Number 158 – October 2003

‘Best And Brightest’?

An appalling number of children are suddenly taking headers out of high-rise windows in the world’s most multicultural city. The epidemic of defenestrating children is perhaps a little less mysterious when one discovers Toronto is the only major city in Canada and the U.S. where pedestrians account for the majority of road deaths. … In a study done in May by Sgt. Tom Ellis of traffic services, 57% of Toronto’s traffic fatalities were found to be pedestrians. … Nationally, pedestrians made up only 14% of traffic deaths in Canada and 11% in the U.S. … Ellis said the ethnic makeup of Toronto contributes to the high pedestrian death toll, with residents coming from countries with vastly different traffic patterns. ‘Diversity certainly has something to do with it,’ he said. ‘Somebody from a village in a third-world country that’s used to crossing a dirt path wasn’t brought up where you have traffic coming at 60, 70 km/h.’ (Toronto Sun, August 18, 2003) Happily for people seemingly unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, a more generalized failure to thrive is generally put down to systemic racism. As usual, it’s our fault!

More Examples of Immigration Scandals

My sister informed me of two British families in Alberta who have been refused landed immigrant status. Both came here on work permits, bought houses and worked in high-tech industries. Both had specialized high-tech training and experience and plenty of money to be self-sufficient. Neither had any criminal record. When the work permits were about to expire, they applied for landed immigrant status. They needed to have sponsors and a balance of $20,000 in the bank to qualify. They managed to achieve both. However, after their applicants were heard, both couples were turned down. One family sold their house and returned to the UK, feeling disgusted and the other hired an expensive lawyer and is appealing the decision. Meanwhile, an unemployed bank clerk from Bangalore, India with no money was accepted into Canada along with his wife, family and extended family. — James Alcock

Notching Expectations Downward, Again

According to Statistics Canada, the pay gap between newcomers and Canadian-born men grew dramatically between the years 1980 and 2000, even though immigrants were armed with better-than-ever credentials. [Given that nearly two dozen Pakistanis entered and stayed in Canada for years relying on locally-crafted fraudulent documents, the term better-than-ever is less than persuasive] … In 1980, accounting for differences in education and age, recent male immigrants earned 17 per cent less on average than their Canadian-born counterparts. By 2000, the spread had more than doubled, to 40 per cent. Analysts aren’t sure what drove the chasm, but say unfamiliarity with English or French might be a factor. … ‘We’re finding that immigrants aren’t integrating into the labour market as well as they have been before,’ [says StatsCan analyst Marc Frenette]. (Globe and Mail, October 9, 2003) Well, let’s see, in 1981, 67% of immigrants living in Canada were of European descent. At the time, the proportion of immigrants from Asia and the Middle East was 14%, a number that had ballooned to 31% by the mid-1990s. With near-half of all immigrants today admitted despite an inability to communicate in either English or French, it is difficult to make a convincing show of surprise to learn that they are no longer skyrocketing to the top. There’s more: in an earlier StatsCan study, even among the most highly trained immigrants surveyed, the report found that 44 per cent chose their [Canadian] destination because family and friends lived there, compared to 19 per cent who chose a new home for the employment opportunities. The findings, experts said, point to the problems many immigrants have obtaining jobs that match their training; in the study [of 12,000 immigrants 6 months after arrival] 60 per cent of the same group worked in different occupations than they did before coming to Canada. (Globe and Mail, September 5, 2003) In other words, the two main handicaps newcomers face — inability to communicate and a lack of job opportunities — appear to be self-imposed. It’s a trend that will worsen. According to New Scientist (September 27, 2003), while Canada has always encouraged immigration, the gap in earnings between foreign and domestic workers is wider than in countries such as Australia. To combat this, the innovation strategy is seeking better recognition for foreign qualifications and developing programmes to prepare immigrants for the Canadian labour market. How? Immigration Minister Denis Coderre‘s plan to raise the immigrant point-assessment passing grade to 80 has in fact been revised downward, to an all-time low of 67.This, Coderre imagines, will help attract more skilled workers to Canada.

But What Do You Expect Of A Deeply Racist Country ?

National president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Mohamed Elmasry, grouses: In August, Toronto police arrested 21 individuals accused by the RCMP of having ties to the international al-Qaeda terrorist group. All the detainees were Muslim students from Pakistan and India. Even those who have been released now have no hope of a future in Canada. (Globe and Mail, September 30, 2003) Mr. Elmasry is being disingenuous. Even if Canada were prepared to ignore the mysterious fires, fascination with a specific nuclear power plant and troubling links with al-Qaeda financial institutions, it does not alter the fact that entry was gained through fraudulent means — something which everyone involved freely admits. If this country is prepared to deport geriatric Europeans of German or Slavic descent for what they may or may not have said in 60-year-old interviews, the same rule must apply to beneficiaries of a school that manufactured fake documents to lubricate entry visas.

Canada Now Officially A Refugee-Producing Country

A Canadian citizen has been accepted by the U.S. as a refugee in what officials say is a precedent-setting case.The Toronto-area man, whose identity wasn’t released, is eligible for a green card to work in the U.S. as a result of being granted asylum.The man was among three Canadians who filed refugee claims in the States last year…. Richard Kurland, a senior member of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, said this its the first he’s heard of a Canadian being accepted as a refugee in the U.S.’I have never heard of such a case,’ Kurland said.’Canada is not a refugee-producing country.’ (Toronto Sun, October 7, 2003)

Toronto‘s White Flight

Immigrants prefer areas where friends and families have prepared a little ethnic enclave, but in the face of so much diversity, native-born Canadians are voting with their feet. In the last census survey between July 1, 2001, and June 30, 2002, 42,396 people — or 50 people for every 1,000 inhabitants — moved to the regional municipality of York [encompassing the still-very-Canadian communities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King and Stouffville] Of those who moved to York, 79% came from Toronto. … Among census metropolitan areas, Toronto gained the highest number of people with 105,221 … 66% of newcomers in Toronto … came from outside the country. (Toronto Sun, September 25, 2003)

Walk Softly Or Carry A Bigger Stick

Canadians working, playing or just passing through the U.S. will come to realize what a parliament of dunces can do. Be it the Immigration minister’s incessant wangling for intrusive national ID cards (without a blush at immigration lapses), a succession of anti-American outbursts, or just the occasional imported disease, Canadians will find Ottawa clangers resonating far down the line. In early November, the U.S. proposed new regulations by which Commonwealth citizens (including people living in Canada who are NOT Canadian citizens) would need travel documents to enter the U.S. For some reason, the prospect of effective screening anywhere deeply offended our Immigration minister; he automatically accused the U.S. of racism: ‘What annoys me is that new racial (profiling),’ Coderre said on CTV’s Question Period, which aired yesterday. ‘We have to do something about that.’ … He couldn’t understand why the U.S. would take such measures, as Canada has introduced new immigration regulations, including a fraud-resistant identity card. ‘I really don’t understand,’ he said. (Canadian Press, November 4, 2002) Doesn’t he, really? In the Commons, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham drew a distinction between landed immigrants and Canadian citizens. ‘This is not a visa that is being applied to Canadian citizens, and we must therefore respect what the United States is doing,’ he said. (Toronto Sun, November 5, 2002) A subtle distinction to be sure, but one that even Mr. Coderre might be expected to understand. Not a bit of it; as usual he put non-Canadians first, and we can, presumably, thank him for what happened next. Toward the end of the month, the U.S. announced that it would target for two-hour intervals all motorists using certain routes near the Niagara Falls border crossings. … Border Patrol spokesman Mario Villareal said: ‘We will be checking everybody in every vehicle.’ … He said all motorists will be stopped at the checkpoints and there will be no racial profiling. (Toronto Sun, November 28, 2002)

A Plate Accompli

In recent years, the production of surgically nipped, tucked and plumped beauty queens has become something of a Venezuelan cottage industry.Inevitably, Canada faces a fearful new species of persecuted persons: A Venezuelan woman’s claim for refugee status because she is overweight has been denied by the Immigration and Refugee Board, which ruled her size did not qualify her for special status under its Gender-Related Persecution guidelines.The Vancouver-area resident claimed she was a refugee in need of protection as a member of a group facing persecution in her homeland, namely overweight or obese women. (National Post, August 21, 2003)Most countries cut out the frivolous and neurotic claims at the front end; Canadians feed and cater to them while the mill grinds exceedingly slow.

Life in the Multicult Big Ugly — West Vancouver

I just came back from the West Vancouver Library, my beloved library, which is the bastion of British West Vancouver or was the last time I looked! The receptionist was Iranian. The customer service person at the info desk was a smelly Iranian who made me ill at the scent of unwashed human odour. The girl at the other desk was Iranian. The two families wandering about were Iranian while the girl loitering who couldn’t speak English was Chinese and her shirt was half off her fattened shoulder.

I walked out and there were two Chinese speaking Chinese on the library bench. I walked in and the Iranians were gibbering away in Persian and the woman I was waiting for to help me was gibbering in Persian with the man in front of her. They talked and talked in their language as I sat and waited and waited and waited. So, I had time to wonder: Am I the only White person in the West Van Library? Beneath the life- size mural of 17th century British stained glass art stood a Filipina. Soon another seven joined her. That’s it! That’s it! The West Van Library is our cultural icon, the centre of all that I grew up with that is British here! The taxi driver who drove me home was Chinese, the man at the counter, Persian; the girl who wouldn’t move her buggy, Chinese and this is in the best parts of Vancouver! At the corner store which used to be Euro owned, I was served by an Iranian who now owns it. The guard coming up the drive was Iranian and the man in the elevator, Iranian. That’s it! I. I just can’t take it. — Noelle

Mr. Wang — Maybe It’s The Name

A Taiwanese man is to spend up to four years in prison after performing an illegal castration in his kitchen last year, a U.S. court has ruled. Suo-Shan Wang, a 29-year-old who is in the US on a student visa, carried out the operation [after] his client had decided on castration in order to curb his sex drive and, thereby, prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted disease he was carrying. He started haemorrhaging shortly after leaving Mr. Wang’s house. Mr. Wang told police his grandparents had taught him how to castrate, and that he had practised first on a dog, then the dog’s owner and three of the owner’s friends in Australia. … Despite Mr. Wang’s apparently good intentions, and show of remorse [not to mention the incredible number of eager volunteers], the judge said that he was concerned Mr. Wang ‘would continue this’ if he were not sufficiently punished. (BBC, April 22, 2003)

Immigration Creates Jobs (for dentists!)

In a survey of 13- and 14-year-old Toronto children, only 3.5% of those born in Canada needed dental restorations, as compared with 23% of those whose family had immigrated here in the last 2 years. (Canadian Medical Association Journal, October 29, 2002)

Multiculturalism Crippling Health Care

Canada’s annual health bill has soared to $112-billion, a 43 per cent increase over five years, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.The CIHI report says two-thirds of the $34-billion increase went to services (hospitals, physician payment, drugs) and one third was gobbled up by inflation and population growth. (Globe and Mail, May 29, 2003)While health care consistently heads up polls of Canadian concerns, somehow immigration’s role in escalating costs and declining care is unexplored.Feel-good policies that reject fluency and cultural affinity come at a price: RiffaatMamdani has witnessed the growing need for cross-cultural services during her three years as a nurse with Toronto Public Health.Mamdani says the growing reliance on translators often places unexpected strains on the quality of service.’It’s not the best — it’s never thorough. So, it’s important to get somebody to do a follow-up in their natural language,’ she explained.’Plus, think about the time it takes us.A normal visit for us takes about an hour, but, once we take an interpreter in, we’re in there at least an hour-and-a-half to two hours.It doubles everything you do, so can you imagine what it is like in an emergency room?’Mamdani, a Muslim, says seminars are also needed to explain sensitive cultural differences.She has conducted workshops on Muslim culture at several downtown hospitals: ‘If you know what the traditions and language issues are, then you can work with them.’For instance, it’s important for doctors to know about the tradition of reciting the Adhan (the Muslim call to prayer, a standard blessing) into a newborn’s ear shortly after birth.Other areas of growing concern focus on differing gender relations between cultures.’Women who are from Pakistan, for example, are less likely to speak directly to a male doctor, but they’ll probably speak to a female doctor,’ Mamdani said.’Women from Saudi Arabia will never look you in the eye, they’ll always look down — but that doesn’t mean that [they are] not listening.’Given the plethora of cultural issues, no doctor can be expected to be aware of all of them, she said, but the goal is awareness.’You can’t know everything. So, you have to be sensitive,’ she added.’And in order to be sensitive, you really have to be listening.’ (Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 9, 2003)

Genetic Susceptibility To SARS

As SARS swung its scythe in Toronto, it was painfully clear that a panicked public heath was playing catch-up with a new and utterly confounding killer. Despite that, the single, unvarying message from the outset was that this was in no way a Chinese disease. Canadians were castigated for indulging in the entirely human urge to find some pattern, make some sense of this terrifying threat — while deprived of the very means to perform any kind of informed risk-assessment (the names of virtually all victims and even quarantine-breakers were shrouded in secrecy). We now know that every health care professional to die in Toronto was of Asian descent, including the rarely-mentioned woman who returned to the Philippines only to fatally infect her own father. Just lately the Canadian media has been plump with stories about SARS, except this one: A genetic susceptibility may explain why SARS raged last year in Southeast Asia and nowhere else in the world outside Toronto, Taiwanese researchers reported this week. They found a certain variant in an immune system gene called human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, made patients in Taiwan much more likely to develop life-threatening symptoms of SARS. The gene variant is common in people of southern Chinese descent, the team at [the Transfusion Medicine Laboratory at] Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei reported. … Marie Lin, Chun-Hsiung Huang and colleagues examined the HLA gene in 37 cases of probable SARS, 28 fever patients excluded later as probable SARS, and 101 non-infected health care workers who were exposed or possibly exposed to SARS coronavirus. ‘An additional control set of 190 normal healthy unrelated Taiwanese was also used in the analysis,’ they wrote in their report. They found that patients with severe cases of SARS were likely to have a version of the HLA gene called HLA-B4601. [According to Lin, those with another variant, HLA-B13, are relatively immune] They noted that no indigenous Taiwanese, who make up about 1.5 per cent of the population, ever developed SARS. HLA-B4601 is not seen among indigenous Taiwanese, they noted. ‘Interestingly, (HLA-B4601) is also seldom seen in European [or black] populations,’ they added. (Reuters, October 1, 2003) Lin said that about 10 per cent of Taiwan’s population has the HLA-B46 gene, and that these people share the same gene as other ‘southern Asians,’ including people from China’s Guangdong and Fujian provinces, and people from Hong Kong, Singapore and parts of Vietnam, where people have maintained close genetic connections over the past 400 years. (Fujian Post, September 26, 2003) WHO reports that 8098 people were infected with SARS and 774 died. In Canada, in people over 65, the death rate was nearly 50 percent.

Canada, Where Old Diseases Are New Again!

More than 2,300 paediatricians across Canada are now being asked to report each month every newly diagnosed case of vitamin D deficiency rickets … a disease … considered a ‘medical curiosity’ three decades ago. … Nutritional rickets is caused by too little calcium or vitamin D. Children need vitamin D [skin cells use the energy of sunlight to make this essential chemical] to absorb calcium to keep bones and the growth plate — the end of the bones where bones grow — healthy. Symptoms include pain, fractures, delayed walking, delayed ‘dentition,’ meaning teeth do not come in when they should, bowed legs and even seizures in severe cases. … Caught early, the condition is easily treatable with high doses of vitamin D. But if left untreated, children can be left with permanently deformed limbs and stunted height. … Rickets was once considered an ‘old disease’ often seen in the 19th century, when children were malnourished or forced to work in dark mines and factories. Now, … doctors are seeing rickets in infants from cultural groups where breast-feeding mothers are often shrouded or veiled, reducing their own sun exposure and further limiting how much vitamin D their babies may be getting from their breast milk. … The greatest risk is in medium and dark-skinned children whose skin pigmentation further blocks the ultraviolet B rays that produce vitamin D in the skin. [Another factor is that the majority of medium and dark-skinned adults are also lactose intolerant. Result?] More parents are giving their children milk substitutes [which] are not enriched with vitamin D. (National Post, September 18, 2003) People with lactose intolerance do not have enough of the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest … lactose, the sugar in dairy products. … A genetic trait causes some people to gradually make less lactase as they reach their teens or early twenties (they become increasingly lactose intolerant as they get older). Lactose deficiencies are more prevalent in certain ethnic groups, including African Americans [up to 80%], Asians, [up to 100%] Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans [up to 100%] and those of Mediterranean origin. … A person with lactose intolerance who consumes milk or other dairy products may feel abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramps, distension and/or diarrhoea. (Rutgers University Health Services, 2002) A second problem is that people can hardly bring themselves to step outside in the summer any more without fretting about skin cancer. The body has two sources of this important chemical [vitamin D]: foods such as oily fish and dairy products, and skin cells, which use those same cancer-causing UV rays to convert a precursor chemical into vitamin D3. Further processing in the liver and kidneys results in ‘active vitamin D.’ Active vitamin D’s best-known function is enabling calcium to be absorbed from the gut. Calcium plays a key role in nerve, muscle and metabolic signalling, as well as cementing bone cells together. When calcium blood levels fall, the substance is stolen from bones to stop nerves and muscles seizing up. That is why the most obvious sign of vitamin D deficiency is rickets. … But calcium metabolism is not the vitamin’s only vital role. Cells are subject to a multitude of different chemical signals, whose balance determines whether the cells should multiply or stay as they are. Over the past couple of decades, suspicions have grown that active vitamin D is an important brake on cell proliferation. If so, lack of it could predispose people to cancer, the result of cells multiplying out of control. It has been more than 20 years since active vitamin D was shown to have an anti-proliferative effect, in the lab, at least. In an experiment in 1979, leukaemia cells cultured with the vitamin matured and stopped dividing. Since then, several groups have shown a similar effect with cells from cancer of the colon, prostate, breast, lung and even skin. Now several drug firms, such as the Danish company Leo Pharmaceuticals, are developing vitamin D analogues as anti-cancer drugs. (New Scientist, August 9, 2003)

TB (Finally) Makes The A-List

There were times when our lonely vigil seemed pointless — why document Immigration Canada’s efforts to introduce as many of the world’s tubercular as possible, if (apart from our subscribers) no one cared? If insertion was the goal, the department has an unprecedented success on its hands. We’ve seen Tibetans infected with active multi-drug resistant TB griping about their complimentary housing, pre-screened, or so we were told, Kosovan Albanians infecting an unrevealed number of flight attendants and settlement workers, and court orders begging non-compliant immigrants to take their meds and refrain from spitting at ambulance attendants. The nadir was reached when 35 Canadians were infected by a Dominican super-spreader who then sued us for permitting him to enter. Plans to decommission Toronto’s West Park Sanatorium were quietly shelved as the city developed into a global TB hot spot. As always, the brain trust at Immigration Canada was utterly immune to public scrutiny; after all, Canadians do not articulate legitimate policy concerns, only hate-motivated racism. Ironically, the department has itself been chivvied about for years by an immigration industry levelling the same charge. If industry self-servers don’t actually write Canada’s immigration policy, they certainly enjoy final editorial approval. Mercifully, there is one critic not so easily batted aside: The Auditor-General warned yesterday of severe shortcomings in the medical surveillance of immigrants and new refugee claimants, saying Canadians’ health is being put at risk. Sheila Fraser said federal immigration officials are failing to notify public health officials and refugee claimants when a claimant is diagnosed with inactive tuberculosis that requires ongoing medical surveillance. … [Knowing better than the World Health Organization, our Immigration Minister insists that] only 5% of people infected with inactive TB typically will develop an active, contagious infection within one or two years. However, medical reference manuals state that 5% figure varies highly, depending on the age and health of the person carrying the inactive bacteria. Now, a refugee claimant must undergo a medical exam … performed within five days of the claim being made in Quebec, or within 60 days in Ontario. The claimants are then not under medical surveillance until their case is heard and a decision is rendered by the Immigration and Refugee Board, a process that took an average of 10.4 months in 2001-2002. … Ms. Fraser said immigration officials also do not know what percentage of economic immigrants with inactive tuberculosis or syphilis report to provincial health authorities to comply with the strict conditions attached to their entrance visas. (National Post, May 28, 2003) We write the stuff, but our readers spread the word. We should take this one as a real, concrete success: awareness of imported TB is high on the radar of even the most complacent Canadians today.

Tools For A Multicultural World

Twenty-year-old Janakan Sivalingam was chased and killed by up to 15 men wielding a wonderfully inclusive spectrum of weapons ranging from the good old hockey stick to machetes. In the peculiar parlance of law enforcement, Toronto’s 41st murder victim was known to the police, but identification cannot have been easy. According to a police source, ‘There was definitely sharp-edged weapons involved … the kid was in pretty bad shape.’ … After dozens of members of the rival VVT and AK Kannan gangs were rounded up two years ago and ordered deported to Sri Lanka, [come on, how many were deported?] it was hoped Toronto’s 200,000-strong Tamil community had seen the end of gang killings, shootings and assaults. But a spate of machete attacks in Scarborough earlier this year suggested the war had been revived. (Globe and Mail, October 10, 2003) Happily, Canadians murdered today have a better than average chance of being stabbed! Unfortunately, the murder rate actually rose last year, but the important thing is that a mere 26% were shot, 31% were stabbed and 11% strangled. Statistics Canada also notes that among accused killers last year, two-thirds had existing criminal records.

Immigration: Now With Less Enforcement!

Frustrated immigration officers say they’ve been banned by their bosses in Ottawa from conducting joint operations with police for criminal aliens because of fears of racial profiling. [Interesting dilemma when Immigration Canada notes that 60% of immigrants arriving between 1991 and 2001 hail from Asia and the Middle East] Officers nationwide said they were ordered in a directive last week not to go out with police officers in raids or regular patrols when some of the suspects are thought to be criminal immigrants, front-line agents said yesterday. The directive stems from allegations of racial profiling last Sept. 11 by two prominent Ottawa men who claimed they were subjected to immigration checks while pulled over for speeding by the OPP on Hwy. 416. Liberal businessmen Mahemud Charania, who was born in Uganda, and Raj Rasalingam, both members of the Laurier Club, filed allegations of racial profiling against the police and are threatening a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. [Did we mention, they’re prominent Liberals] That same day, Toronto Muslim leaders Ahmed Kutty, 55, and Abdool Hamid, 36, claimed they were the subject of racial profiling by U.S. officials who refused them entry into the U.S. The Canadian officers, who don’t want to be identified because they fear repercussions, said police can phone a hotline for immigration information. Immigration spokesman Rejean Cantlon said the information leaked by the officers is incorrect. (Toronto Sun, September 24, 2003) Ah, the semi-free state! Note, will you, which group is terrorized into anonymity because they fear repercussions.

Tough Luck Kid

Kenneth Eudenzie Jones has been fighting deportation to his native Jamaica since 1995. Jones was convicted in 1996 of sex offences including sexual assault and incest, according to Federal Court of Canada documents. Immigration officials argued Jones should be deported because, under a new immigration law that passed in June last year, offenders convicted of serious crimes are not allowed a deportation appeal. Jones’ lawyer told the court an appeal filed in November 1998 should be heard under the old immigration law, which allows offenders to remain in the country while their appeal is heard. … Mr. Justice Douglas Campbell [agreed, but] police officers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they hadn’t been notified of Jones’ status or where he will be staying. (Toronto Sun, July 26, 2003) Another convicted child molester who’s been fighting deportation has been given a second chance to stay in Canada. Ahmed Nasir Ali was jailed for 20 months in 1996 and placed on probation for three years for an assault and sexual interference on a 9-year-old girl, according to the Federal Court of Canada. Ali was a landed immigrant at the time and had only been in Canada for three years. He was ordered deported to his native Ethiopia when he filed an appeal to the court. Mr. Justice James O’Reilly overruled an argument by immigration counsel that Ali posed a danger to Canadians. … Immigration ‘must set out some basis for believing that the person poses such a risk,’ he ruled. ‘(Counsel) relies completely on the opinion of others.’ [Like for instance, the sentencing judge?] Court heard that Ali failed to show remorse for molesting the child, now 12, until well after the offence. (Toronto Sun, October 11, 2003)

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