By Sabrina Almeida
Mississauga, October 9 (CINEWS): Jobs and immigration are top of mind of all Canadians and even more so for immigrants who are struggling to get a foothold in their new country. Many of those I spoke with are in no mood to be charitable given the current economic scenario although they will not go on record. They don’t want to be branded as uncharitable or worst still racist, or be lectured about “opportunity”.
For them the reality is the shrinking job market and rising prices of housing, food, gas and everything in between. With full-time positions becoming almost a mirage it’s a fight for survival. Even part-time positions are harder to find given the growing number of unemployed. And the youth almost don’t stand a chance when competing with experienced baby boomers who need to work longer.
With the prospect of layoffs and unemployment hang over their heads like a sword every day their focus is on making the ends meet not charity. As the Canadian economy stumbles and finds it difficult to support the existing population, they can’t imagine bringing in more people whether it is through the regular immigration channels or as refugees. Given a chance they’d start a campaign of their own telling prospective immigrants to reconsider their decision to come here.
For them it means more competition for work and longer wait times for healthcare services. You could look at it as selfish or being logical. But the fact is political rhetoric about there being enough to go around is not about to sway them. They face the reality every day and don’t need job numbers to know what’s going on.
Immigration is always key and even more important in this federal elections. Whether or not they support a party’s immigration policies is largely based on ground-level needs not the global Canadian image the politicians are trying to impress on us.
The extended campaign has unveiled party platforms and leaders for a close-up view of what they really stand for. It’s hard to keep up the act and with the gloves coming off there we have seen more than one stumble. The ultimate
knockout will be delivered on October 19.
Will divisive politics work? Some voters believe it’s political suicide given our multiculturalism policy. Security they can understand, intolerance of cultural differences they will not support. As a one gentleman said today it’s the
headdress tomorrow it could be the hairstyle. We have bigger things to worry about than what people wear.
Can ethnic candidates sway the communal vote? They’ve tried and headed into dangerous territory overstepping provincial and federal jurisdictions. I’d like to believe that today’s immigrant voter is more well-informed and therefore smarter. That they will realize that candidates are less likely to be able to influence the party stance no matter what they promise and how sympathetic they seem to be while on the campaign trial.
Federal candidates cannot influence provincial issues, like the sex-ed curriculum for instance. It’s wrong to even pretend they can. An issue of misrepresentation here!
Will it be a close call? For the voters definitely, if not the parties! With less than ten days to go many are less close to making a decision than they were a few weeks ago. Some are so undecided that they are even considering not
voting. We would not encourage that. Exercise your democratic right to have a say in who takes over the reins. Advanced polls being today. Election day is Monday, October 19.
In the meanwhile, party leaders had better watch their steps as previous loyalties mean little and voters will not hesitate to crossover.