Dear Immigration Reformer:
Liberal MP Maria Minna, battling for her political life against a strong NDP challenge in her East End Toronto riding, now proposes yet another taxpayer fleecing scheme to benefit poorly screened newcomers. Now, we should pay, says she, less-than qualified “engineers and other professionals to help establish them in their fields in Canada. … ‘Lets face it, even (some of the) immigrants who do have credentials recognized … they still can’t get the right jobs,’ she said. ‘There’s still racism … and stigmatization in this society whether we like it or not.’” (Toronto Star, January 12, 2006). Racism? So, that’s it. Businesses would rather do without an engineer than hire an Indian of Chinese? In 2006? That’s nonsense. What we’re talking about is people without the full qualifications and, more likely, ones with little or no English. Language skills are essential.
CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) brays that Canada admitted 15,000 “engineers” in 2000. According to the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, somewhere between 10,000 and 11,000 Canadians were graduated from engineering schools that same year. If Canadian-trained engineers have, until now, been reasonably content to compete with overwhelming numbers of foreign-trained engineers swamping and/or undercutting the market, who can blame them if they now decide to throw in their cards and head for greener pastures? Maria Minna — instrumental in bringing so damn many unemployables into this country — now wants the tax payer to pay them a “salary” as an incentive to get their credentials up to snuff.
If we need such professionals, why not subsidize scholarships for Canadian students? Why must taxpayers’ money be spent to subsidize foreigners to get qualified. Once again, immigration as run buy the Liberals is one colossal drain on the taxpayers — a minimum of $18-billion a year, according to Prof. Herb Grubel in a recent report for the Fraser Institute.
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, Canada.
Aid urged for foreign professionals
(Toronto Star, Jan. 12, 2006.)
Ottawa should pay part of the initial salaries of immigrant engineers and other professionals to help establish them in their fields in Canada, a Toronto Liberal MP told a debate on social issues yesterday.
Even if their degrees are accepted in Canada, or required upgrades have been completed, foreign-trained professional still face roadblocks to gaining appropriate employment in this country, Beaches-East York candidate Maria Minna told a Community and Social Planning Council of Toronto forum yesterday.
“Lets face it, even (some of the) immigrants who do have credentials recognized … they still can’t get the right jobs,” she said.
“There’s still racism … and stigmatization in this society whether we like it or not,” said Minna, who is in a tough fight for her seat in the Jan. 23 election against high-profile challenger Marilyn Churley of the New Democratic Party.
Minna, chair of the Liberals’ social policy committee, suggested the federal government should set up a “bridge” fund that would encourage employers to hire immigrant professionals by helping to pay their initial wages.
She said her government had run a similar, successful program for Canadian students to help them gain experience in the workplace. “We need to do that with immigrant people,” Minna said. “We no longer have a brain drain in this country, we have a brain waste and the brain waste of immigrant people is even worse.”
Churley was originally scheduled to debate Minna at yesterday’s downtown YMCA event. But she was replaced earlier this week by Toronto Centre NDP candidate and social activist Michael Shapcott.
Organizers say the Conservative party declined to supply a candidate for the debate, while a scheduled Green party representative didn’t show up.
Shapcott criticized the Liberals for their social policy record but agreed that new immigrants need more help assimilating into Canadian jobs and society.
He told the audience that during door-to-door campaigning, 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.”
Shapcott said his party would use the federal unemployment insurance surplus for professional retraining and initial employment projects.