Our Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, John McCallum believes that the current immigration policy is shortchanging foreign students. He proposes to give them more points in the express entry category to help them become permanent residents faster.
Being able to speak English and French and “knowing Canada” makes them the most promising group of prospective immigrants according to the minister. To accommodate them, foreign professionals with global working experience will be bumped to the back of the immigration line and our university and college graduates will bow out of their minimum wage part-time jobs in retail and hospitality industries and whoever else will employ them.
The minister (and the Liberal government) hopes to make this noble gesture in response to the repeated petitions of foreign students to give them a leg up in the express entry system. What they have ignored in the process are the desperate cries of our working-age children who are struggling to find jobs (in spite of being schooled in English and French and raised as Canadians) and their parents who now have to work longer to support them. But why should that qualify them for preferential treatment, right? Our focus is on attracting and settling new immigrants. The more we have, the more multicultural and merrier Canadian society will be. Imagine how dull and boring it would get if we only celebrated Canadian holidays and traditions. Or showcased our Canadianness instead of where we came from.
If the minister and his government were in touch with reality, they would acknowledge and adopt measures to alleviate the dismal employment scenario first. Put the house in order before inviting more people to share what is not enough for its existing inhabitants. Perhaps devote a portion of our tax dollars towards reducing post-secondary tuition expenses and making “our” students job ready with expanded co-op opportunities and incentives for employers who hire graduates.
Isn’t it interesting that the “Canadian experience” factor levels the playing field for our kids and foreign students. But wait a minute… the foreign students have a distinct advantage as many are willing to accept lower wages (even less than minimum wage) to get a foot in the door. They are also ready to work longer hours and don’t complain if exploited. Thanks to them some businesses have been able to improve their bottom line significantly, which is encouraging others to follow suit.
If the sole purpose of this government was to increase immigration, they are doing a swell job. However they need to rethink their story-telling ideas.
Many foreign students speak just enough English to get by, French is a far cry. Living and associating mostly with their own communities, they have little knowledge or intention of adopting Canadian ways.
Moreover “education” is a loophole hundreds are using to gain entry into Canada. A friend visiting his daughter at the University of British Columbia was advised by his taxi driver to take advantage of her student status to apply for permanent residency. Family reunification would take care of the rest. I’ve met a few more who proudly testify to using unfair means to avail of this method of entry.
You only have to tune in to ethnic radio and television channels to get an idea of how this opportunity is being exploited. Hundreds of immigration consultants have built their fortunes on getting “students” into the country. They will use every trick in the book to succeed. Once a precedent is set, others learn quickly.
I have nothing against foreign students, except if they take away education and employment spots from Canadian kids.
A closer look might definitely unearth discriminatory policies—but not against foreign students. In order to showcase diversity and inclusiveness many employers will bypass Canadian kids in favour of new immigrants from among the visible minority groups.
Yes, I too am an immigrant. Call me a sour one if you like. My foreign experience was a hindrance I resigned myself to in the hope that my kids would not face the same problem. Only now it seems like they would have been better off if they came in as foreign students. Perhaps I should send them back to India? After all that is where their Canadian upbringing is most likely to be appreciated!