I attended, we weren’t given much leeway to
miss assignment deadlines or fall short on grades in our specialized
programs or we were kicked out! And what did we go through all of that for?
To be in crushing debt?
Gee, stupid me. I should have gone back to the home land of my
ancestors, found two tall leafy trees with a hammock tied to ’em, accepted a
tall cool drink brought to me by hand servants (still employed in these
countries as little more than slaves) and had my back massaged with hot
oils, while my Ph.D. was being processed at the local university.
If the social activists want to save someone from poverty, go save all
the servants that are put to work in India by the middle and upper classes,
as little more than life long slaves as they work for pennies a day!”
And that’s not the end of it. There’s even an organized group of
immigrant malcontents demanding compensation for not getting high paying
jobs in Canada. Calling themselves Canada Immigrant Job Issues
(http://www.canadaimmigrants.com/Compensation.asp) the group proceeds to
bitch and moan about Canada’s failure to catapult newcomers to head of
neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital or managing director of Canadian
operations, IBM immediately upon landing. I just love the contempt-ridden
attitude to low class Canadians they cannot even communicate with — because
Canadians are so ill-educated (even though the Canadians presumably all
speak English). Also, they appear to have coined a term for these
languishing classes — the brown collar ghetto — “the part of Canada’s
workforce consisting of foreign trained professionals, who are visible
minorities and work in low wage menial jobs” See last item — at least now
we know where Minna got her lunatic scheme.
Skilled Immigrants Demand Compensation
The Canadian government persists in giving away millions of dollars to
bureaucrats, subcontractors, and “non-profit” agencies that have only done
one thing right; being government-friendly beneficiaries of this lavish
The government’s lack of leadership is solved by keeping its thick
bureaucracy happy – just to lessen the public outcry. And of course, by
being nice to their close friends who plunder the treasury, declare
bankruptcy, or otherwise benefit from rich government contracts that pay
But in terms of immigration policy, taxation and the economy, who pays for
this lack of vision? The ones who bring billions of dollars, not only in
cash, but also in skills to Canada; independent/skilled immigrants. The
government is directly responsible of this multibillion dollar fiasco, and
so it has to be accountable for the de-skilling process and decapitalization
that each foreign professional suffers as soon as he arrives here.
Just think about it for a second… Aren’t skilled/independent immigrants
entitled to be retroactively compensated for this mismanagement? For
example, if you (as a family doctor) had worked in your field of expertise,
you would have made x amount of money every year, wouldn’t you? But because
you were working as a taxi driver, caregiver, or something similar, your
income was significatively lower. And for the “privilege” of working in a
Brown Collar Ghetto, you get to pay taxes, GST, PST, health care premiums
etc. Just like the well off Canadians do here in Canada; except they can
afford it, you can’t.
At the same time the rest of your hard earned money has been feeding the
Canadian economy because you buy products and services in the Canadian
market and that creates directly and indirectly jobs for Canadians. How many
job counsellors, landlords, business owners, and political parties have
benefited from immigrants? And what do we get in return?
We have to live in “bad” neighborhoods, not because we want to be in the
midst of drug dealers, crowded, stinky, cockroach infested buildings, greasy
spoon restaurants, liquor stores, pawn and pot shops, but because we can’t
afford a house in a “good” neighborhood where many “Canadian professionals”
live, where one can see trees, flowers, rivers instead.
Yes, we live in impoverished neighborhoods where we are condemned to remain
silent, surrounded by marginalized Canadians with whom you can only talk
about the weather because they never finished even basic schooling, or
because they are on drugs, or simply for your own safety.
Maybe living in “good” neighborhoods doesn’t mean we are going to have
interesting conversations with Canadian professionals, but at least we will
have the chance to invite some educated people from other countries and
guarantee them a minimum level of public safety.
Even the basics of food, and clothing are limited by our meager incomes. We
have to buy our clothes in second hand stores or out of season, when they
are on sale. We have to eat lots of industrialized food because the
“organic” one is way more expensive. Look at who shops in fancy boutique
grocery stores in trendy areas. Then look at who goes to the big box
Many of the basic services are out of our reach: dentists, cars, car
insurance, family vacations, cultural events, professional treatment by a
family physician, good education for our kids.
Most of our kids go to schools where the grade 8 English teacher will be the
Grade 9, 10, 11 English teacher. That same teacher will also teach Physical
Education, give counseling, and if needed he teaches Social Studies too. Oh,
don’t forget how low the Canadian childcare services were rated by the OECD
in 2004, nor how expensive postsecondary education is.
As you may see, we are paying way too much for the standard of living that
this “strong” economy is giving us in return. And you know why? We, as
foreign and visible minority professionals, along with our kids, have been
marginalized from the mainstream society while this country shamelessly
wastes our resources and compromises our kids’ future.
Therefore, if you think you deserve to be compensated for all the time you
were unemployed or underemployed in Canada; we invite you to sign this
letter by sending us a message with your name, surname, email address,
profession, the province where you live in, and write “Professional
Compensation” at the beginning of your message.
P.S. To all skilled immigrants who are about to leave this country, or those
who have already left: You should be compensated too. Don’t leave this
country quietly and empty handed.
PS Labour discrimination is not only arousing righteous indignation, but
it’s also boosting the number of skilled immigrants looking for
A healthy government would send these misfits and whiners packing.
Canada First Immigration Reform Committee
The Fraser Institute has just released a shocking report on the
staggering net costs of immigration to Canada – over $18-billion each year
(one and a half times what we spend on our armed forces!) This report
Immigration and the Welfare State in Canada: Growing Conflicts, Constructive
Solutions is available from C-FAR Books for $10. Mail your cheque or money
order or VISA number and expiry date to Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3,
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