Good Night Mr. Tom
As one of 20 surviving Chinese head tax payers, John Tom signed off on his Danegeld on Dec 1. And, unlike everyone else who ever started a new life in a new land, “was reminded of the racism and tough times he endured coming to Canada as an immigrant from China, [but] the $20,000 Tom received made the bad memories quickly fade away. ‘It was a very unfair time in my life, but $20,000 sure makes it all pretty fair now,’ joked the 70-year-old married father of six. … Tom said the money will go to house renovations. … The head tax was imposed on Chinese immigrants entering Canada between 1885-1923. A similar tax existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland between 1906-1949, before the province entered Confederation. … Tom came to Canada via Newfoundland as a 12-year-old in 1947. He and his family had to pay $300 each to enter Canada. A cook for most of his time here, Tom [gained citizenship in 1958 and] moved to Mississauga with his family in 1980. He said he, ‘took a lot of abuse along the way. If I had a nickel for every time I heard, you are not truly Canadian, I’d probably be rich today,’ said Tom.” (Mississauga News, December 2, 2006) Millions of over-taxed Canadians would consider they were rich with a $20,000 windfall in hand. As we have argued from the outset, if a head tax was the price of admission to Canada, then those who paid implicitly approved that contract. It is pure hubris to second guess policies 111 years after the fact. In the case of the Tom family, it might have been helpful to know why they went so far out of their way to pay a head tax at all: All legislation pertaining to Chinese was repealed in Canada the year the Toms paid $300 to enter via Newfoundland — not the most direct route of entry from China. As a career cook, it seems unlikely Mr. Tom would have enjoyed either home ownership or paternity of six children had he remained in China. But that’s the beauty of emotional blackmail: why resort to logic when guilt brings such tangible rewards. Pretty sweet pickings for Tom the Cook: $300 get ya $20,000 and the right to bitch and moan about hurt feelings tossed in for free. Only in Canada!
Strangely, Few Willing To “Give Back”
It always astonishes us how very few refugees and immigrants are willing to act as guarantors to others in dire need. There is no end of agitation for more government funding and easier access to Canada, but remarkably little in the way of personal commitment. The private sponsorship of refugees is essentially the work of church groups, or Canadians. “The Canadian government brings approximately 7,000 refugees to Canada each year through its government refugee sponsorship program. In addition, the Canadian public, assisted by organizations like MCC [the Mennonite Central Committee], bring in an additional 3,000 refugees each year. Since 1979, when the private sponsorship of refugees programmr began — the only program of its kind in the world — people of faith and others have extended hospitality to over 180,000 refugees. Mennonites have sponsored 50,000 of these.” (Mennonite Central Committee, November 30, 2006)
Bluenose Or Brown Nose?
One of the enduring mysteries of the immigration debacle is the heartfelt support we see from corporate Canada when they have no obvious hand in the cookie jar. Another, lesser, mystery is why exodus provinces like Nova Scotia (where November’s unemployment rate hit a 30-year low of 7.3%) are so determined that they need more — much more — immigration. Well, mystery solved: In mid-November, Cornwallis Financial, the company that manages Nova Scotia’s provincial nominee immigration programme, filed suit against the province for defamation. At issue was Nova Scotia’s “blabbing” about how that programme works: “In December 2002, the Tory government quietly awarded Cornwallis an untendered contract to run the provincial nominee programme. Under the programme, most immigrants paid a total of about $130,500 to move to Nova Scotia as economic immigrants. Local companies got $100,000 to provide newcomers with six months of work experience. Immigrants got $20,000 back in salary; Cornwallis received $10,000. The contract went unnoticed until 2005, when The Daily News published a series of stories describing the way the program was being run. … The company is suing for an unspecified amount of damages. Two days ago, Cornwallis sued the province for defamation, claiming it ‘falsely and maliciously’ posted a report by consultant Halifax Global on the province’s website, which made claims about the Cornwallis-run programme that hurt the company’s reputation.” (Halifax Daily News, November 18, 2006) So that’s $130,500 to buy your way in; $100,000 to the “employer” to give you 6-months work experience; $20,000 diverted to provide for your work experience salary; $10,000 for Cornwallis to pocket, and a whopping $500 for the province to presumably meet immigrant upkeep, health, education and settlement needs. Wow, what’s the catch?
Here’s how it was in the year 2000: “Immigration applicants are awarded points based on whether their occupation appears on a list of occupations in demand. The list is usually outdated; the current one – last changed in 1997 – includes barbers, bakers and potters [hairdressers, gunsmiths and airline ramp attendants. But] a new immigration act unveiled by federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan in April aims to address part of the problem. ‘The new system won’t select immigrants based on occupation,’ says Mark Davidson, acting director of economic policy and programmes with CIC. ‘But if someone has experience in a highly skilled occupation with transferable skills, they will qualify.'” (Canadian Business News, June 26, 2000) By 2006, the moping proctologist-turned-cab-driver has become a permanent feature of the landscape, the “brain waste” has elbowed aside Canada’s centuries-old “brain drain” problem and every foreigner swinging a mop, fermenting tofu or plucking chickens wants to know why. For the first time in this nation’s history, newcomers don’t ask for the bare chance of a new life. They demand a guaranteed breakthrough on the career front with immediate prospects for promotion — in a day when fewer than ever arrive conversant with English and even low-end photocopiers can turn out credible looking diplomas in seconds. In short, the decision to base admission on transferable skills has been the most enduring disaster of Elinor Caplan’s disaster-prone turn at the helm. Ruinous immigration policy concocted by Ottawa and left to the provinces and municipalities to sort out may be nothing new, but chronic failure does not normally bring out the best in people: Ontario, the province overwhelmingly lumbered with under-performing newcomers, already sinks $53 million annually into occupation-specific ESL upgrading, $34 million into so-called bridge training programmes for professionals and another $40 million annually to help foreign trained doctors qualify in Ontario. On November 10, the federal immigration minister announced a $307-million increase in settlement funding over the next two years. But evidently this massive siphoning of tax dollars still fails to deliver the goods. So, it’s on to Plan B — coercion. Bill 124, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, introduced June 8, has already passed second reading. When the bill passes third and final reading — and that seems depressingly probable — the province will direct and control scores of once-independent regulatory bodies that were strong on professional standards, and not so hot on the self esteem movement. Under Bill 124, the provincial government will “oversee and set provincial standards for the process of accrediting foreigners in 34 registered professions in Ontario; appoint a fairness commissioner to enforce its standards; fine individuals up to $50,000 and corporations $100,000 for not complying; set up an access centre to provide information, internships and mentorships for immigrants.” (CBC, November 9, 2006) If these were genuinely good ideas, would the default position really always be malignant threats of dire consequences, crippling fines, the prospect of jail time and certain ruination?
Because Baby Boomers aged over the course of a single weekend, there was obviously no possible way Ottawa could have seen it coming. In recent years, there has been a lot of garment rending on the Rideau because there is absolutely nothing Ottawa can now do to encourage native births in anticipation of a demographic crunch due to hit us in 2050 (even though children born nine months from now would be close to retiring themselves by that time). In reality, the costs associated with immigrant settlement are so astronomical Ottawa could offer parents bonanza birth incentives and still pocket a substantial chunk of change. But for decades now, Ottawa’s one-size-fits-all prescription has been immigration and more immigration — but is it a cure? Not really, says a new study from the CD Howe Institute: “Current fertility rates, current immigration levels and moderately rising life expectancy show the ratio of the population age 65 and over to the population of traditional working age (18–64) rising from 20 percent in 2006 to 46 percent in 2050. … From 1972 to 1986, Canada admitted 130,000 immigrants on average per year. The numbers then rose steadily, peaking at 267,000 in 1993. From 1994 to 2004, immigration averaged 220,000 a year, or 0.72 percent of the population. In 2005, it was 262,000. … In late 2005, former federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Joe Volpe justified a prospective increase in immigration targets … equal to approximately 1 percent of the population. Today, that would mean about 320,000 immigrants per year, a 45 percent increase over the average level of the past 10 years. [However,] demographic research has shown that a constant inflow of immigrants, even relatively young ones, does not necessarily rejuvenate low-fertility populations; in fact, it may in the long term actually contribute to population ageing. [In a watershed work published in Demography, Nov 1992, author Carl Schmertmann demonstrated that, although fertility increase and immigration are equally effective at halting population decline, immigration is inferior as a means of rejuvenating low-fertility populations. In fact, an immigration-based policy could make a low-fertility population older rather than younger. The new CD Howe study spins out several different scenarios. One of the most interesting asks what kind of immigration rate would actually maintain the old-age dependency ratio at today’s level — 20%] The old-age dependency ratio is calculated as population age 65 and up divided by population age 18–64. … The required increase is immediate and colossal: immigration would rise to 2.5 per cent of the population by 2010, 4.4 percent of the population [in new admissions each year] by 2012 and 4.7 percent by 2020 (at which point Canada’s population would be 56.6 million and immigration 2.6 million). After 2020, the dynamics of reproduction and ageing among the newly arrived immigrants reduce the required inflow to about 2 percent of the population in 2040; then, it rises again, surpassing 4 percent of the population by 2050. In this scenario, Canada’s population in 2050 would stand at 165.4 million and immigration would be above 7 million a year. … Even if such huge numbers of people were available, the sensitive question of the suitability of their education, skills and aptitudes for Canada’s economy and society would become pressing. An effort to draw people in on such a scale would surely require Canada to become much less selective. [Surely, they mean even less selective?] Immigrants’ labour-force participation rates currently trail those of the native-born by more than six percentage points for men and seven percentage points for women (OECD, 2005). [And, wait for it] advances in longevity and shifts toward later workforce entry and less physically demanding occupations mean that today the lifetime equivalent of working until age 65 in 1970 is working until at least age 70. Yet, for a variety of reasons, not least the incentives in many private and public pension plans, people are retiring earlier than they did in 1970. A later average or standard retirement age would redefine the old-age dependency ratio. … Even a modest and gradual change in the normal work and retirement pattern would do more over the next four decades to reduce the old-age dependency ratio than even quite extreme changes to immigration policy. Increasing immigration to 320,000 a year [1% of the population] without varying its age distribution would slow the rise in the old-age dependency ratio only marginally. And raising immigration to this level while trying to select only very young immigrants with children, so as to lower dramatically the average age of immigrants, would still not prevent a historic rise in the dependency ratio. Only extreme and unpalatable policies, such as rapidly increasing immigration from less than 1 percent of the population to well over 3 percent for decades, could come close to stabilizing the ratio. There are many reasons besides concern about population ageing that might lead Canadians to welcome more immigrants. The country’s physical and cultural wealth was built largely by immigrants, and immigrants themselves are generally much better off here than in their countries of origin.” (No Elixir of Youth: Immigration Cannot Keep Canada Young, CD Howe Institute, September 2006) Immigrants are generally much better off here than in their countries of origin? Now there’s a thought to warm the cockles as we labour into our dotage.
Tony Blair, Realist
Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume said: “When men are most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken.” In other words, politicians in power may preach the gospel of multiculturalism, but let their fortunes tank and they rapidly discover what their subjects are thinking. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair‘s approval rating a stunning 87%, he told Britons on Oct. 2, 2001: “We celebrate the diversity in our country, get strength from the cultures and the races that go to make up Britain today.” Now, with an approval rating of just 32 per cent — his party’s worst showing since the heyday of Thatcherism 19 years ago — Blair is not so sure. Three days after the abysmal ratings were announced, he said essentially what we have been saying for years: non-traditional immigration imposes profound, often deleterious changes on societies undergoing rapid transformation, and at the very least, we must be free to discuss our straitened circumstances. Speaking on June 24, he blamed “mass migration for rising crime and the decay of British society. In a hard-hitting speech the Prime Minister paves the way for big changes to a justice system ‘mocked’ by criminals. He will signal more fast-track justice and see law shifted to favour victims and away from protecting suspects and crooks. … The PM says the era of mass migration, which began after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, triggered ‘seismic’ social changes round the world [including] global terrorism based on a perversion of Islam.'” (The Mirror, June 23, 2006) What Blair said was: “As a result of the scale and nature of this seismic change, the challenges faced by the criminal justice and immigration systems have grown exponentially, not in a small way but in a way that, frankly, mocks a system built not for another decade but another age. [Let alone another people!] So, we end up fighting 21st century problems with 19th century solutions. … There is no point in saying to an overworked immigration officer: deport this foreign criminal to country X, if country X is dangerous; because, at present, the courts won’t allow it and the officer is met with an army of lawyers and a system stacked against him. In theory, he might, just might be able to win it eventually. In practice, he’ll look to remove other people. Take an even harder case: failed asylum seekers. We were being hammered for not removing enough failed asylum seekers … then came the Zimbabwe case. [In 2005, a three judge panel on Britain’s equivalent of the IRB ruled that, even though an unidentified refugee had been ‘fraudulent’ and ‘deliberately dishonest,’ the claimant entertained a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’ and must not be returned.] We got hammered for even contemplating such a thing by the very politicians who previously had been complaining about removals. But what happened? In the month after that case, asylum claims from Zimbabwe rose 50 per cent. In other words, because of the way modern mass migration works, the moment the system received a signal, it reacted and numbers immediately went up.” Whatever your opinion of Tony Blair, top marks for acknowledging that migrants, claimants and smugglees can be exploiters in their own right. We wait without much hope for any Canadian politician to be as honest.
In Canada’s immigration/refugee industry there may be 115 words for “yes” and no word for “no,” but somehow the geniuses in Ottawa can’t seem to get even the motherhood issues right. “The number of asylum seekers who managed to cross the U.S.-Canadian border and file a refugee claim here dropped by a whopping 55 per cent last year, a government review of the two-year-old Safe Third Country Agreement has found. … Questions were raised in a parliamentary committee before the agreement was implemented about possible harm to refugees, particularly women fleeing gender-based violence — which Canada recognizes as a valid basis for asylum — and a potential increase in human smuggling. Neither was examined in the review, says the Canadian Council for Refugees.” (Toronto Star, November 17, 2006) To which we must ask, with such a dismal record in place, how can the CCR tell? To counter retrograde forms of enrichment like enforced purdah, wife beatings, wife burnings, revenge rapes, honour killings and female genital mutilation, “Canada started a Women at Risk programme in 1987, and women have been admitted through this programme since 1988. From 1988 to 1991, however, the total number of people admitted under this programme, including women as well as their family members, was very small (391), representing only 0.3% of all UN convention refugees and members of designated groups admitted during that period. … Estimates of the percentage of world refugees who are women and children range between 75% and 85%. [But] among those admitted to Canada as permanent residents on humanitarian grounds during the past decade (UN convention refugees and members of designated groups), there were over one and a half times as many men as women.” (Canada’s Refugee Flows, StatsCan, February 6, 2004) And speaking of letting down the ladies, it’s estimated that 8,000 to 16,000 of them are shuffled into this country as sexual chattels every year. The US State Department has called Canada’s record fighting human trafficking one of the world’s worst. (Human trafficking is the flesh trade; human smuggling is where you pay an agent to sneak you into Canada. Enriching isn’t it?) Canada did not even recognize human trafficking as an offence before the Immigration Act was amended Nov. 1/01. No one has been convicted under the law. This country’s tiresome posturing as a moral paragon would not really come to light until a Romanian lap-dancer and part-time campaign envelope-licker turned the spotlight on Judy Sgro‘s visas-for-strippers programme. And just to clarify, jiggle-visas were not scuttled in Dec/04 as we have been told, but persist today in a revised and infinitely more complex form that provides steady work for legions of immigration consultants, Immigration and HRDC bureaucrats and so-called talent scouts and booking agents. Ironically, political correctness has corrupted even Canada’s seamy underbelly. Here, the local talent is invariably referred to as “sex workers,” as if Canadian women are exhibitionists and danger junkies who luxuriate in the freedom to perform lap dances and troll mean streets (even as these Canadian “sex workers” complain that they are consistently coerced into underpaid or unsafe situations by the willingness of foreign girls to do it all and do it cheaper.) At the same time, even the most hard-bitten B-girl is automatically an exploited victim, if not an outright “sex slave,” if she was born outside Canada. On Thursday, December 7, when 108 people were arrested in raids on 18 Vancouver area massage parlours, “Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day issued a statement praising the raids by the RCMP. ‘We were able to expose these operations, help victims in need, and halt criminals in their tracks,’ Day’s statement said. According to the RCMP, police targeted parlours suspected of having connections to the sex trade, organized crime and human trafficking operations. Police say some of the women working in the parlours were brought to Canada as sex slaves. ‘Victims are exploited and controlled through fear and debt and forced to work in the sex trade generating large sums of money for organized crime,’ RCMP Supt. Bill Ard said. But women from one business visited by CTV News on Saturday insisted that they are not victims of human trafficking. [In fact,] many of those businesses were open for business as usual on Saturday [and] no charges have been laid. Police have released the 108 people they arrested. … Pressed to demonstrate that the women were being held in Canada against their will, authorities admitted all of those arrested are in Canada legally [and] none of the parlour workers appear to be underage. … And because none have said they were exploited, it’s unclear how the police investigation will proceed. According to … Canada Border Services Agency, officials do not deport victims of human trafficking from the country. ‘Under the new guidelines and laws, these victims can be issued temporary residence permits by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.” (CTV, December 9, 2006) So, foreign-born whores automatically qualify for fast track citizenship with special protections because we designate them exploited victims, even when they bound back to work two days after completely pointless raids to “liberate” them?
What About A Gang Registry?
“Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That”
Multiculturalism, Still Blighting Lives After All These Years
“It is widely assumed that the uniformity of medical training across different cultures leads to uniformity of skills and values regarding illness. [In the UK, however,] Asian GPs are reported to be poorer detectors of morbidity among Asian patients. Difficulties of assessment by Asian GPs may not be restricted to Asian patients and may reflect the fact that the cultural views of practitioners can influence the assessment and clinical management of mental disorders. The health professional’s own explanatory model of illness and its influence on his or her practice have not received adequate attention. [You may be saying, ‘So how does this affect my cab driver?’ but consider the impact when the UK, US and Canada are routinely castigated because Blacks are pulled over while driving, remanded, incarcerated and figure in violent scuffles with police at rates wildly out of proportion to their actual share of the population. Either the entire West conspires in a shared, if wholly unconscious bias, or there is some other explanation.]
African–Caribbean men are known to be overrepresented in secure units, among remand populations and in sentenced prison populations. [For instance,] among patients admitted to secure units in England and Wales, 20% were African–Caribbean. … A survey examining decisions made about remanded people on the basis of psychiatric reports demonstrated that 37% of White defendants were granted bail and only 13% of the Black group. In certain areas of the UK, Black men are more likely to receive a custodial sentence than their White counterparts [and] Black defendants received a smaller range of disposals after court appearance. [And if one group consistently presents as violent and/or disoriented? Consider that] rates of admission with schizophrenia and affective psychoses for African–Caribbeans are 3–13 times the rates for White patients. … In a sample of remanded mentally disordered offenders, 17.6% of White, 68.8% of Black Caribbean, 43.8% of Black African, 58.3% of Black British and 42.1% of other non-White ethnic groups had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. … One explanation is a lack of intervention by community mental health services early in the course of an illness. Other possible explanations are that African–Caribbeans are actually more violent when they present with mental health problems, or that they are perceived to be so. Another explanation is non-recognition of signs of illness (by patient, family, GP or psychiatrist) until they are more severe. …
We must conclude that either African–Caribbean groups are no different in their presentation and the risks posed but that they are assessed to carry higher risks associated with distress, or that African–Caribbeans, when distressed and developing psychoses, do present with more violence. … Non-recognition of mental illness by health care professionals may reflect a mismatch between the patient’s cultural expression of distress and the signs and symptoms sought by the clinician as manifestations of particular diagnostic syndromes. For example, visual hallucinations are reported to be more common among West African patients with schizophrenia. Conversely, culturally sanctioned and acceptable distress experiences may attract pathological explanations from professionals. First-rank symptoms may not have the same diagnostic significance across cultures. What psychiatrists call ‘paranoid beliefs’ have culturally sanctioned value among African and West Indian groups, and the assignation of pathological significance to them may therefore be flawed.
Paranoia and religious content to beliefs are more common among West Indians and West Africans. … Non-detection of disorders by GPs and difficulty in managing disorders in primary care settings, increases the likelihood that patients in crisis will come into contact with non-health-related agencies (police or forensic services).” (Kamaldeep Bhui and Dinesh Bhugra, Mental illness in Black and Asian ethnic minorities, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2002) 8: 26-33, Royal College of Psychiatrists) Once again, good old multiculturalism manages to fail everyone in sight: while some doctors misdiagnose mental disorders because they can’t see past their own cultural baggage, the worst are so marinated in political correctitude that they dismiss disordered behaviours as “culturally sanctioned” phenomena. And, of course, we are all the more vulnerable because of it, but when well over 50 per cent of Black prisoners (regardless of geographical origin) suffer from schizophrenia alone, perhaps it is family doctors — and not the police — who should be fielding the tough questions about misguided cultural sensitivity, Black violence and incarceration rates.