Always In Favour Of Immigrants, Sun, Hume

As usual the article doesn't discuss how when parents and grandparents of immigrants come into the country, these people are a burden on the medical system, only a fool would deny that. I don't need parents or grandparents to succeed, why do immigrants? If you want to see mommy and daddy in Asia or Africa, hop on a plane. That's the Australian system.

And maybe Canada doesn't have to accept immigrants forever. Unemployment is rising, govts have deficits to deal with, and newsflash-the great post war boom is over. Is a breather permitted? Or do the adrenlin rush people forbid that too.

Opinion: The big picture shows immigrants are a good bet (external - login to view)

Opinion: The big picture shows immigrants are a good bet

Fraser Institute’s disingenuous study of newcomer costs looks at one small part of a complex phenomenon

By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun May 30, 2011

The notion that the most recent arrivals are paying insufficient tax and drawing excessive benefits continues to linger.

I’m an immigrant.

Let’s get that out of the way first in this reaction to the Fraser Institute’s disingenuous study asserting that immigration costs Canada as much as $23.6 billion a year.

Researchers Herb Grubel and Patrick Grady — both of whom are also immigrants and presumably don’t consider themselves a burden on the economy — conclude that in 2006, immigrants received on average $6,051 more in benefits than they paid in taxes.
On the basis of this snapshot, they advocate restrictions upon immigration. However, the narrowness of the data set suggests the broad conclusions don’t have sound foundations.

Indeed, the arguments sound suspiciously like those of the old Reform Party, which gave gloomy voice to utilitarian assumptions about acceptable skill sets and wealth required of prospective immigrants.

Of course, anxiety about the potential financial burden of newcomers is well established, if misplaced, in framing immigration policy for Canada.

Similar concerns were expressed about Irish immigrants in the mid-19th century. Central Europeans, Russian Jews, Scandinavians — even the English — have all been subjected to worries that they got more from their new country than they contributed.
So, here we are in 2011 faced with two successful immigrants, both indisputably valued and productive members of Canadian society — let’s leave aside the amusing irony of the Fraser Institute issuing tax-deductible receipts to wealthy contributors so they can pay less tax — fretting that new immigrants don’t pay enough tax to cover their cost to Canadian society.

This sounds like the venerable “I’m in the lifeboat, pull up the ladder” argument.

I say venerable because the notion that the most recent arrivals are paying insufficient tax and drawing excessive benefits remains one of the persistent memes in Canadian society.

And it is almost always based on selective statistical evidence while ignoring the unassailable fact that of the 34 million people in Canada, 33 million are either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who helped to build a national economy which ranks in the
top eight globally.

I’m not alone in my doubtful reaction to the Fraser Institute’s study.

Robert Vineberg, a senior fellow at the Calgary-based Canada West Foundation, notes that the average income of immigrants in Canada more than 15 years before the 2006 census was actually higher than for native-born Canadians.

On average, those immigrants paid more in taxes than they got in benefits, Vineberg observes.

“This turns the Fraser Institute’s analysis on its head and suggests that immigrants are net contributors to government revenues if their entire working life is considered,” he says. The data used can lead to diametrically opposed conclusions, he notes, and suggests “the whole principle of such analysis is faulty.”

Vineberg argues that immigrant contributions are much broader than their tax contribution. For example, an immigrant nanny earning less than average income often enables both native-born parents to earn higher salaries and therefore to pay higher taxes.
So it all depends where you take your snapshot.

When my father brought me to Canada as an infant 63 years ago, the only job he could find was on a garbage scow, although he was a qualified machinist. He worked filling paint cans and delivering bread at considerably less than the average income. He had five kids in school. That snapshot would show him – and me – as a social cost rather than a benefit.

Later he became an award-winning journalist, still writing at 87. And those five kids – two are newspaper columnists, one works for the navy, another provides research and management consulting to big health care organizations, one is a successful artist. By that snapshot, he’s a benefit rather than a social cost.

Vineberg concludes: “By zooming in on one small part of a complex phenomenon, the Fraser Institute ... has come to conclusions that

may appear correct but, if the assumptions involved are examined closely, are unfounded. This does not make a constructive contribution to the needed debate.”


Being an immigrant to Australia now, I can say that I'm currently making less then the average Australian..... but I'm fine for that for the time being because of two things:

#1 - I'm just starting out and I, like I would in any other job, have to prove my capabilities to justify being paid more, and

#2 - I'm still being paid more then I was back in Canada..... after working in the graphic design/sign industry for the last 9-10 years and working at the same company since 2006 and being one of their only two designers doing the work of three designers, I was still only being paid around $13.50 an hour...... where I've only been working at this new company for the last two months or so, and earning around $18 an hour, which will be going up in the next few weeks and again in another few more after that.

Meanwhile back in Canada, I had to fight tooth & nail to get the pay I was being paid and in the last 3 years working there, there was no point trying to fight for a review & raise, as nobody at work was getting one.

And when I complained to talked about this situation on here, the typical response was "Well if you don't like it, move."

Well I did.

As it goes for bringing immigrant's parents or the elderly with them to the country and thus, possibly being more of a burden to the nation hosting them, all I can say is that Canada isn't the only country that does this, and I can bet that there's plenty of Canadians who leave Canada to go live in another country and try to pull the same stunt of trying to bring their family with them.
Last edited by Praxius; May 30th, 2011 at 06:45 PM..

Did you know?

1. Immigration increases the size of Canada’s population and economy but does not improve Canadians' standard of living.

2.* It is estimated that recent immigrants receive billions of dollars a year more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

3. Only 17% of immigrants admitted each year are fully assessed on the basis of their employment and language skills.

4. While the average age of Canadians is increasing and the proportion of seniors will almost double in the next few decades, immigration will do very little to offset this trend despite the widely held belief that it will do so.*

5.* There are more than 100,000 parents and grandparents of immigrants who have met requirements and are waiting to enter Canada. They will receive the benefits of our public health care system without having contributed to costs by paying income tax.

6. Most of the quarter of a million people who immigrate to Canada every year are not interviewed by a visa officer to determine if they are well-suited to integrate into Canadian society and its economy.

7. Far more Canadians want immigration levels lowered rather than increased. Despite this, and the lack of economic or demographic benefits to Canadians, we maintain the highest per capita intake in the world.

8. In terms of Canadians’ attitude towards a multicultural mosaic, a 2007 survey indicated that 18%* thought that it is reasonable to accommodate religious and cultural minorities while 53% thought immigrants should adapt fully to Canadian culture.

9. The number of visible minority neighbourhoods in Canada’s three largest cities increased from six in 1981 to 254 in 2001.

10. Canada’s acceptance rate for refugee claimants is three times the average of other countries, suggesting that two-thirds of those accepted would probably not be considered genuine refugees by other countries.

11. In 2003 Canada accepted 76% of refugee claims by Sri Lankans while Britain accepted 2% and Germany 4%. That year Canada accepted 1,749 refugee claims by Sri Lankans while all the other countries together accepted only 1,160.

12. Canada, uniquely among nations, allows nationals of many democratic countries with good human rights records to make refugee claims in Canada on the basis that they fear persecution in their homelands.

13.* As cities have increased in population, largely because of international immigration, urban expansion has devoured a large amount of Canada’s best,*Class 1, *agricultural land, consuming 7,400 kilometers between 1971 and 2001 and occupying 7%* of the total during this period.



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