Why Canadians want limits on immigration level

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Pradip Rodrigues

This is an election year and in recent weeks the Federal Liberals seem to be ramping up immigration numbers in direct opposition to what a majority of Canadians seek- a limits on immigration numbers. After all the Liberals are probably betting that opening the floodgates to immigrants and refugees under their watch will buy loyalty among these future voters.

But that strategy could prove to backfire badly. Sixty-three per cent of respondents to a recent Leger poll said the government should prioritize limiting immigration levels because the country might be reaching a limit in its ability to integrate them.

Just 37 per cent said the priority should be on growing immigration to meet the demands of Canada’s expanding economy.

But instead of hitting pause and doing an honest audit on immigration and how it is working out for both immigrants and the larger Canadian society, our Immigration Minister finds it concerning that Canadians want limits on immigration numbers. The minister says he’s heard quite the opposite from employers across the country who are in desperate need of workers. Aha, employers. And economists and experts as well who widely agree that immigration is key to meeting labour and population shortages. If only the government could post a list of all these employers who are desperately seeking employees, Canadians could then decide whether or not the country is in genuine need for large number of immigrants. They would also get an idea just what kind of employees these employers are looking for, e.g.: skilled or unskilled.

We have hundreds of thousands of international students “studying” in Canada, are these students not in a position to fill in these positions? I keep hearing about Canada attracting the brightest and best students from around the world, shouldn’t these employers be lining up outside institutions such as Sheridan College, Brampton with job offers for these ‘International students’? If they did so, these students wouldn’t be condemned to work at sweatshops for less than minimum wage. Another valid question to be asked is whether international students in Canada are pursuing courses that will lead to them satisfying the needs of those so-called employers desperate to find employees.

I think what Canadians are concerned about are the number of international students who don’t seem to have highly specialized skills leave alone language skills.

I think Canadians have reason to wonder why so few so-called “irregular border crossers” ever get deported and whether or not the government is doing a good job ensuring that only genuine asylum seekers get into the country.

Canadians are also worried about the ability of communities to absorb more newcomers due to housing and other infrastructure shortages, however our immigration minister believes that cutting the number of immigrants flowing in isn’t the solution. Instead he believes better infrastructure would be one of the things that could assuage the concerns of Canadians.

Last week a reader Gurpreet Kainth sent a letter echoing the concerns of millions of Canadians. In his letter to us, Gurpreet outlined his concerns about the declining quality of life in Brampton. “The average commute time for 13 to 14 Km was 20 minutes in the year 2015 has now increased to 45 minutes or more in rush hours. The parking problem has increased during weekends at major shopping places. You need to spend more time in grocery and any other shopping in major stores as the lines are getting long to pay for your shopping bill. The prices of houses are not affordable for most of the people in Brampton.”

And all this he pinned on the ‘huge population of international students coming to Canada especially in Brampton city.’

“These young people using student visas to get only the entry to this country and not for study. It works like, student visa then work permit followed by an application for PR. Married people are coming on a student visa and if not married they get married soon after entering the country and sponsor their spouse. So, this is a big reason for an increase in population in city Brampton and making this city’s quality of life poor.

These International students are good for people who give their basement to them for rent (leads to increase in house prices), the entrepreneur who hire them on low wage (this leads to the job market), people who sell their cars to them (and this leads to more cars on the road). Overall Brampton residents are forced to live in an overpopulated city and soon other cities will face the same if this exploitation of immigration system will not stop,” he said in the letter.

The fact is that it is not just ‘old stock Canadians’ who worry about the impact of unlimited immigration but new Canadians as well.

It would help if the next government who wins the federal elections did not dismiss the fears Canadians are voicing regarding immigration. The good news is there is support for immigration for now, limits on immigration will ensure that the support does not erode. -CINEWS

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