Canada being a relatively new country, as far as the history of theworld goes was built by immigration. Every single resident of North America cantrace his ancestry back to the cradle of life in Europe. Even Native Americansfound their way to the new world over a frozen ice pack, spreading out acrossthe land, weaving a rich culture and prospering. The Canada that we know todaybegan only in the last 200 years. Settlers poured in from all over the world,tempted with free land and religious liberty Europeans settled in Canada by thethousands. They brought with them traditions and a legal system modeled afterthe English governments.
Although is undeniable that Immigration made Canada into the strongnation that it is, I feel that Immigration as it is set up these days does notbuild our country but tears it down. The open gates policy implemented by ourgovernment leaves the Canadian social system wide open to be abused by would-bemigrants in other countries. It is quite obvious that the system currentlyrunning is quite imperfect.This paper will attempt to show flaws in Canada’simmigration policy and suggest new policy’s which fit better with Canada’ssocial landscape.All over the world populations are growing at tremendous rates.Nothing in this world happens by accident, the populations are moving becausethey expect an increase in quality of life in the new country.
Country’s allover the world view Canada as a great place to live, the United Nations billsCanada as the best place to live. When third world people look at their presentsituations, they think that they could instantly improve their surroundings bymoving to Canada. By pure logic it would seem like madness to open Canada’sdoors wide open to any immigrant which wishes to come to Canada. We would beswamped! But that is precisely what Canada has done. There is no end in sight.
With a growing world population more and more people will see Canada as thepremier place to live and will come flocking to our gates.Many Canadian’s do not agree with the current immigration policy our theidea that we should let even more immigrants in.Many issues need to bedebated and settled such as should we allow further immigration into Canada, towhat degree should immigrants segregate or integrate, who should be allowed toimmigrate, and on what conditions. These are very serious questions and theanswers to them will have a profound effect on life in Canada and indeed allover the world.Until the great depression at the beginning of the century Canada hadencouraged immigration from Europe, especially Britain. During the GreatDepression Immigration was brought to a halt, the reason being that foreignworkers coming to Canada looking for jobs were unwanted.
Bands of men roamedthe country searching for any kind of work. After W.W.II Canada’s economy grewso fast that thousands of immigrants were let in, mostly from Europe. The timein-between Canada shut it’s gate to when it reopened them is called the firstgreat digestion period.
A period with no immigrants allowed Canada to set up social programs,make jobs, and integrate the existing new citizens into our economy. SinceW.W.II the basic immigration policy has remained the same with no such period,we have steadily let larger numbers of foreigners into our country. In the past60 years there has been no such period and the population has outgrown the jobbase. One of the main arguments that immigration enthusiasts use is thatImmigrants will fill jobs and produce more then they consume. At this momentCanada has upwards of eleven percent unemployment.
What use do we possibly havefor thousands of new people flooding the job market. Our economy needs tostrengthen and grow so it can support itself before we burden our welfare systemby bringing in more unneeded workers.The issue of immigration is permanently with Canada and importantbecause every single Canadian can trace his lineage back to an immigrantsomewhere. The flow of people into Canada is not going to stop unless we passand bill to make immigration standards tougher.
Lately there has been amovement to remove discriminatory law from the Canadian constitution and it isgetting so we are too politically correct. In 1996 so many Asians floodedVancouver that a separate school system had too be set up to accommodate thesestudents who would not learn English or fit into the full English schools. Thisrepresents astronomical costs to British Columbia’s already stretchededucational system all because Canada does not regulate the flow of immigrantsfrom any country. This type of law would be “discriminatory”. Another exampleof where Canada’s polite policy falls short of common sense is that we letcancer patients, and people who carry the virus that leads to AIDS into ourcountry where they are sure to cost thousands of dollars to our health caresystem, and those with the virus could pass it on. Common sense says that if aimmigrant is going to cost a lot of money to support and then die withoutcontributing to the society then that immigrant should not be granted entrance.If Canada wants to keep it’s status as a wealthy country, and a goodplace to live it had better modify it’s immigration policy.
Canada’smulticultural policy where immigrant’s are not expected to assimilate and theunchecked flow of immigrants from countries abroad has led to visible minoritiesin Canada which do not want to be “Canadian”, but want to set up communitieslike the ones they once occupied in their old countries. The Doukhobour sect inCanada declares “They have never given, nor will they ever give their votesduring elections, thereby are free from any responsibility before God or man forthe acts of any government established by men”A truly assimilated immigrant would be unrecognizable in the hostsociety. There are essentially 2 types of assimilation, the first of which isbehavioral assimilation. In behavioral assimilation all minority groups adhereto the values of the majority and behave accordingly. This theory could beapplied to the American model. Immigrants are expected to learn English, dress,and behave like “Americans” do.
The second type of assimilation is structural assimilation. In thissystem all groups in the society have equal access and utilize the sameinstitutions, and social structures but do not necessarily behave or believealike. This theory is especially well adept to describing the Canadianmulticultural system. It has been argued that by keeping their old identitiesimmigrants “enrich and strengthen” our society. What this has ultimatelyresulted in is isolating these groups from society. When we think of what beingCanadian means, no one is quite sure.Multiculturalism has resulted in several visible minorities.
Theseminority’s because they generally vote together control a considerable portionof the vote. One of the best examples of this is The French speaking populationis the province of Quebec. The population of Quebec makes up about thirtypercent of the Canadian population yet has succeeded in running the Canadianagenda for over 30 years. Politicians scrambling to please this large sectionof voting power has given Quebec a level of power and voice in the federalgovernment that is ridiculous and bordering on dangerous.
Quebec has demandedspecial status, gets four new seats in the house of commons at every census andhas set up discriminatory language laws in the province in order to keep it’sown English minority under check. This is a prime example of how a minority hasrefused to assimilate and ends up causing problems for a country.The more functions that a ethnic group can perform inside a closedcommunity the less obligation it’s members will feel to learn the law, language,and traditions of the host culture. This creates a isolated communities wherethe people of the community don’t feel part of the society in which they live.One solution for this is to spread immigration from a country out over ourcountry, this would prevent closed community’s to a large degree. Whenimmigrants come they swear allegiance to Canada and they should respect ourculture and try to fit in a little bit.The plain fact is that immigration is bad for the economy.
The majorityof immigrants that come to Canada have no material possessions at all.Screening immigrants based on wealth is illegal by our constitution. Before theImmigrants arrived on Canada’s shores there was already 11% of Canada’s citizenswhich had no jobs. With each new arriving immigrant this figure will increase.In 1990, spent $16 billion more in welfare payments to immigrants that they paidback in taxes.
Perhaps what is most disturbing is that immigrants feel they cansteel from us in order to maintain a high standard of life in our country,immigrants compose 25 percent of the prisoners in federal penitentiaries, whichour taxes support.The fact is that the immigration problem is not going to go away. By2050 third world country’s with 245 million people will have populationdensity’s of 1,700 people per km2.Our cities are already flooded withmillions of jobless immigrants annually, this problem is only going to get worse.
As the citizens in a democracy we must give the government a mandate to shutdown, or slow down as much as possible immigration! Canada does not have a lotof money to share with the worlds poor, we have created a system which makesmoney and we cannot let immigration get in the way of the welfare of Canada’scitizens. If a potential immigrant can show convincingly that he can bring ameaningful contribution to our country’s welfare he is welcomed, but thepractice of letting immense amounts of immigrants must be brought to a halt.Bibliography1. Curran, Thomas; Xenophobia And Immigration.
Boston: Twayne, 1975.2. Globerman, Steven; Immigration Delemma. Vancouver: Fraser, 1992.3. Hawkins, Freda; Canada and Immigration. Montreal: McGill, 1970.
4. Knowles, Valerie; Strangers at Our Gates. Toronto: Dundurn,1992.5. Malarek, Victor; Haven’s Gate.
Toronto: Macmillan, 1987.6. Munro, Iain; Immigration. Toronto: Wiley, 1941.7. Norris, John; Strangers Entertained.
Vancouver: Evergreen, 1971.8. Sharma, Satya; Immigrants and Refugees In Canada. Saskatchewan; University,1991.9.
Sillars, Les. “Something Stinks In Immigration.” Alberta Report, August 12,1996, pp. 12.10.
Stoffman, Daniel. “Canada’s Farcical Refugee System.” Readers Digest, Sept.1995, pp. 53-57.
11. Taylor, Rupert; Canada and the World. Waterloo; Ebsco, 1994. Category: History