Tuesday, May 10, 2011

3 Reasons Why Canada's Immigration System is Broken

1. When we immigrated there seemed to be a value to speaking either English or French before you immigrated to Canada.

Now it seems there's lots of immigrants here who not only can NOT speaking either of those languages, but have no desire to learn.

Example: If you go to a No Frills in Scarborough, Ontario, for example, the lady behind the fish counter has no idea how to speak English. Ask her a question, she doesn't know how to respond, and will call someone else who also speaks very limited English. You point to the fish, say "small or large pieces" and they cut it for you. And this type of customer experience is now becoming widespread in parts of Toronto.

2. It used to be multiculturalism. Now it's being dominated by a few immigrant groups.

Canada used to be a magnet for immigrants from across the world. Yet now, attend a citizenship ceremony in Toronto, and it's dominated by immigrants from one or two ethnicities. And not only that, these groups seem to go out of their way to not mix with other groups.

Example: You will never see a non-desi working in a desi store, or a non-Chinese worker at a Chinese store. Why?

3. Immigrants are being denied work opportunities and discriminated against daily.

I don't need to link to studies or research here to prove what every immigrant knows is a fact of life.

Why is an engineer serving fast food?

Why is a doctor driving a taxi?

Why is an MBA cleaning rooms?

Canada imports qualified immigrants to do cheap labour, thus robbing the developing countries of their talent pool, while wasting them here. The Canadian boards that govern doctors, engineers, and other "licensed" boards make immigrants run around circles for years in a desperate quest to do what they are adequately trained to do.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Why Rana Sarkar Lost Scarborough Rouge-River

When stalwarts like Yasmin Ratansi can lost in Don Valley East, no Liberal riding was safe in the GTA. Yet, Scarborough Rouge-River was one riding Liberals could have held on. Instead, the Liberal candidate Rana Sarkar lost to NDP's Rathika Sitsabaiesan (18,856 votes and 40.5 per cent support). In fact, he came third, with Conservative Marlene Gallyot placing second (source: The Star).

Having grown up there, and knowing many of the families through sports and recreational meets, here's why I think the Liberals lost.

1. Well known and liked MP Derek Lee was standing down, so there was no incumbency factor.

2. Rana Sarkar was relatively unknown; in fact I am told he lives downtown (so was not even a resident of the area). Rathika Sitsabaiesan was someone who lives in the area and was involved in activism (she was involved in the University of Toronto student council).

3. Rana Sarkar was an Indian-Candian in a riding that has a huge Tamil population. In fact, I felt someone else, preferably a Tamil candidate, should have taken Derek Lee's position. My choice would have been Shamoon Poonawala, someone close to Derek Lee's campaign, and also a Tamil. In fact, I was surprised Neethan Shan, who ran a credible municipal candidate, was also not tapped (even though he leans NDP).

Lesson for the Liberals - local candidates matter.

From a Voter - Why the Liberals Lost

I had a hard time voting for the Liberal party this election. And I live in one of Scarborough's most ethnic communities in the GTA, full of immigrants, Muslims and (former) Liberal supporters. And yet, our riding went Conservative. Here's my take on why the Liberal party has been decimated in their stronghold of Toronto.

1. A "Just Visiting" Leader

A lot of us don't like Michael Ignatieff. And that's us Liberals; forget those who just know him from "Just Visiting" ads. The guy stays out of the country for 30 years, and then comes back and immediately wants to be Prime Minister? What does he even KNOW of the average Canadian? Hell, he even supported the Iraq war!

2. A Shift to the Right

The Liberal party was supposed to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. What happened?

The Liberal party was supposed to oppose corporate tax rate reductions. What happened?

The Liberal party was supposed to be against deficit spending. What happened?

The Liberal party used to have a balanced position in world conflicts. What happened?

When the voters cannot see a difference between Liberals and Conservatives, those on the right will vote for the real right party i.e. Conservatives. And those on the left will support the NDP, which is what happened. I have said long ago that Liberals need to be more left than right.

3. The Economy is Pretty Bad

Really. People are worried about their jobs, or how they will pay the next bill. And along comes the Liberals promising $4000 in tuition to students, cap and trade, telling people to "Rise Up" (for what?) and so on. What about their MAIN CONCERN?

As a Blue Grit, I would have LOVED to see my taxes go down. The Liberals should have borrowed Paul Martin's playbook and promised a reduction in income taxes. Liberals need to concentrate on the basics.

4. McGuinty Or, as I call him, Mc Guilty

You can blame Harper for the G20 all you want, we who live in Toronto know that the real villains were Mc Guinty and his secret law, and the powers he gave to a police force that seems to have abused it. And which party is Mc Guinty again? Oh, yes - the Liberals. And that's not even getting into the HST.

5. Taking Immigrants and the GTA for granted

What was the last thing the Liberals did for us immigrants? It let us in. And that was it.

For years, I have been crying out about jobs and credential recognition for immigrants, while the Liberals seem happy to just let in immigrants to work as pizza delivery men or window washers or taxi drivers. Stephane Dion told me during an interview on how he planned to tackle this, but nothing was proposed by the Liberals in the last 4 years. Instead, it was Harper who was seen to be moving on this agenda.

Only time will tell how the Tories will reward Toronto and Rob Ford for their support, but at the moment, Harper is right when he mentions about the money he had spent in Toronto (Union Station, Spadina subway extension, and yes, G20).