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Bill C-428

ACSial
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Bill C-428

Essentially, C-428 would enable immigrants from India, China and other countries to claim OAS after three years of residency (as opposed to the current 10). There is very little in the news about it, and politicians--even the Conservatives--are being very quiet about it.

The problem with this bill (and a similar one, introduced by Conservative Gurmant Grewal, before the last election) is that it would spell actuarial armageddon for the Old Age Security system. The reason for the 'unfairness', with respect to Indian, Chinese and other immigrant retirees is twofold. First of all, developed countries (U.S., UK) have reciprocity agreements with Canada, over pensions. Secondly, the flow of retirees between Canada and India, China, &c. is essentailly one-way. There is no way OAS can survive the spike in claims that would result from this bill.

Obviously, this is a sop to Dhalla's constituents. I suspect the Conservatives and NDP aren't saying anything, lest they annoy South Asian and Chinese voters. However, CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) has vocally opposed it. I strongly urge anyone reading this to do the same--contact your MP, whatever his/her party affiliation. This isn't about 'fairness', but the survival of one of Canada's most important social programmes. Here, Milton Friedman's quip about having to choose between (mass) immigration and the welfare state is certainly true, here.

 


Comments

Sean in Ottawa
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In the case of Chinese parents applications it is likely not that expensive since the government has cut the numbers entering the country drastically.

Here is one example: Case started in Mississauga November 2007 with fees of some $3,000 paid including landing fees for a couple parents. At the time the delays posted by Immigration was 18 months for the Mississauga part and then 18 months in Beijing. Now, 2.5 years later the current delays are 7 months left to finish in Mississauga and then 27 months in Beijing. In other words with all the backsliding in 2.5 years the file has advanced a net 2 months.

At this rate of slowdowns perhaps they will qualify to come to Canada in another 34 years provided they can pass the medical. The younger of the two is 63 so if she is still healthy at age 97 and has nothing better to do in the meantime but wait, she just might get to come to Canada. Otherwise Canada pockets the fees.

Who says we don't make money on overseas immigration?

This is very, very intelligent policy-- it sounds good to immigrant communities and if you make sure they don't get here you just keep the money and never have to pay this OAS out. (Sarcasm alert)

Now I won't get too much in to the net cost of OAS but it is not that much -- money is spent in the economy anyway. But let's have a quick look: these immigrant seniors are the parents of immigrants that came from those countries-- they had to bring with them money, experience and an education just to get in the door.

Let's compare the two families: family A Canadian -- kids get educated in Canada from grade one through university at X dollars in cost, parents pay in to pensions. Family B immigrant kids come here with education and start working almost right away saving the public purse y dollars but then only some of them apply to bring their parents -- only some of those parents get to come here and assume now that those who do after 3 years get OAS. How much more would that cost the system than the cost of the Canadian kids growing up with medicare and education from year 0? Probably not so much. Assume that one in ten immigrants brings their parents and 10 out of ten kids growing up here get health and education free to university and then subsidized in university.

It is that blame the other crap that allows people to think that our system could be broken because people who come here with an education on board at working age manage to bring their parents.

Or we could forget the value immigrants bring. Forget the education etc. they had before they get here and continue the world exploitation and imperialism as before. As you were. The deal is immigrants are expected to pony up, come here with the best, be the best, take the lumps, take the racism and then ask for nothing and a bunch of lazy Canadians will still think they are getting a raw deal.


ACSial
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"In the case of Chinese parents applications it is likely not that expensive since the government has cut the numbers entering the country drastically."

I don't know what percentage of the annual intake is from the PRC (or India), but 250,000+ doesn't sound like 'cut drastically'. And it's not just China and India we're talking about: North Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, El Salvador...

The OAS system is pay-go: it depends on pay-ins to remain actuarially stable. Dumping tens of thousands of claimants on the system more than origionally budgeted will crash the system. Even Dhalla and Rae admit that this will be costly. OAS eligibility also opens the door to eligibility for a host of other federal and provincial benefits, multiplying costs.

"It is that blame the other crap that allows people to think that our system could be broken because people who come here with an education on board at working age manage to bring their parents."

Large numbers of immigrants aren't well-educated, or even employable. Many come without the ability to function in English, or French. And, yes, they bring their parents, aunts and uncles...

"Or we could forget the value immigrants bring."

Some do, some don't. You can't generalise. You get some like this smart young gal (who also kinda looks like Jada Pinkett), but others like this creep. Cutting the intake to a sane, sustainable number, screening immigrants more thoroughly (CSIS estimates that only 10% actually get background checks) and keeping the 10 year rule in place would be good ideas. Also, getting immigrants to settle outside of major metro areas (e.g., Northern, rather than Southern Ontario) would reduce urban sprawl and prevent the formation of Springdale-type ghettos. And, maybe, we should abandon the idea of 'family reunification', once and for all. Forget all the multicultural 'extended family' crap. Lots of 'native' North Americans move away from home and rarely see their parents and siblings--why shouldn't that be a condition of becoming a Canadian? (My grandparents never brought all their relatives over, when they came here.)

"Forget the education etc. they had before they get here..."

Many skills aren't portable. That cute, young Jamaican neurobiologist functions in English as a first language, so she can start working in the lab right off the plane. However, I know of at least one oil company in Calgary that's unofficially stopped accepting applications from Chinese immigrants, because they keep getting people who can't function in English. Some third-world schools are also not as great as some were lead to believe. Many employers have been dismayed at the performance of Indian-educated professionals, for example. The curriculum is often...'different' and exams are rife with bribery. Think about this for a moment: if developing countries' educational systems are so great, why do foreign students keep coming here to learn?

"...and continue the world exploitation and imperialism as before."

Like China, in Tibet and Central Asia?

"The deal is immigrants are expected to pony up, come here with the best, be the best, take the lumps..."

All immigrants are expected to do this. My maternal grandfather, fresh out of a Nazi forced labour camp mining coal, was expected to go right back into a mineshaft when he came here. After three decades of that, he claimed OAS. Why should these immigrants have it any different?

 

 

 

 

 


Sean in Ottawa
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Where do you get the 250,000 figure?

What other provincial benefits are you speaking of?

Do you know the difference between immigrants and refugees? No, large numbers of uneducated immigrants don't get to come to Canada.

Please provide your link to the statement only 10% get background checks I don't beleive it-- that is a part of the process.

Your comment about the Jamaican-- I stopped reading at the word "cute" when I realized you were sexist as well as racist.

Name the sources you use-- what Calgary company?

India has world class universities-- document your allegations that they are not up to snuff.

You think you can enter in to a discussion about immigration with a comment about Tibet? How is that relevant?

The last quote of mine you cut off the last important part that you seem to think immigrants are to contribute but not ever ask for anything.

The comments about your grandfather are the experience of one person-- if he had arrived older, I hope we woud have given his pensions sooner-- so you are implying new immigrants should be sent to the mines???

 

 


George Victor
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Out come the charges of sexism and racism.  From folks who haven't a foggy notion of the actuarial reasoning, the situation facing  Canada.  How  gallant, how above reproach, how typical of the reasoning born in good times.

Can someone actually provide more numbers? Like, say, the number of "lazy Canadians" holding back "progress" as the numbers mount and more growth is assured...even as governments contemplate raising the age of retirement so that the Boomers do not cripple us as they come on the retirement stream. 


Sean in Ottawa
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Oh and the only creeps in Canada are the immigrants -- right? just ask Col. Russell Williams.

Just so we can inject some facts:

In 2008 there were 247,243 immigrants. The vast majority were in the economic class 149,072 of them. These are the ones who came as investors or because they were making a specific economic contribution. These are the people who had to meet a points system either money to invest as investors or education and cash and work experience and yes language skills. There were 21,860 refugees. A good number of these would not have the skills as they are here for other reasons but perhaps as many as half could have skills such as language or education but we assume most would not have come with money. Their numbers are low. Then there is the family class that this thread seems so incredibly concerned about. There were 65,567 people in this class. Now before you get excited about them all being old let's look at the facts first. Of these 5% are children, 20% are parents and grandparents, 3% other relations and the balance spouses. For the most part Spouses would be similar to economic class immigrants except they get to be processed faster. The 20% that are parents and grandparents is the concern here. 20% of 65,567 comes to 13,113. The government has moved to cut the numbers of parents and grandparents allowed into the country in the last couple years.

According to the 2006 census there were 4,335,255 people over 65 in Canada.

If we assumed the same number of parents and grandparents entering the country remained at this level (when it is actually dropping) over a decade this would represent 131,130 people or 3% of seniors. That is also if we assume that All the parents and grandparents are seniors which of course they are not -- they range from their 40s up.

Now let's look at the money. You get 1/40 of the pension for each year in Canada. The proposed change would only affect those who came here between 3 and ten years ago as those who have been here longer than ten are already included. I'll use a round 15,000 figure as previously more were allowed in. The full pension is $516.

The math works as follows:

Those who came 3 years ago 15,000 x 3/40 

Those who came 4 years ago 15,000 x 4/40

Those who came 5 years ago 15,000 x 5/40

Those who came 6 years ago 15,000 x 6/40

Those who came 7 years ago 15,000 x 7/40

Those who came 8 years ago 15,000 x 8/40

Those who came 9 years ago 15,000 x 9/40

Altogether this comes to the equivalent of 15,750 full pensions or $8,127,000/month

The OAS system pays out roughly $600,000,000/month so this catastrophic hit you are speaking of comes to roughly 1.3% of the OAS budget assuming that ALL of the parents and grandparents apply and that all of them are over 65 when they get here-- two gross over assumptions. Likely the real hit is somewhere less than 1%.

This thread OP is a reactionary and bigoted not based in facts.

 

 


George Victor
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Well, "reactionary and bigoted" is one up on "sexist and racist", and the numbers provided are very helpful indeed.

Now, while exposing myself to charges of racism and bigotry, may an environmentalist  ask: how you equate growth of any kind, numbers of people, production of goods and services, with a secure future for any country on this planet in light of our need to freeze growth...of all kinds? Particularly if the OAS and CPP are so very dependent on corporate growth to provide a comfortable future for us all?    I ask this in hope that you again have the numbers.  It would be so reassuring to have an answer to this one...for the kid's sake, as well as granpa and granma.


Sean in Ottawa
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George I am actually quite aware of what Canada is facing and the numbers as well.

The laziness I was referring to in my reply in post 2 is the intellectual laziness of those Canadians who get all into a panic about what is in a fact a small cost and then ask people to be calling their MPs without actually ever looking at the facts.

Anyway, before reading your post George Victor I was already gathering some facts that put this discussion in context.

And by the way the important thing to remember is that the pension for everyone is based on years in Canada. The proposal does not give immigrants any money for the years they have not spent here and only gives them what everyone else has which is 1/40 pension for each year spent in Canada. They would only get partial pensions unless they come to Canada at age 25. It is hardly unreasonable.


Sean in Ottawa
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As we are cross posting to answer your question from an environmental point of view there is no implication whatsoever.

The environment is global. We are not creating new people or importing them from another star system. If anything we are moving people in some cases from over-populated areas to underpopulated ones.

A post that finds it relevant to refer to a young woman immigrant as cute is in my view sexist.

A post that makes generalizations about the quality of education of immigrants based on a single personal experience or news article is racist. To conflate implications of immigration from single news articles about individuals is bigoted and ignorant.

To panic people asking them to call their MPs without any facts in the discussion for the purpose of attacking a potential benefit to someone else is reactionary.

To defend all the above is inexcusable-- George would you mind reading the opening post again before you defend it any more?

I hope I have added some facts to balance the misinformation it presented.


Sean in Ottawa
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Another point that we had not discussed-- immigrants from some countries were treated differently than others. The bill seeks to treat them all the same. There is no reason to have an immigrant from Europe given a partial pension in three years while an immigrant from India would have to wait ten. I suspect this Bill will simply protect the government from a Charter challenge in any case as there is no reason to make the distinction. Immigrants once they have residency are supposed to be protected under the Charter and have a right to equal treatment. This Bill does that-- it does not give them more because it only credits them for the time spent in Canada and gives them no pension for the time spent overseas.

I did not for the sake of my math consider the immigrants who already can qualify in 3 years as I would need to know the exact numbers from India and China and the other countries who currently would need to wait ten eyars and the exact numebrs from those countries who would only need to wait 3 now.


KenS
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Putting numbers on that, if someone has been resident 4 years when they reach 65, they would get a whopping $105 per month OAP, and only then if they have no other source of income.

When we see numbers of how many people that might apply to, we can estimate the costs. And we're only talking about the possible change of adding those in the system with between 3 and 10 years residency [receving between $80 and $250 per month].

I started this before I saw Sean's workup.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Altogether this comes to the equivalent of 15,750 full pensions or $8,127,000/month

Many of these people would also be eligible for the income dependent supplement as well- but only if they have no other source of income. So, theoretcially the figure would be higher than the $8million/month. But as noted, the take-up would be nowhere near 100%, and a subtantial number of these people do bring a taxable income with them, and therefore would have some of their OAP taxed.


Slumberjack
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George Victor wrote:
Well, "reactionary and bigoted" is one up on "sexist and racist", and the numbers provided are very helpful indeed. Now, while exposing myself to charges of racism and bigotry, may an environmentalist  ask: how you equate growth of any kind, numbers of people, production of goods and services, with a secure future for any country on this planet in light of our need to freeze growth...of all kinds?

Perhaps they can offset the measely OAS pittance an elderly newcomer would receive from the immigration processing fees.  This Overview of the OAS program, particularly the info related to 'Payments outside Canada' and 'Amounts of benefits,' might shed a little more light to counterbalance the anti-immigrant fearmongering suggestions in this thread that they're coming here to destroy our retirement programs.

A little reality check George, in the form of a question.  Does it occur to you at all that something may be amiss, no red flag hints surface for you, in what might otherwise be a valid discussion surrounding the long term viability of government programs, if it were not for the conscious effort to frame the issue as yet another 'threat' that immigration poses to our way of life?

No wonder indeed for your segue into enviromentalism, as it provides a convienient distraction from the shit you've previously had a mind to debate here, as if it had any validity whatsoever to begin with.


Sean in Ottawa
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The income supplement would only apply to those who have been here longer than 10 years as it is a form of social assistance and their sponsors would be forced to pay first so only the OAS applies.

At 4 years they would get 4/40 of the full pension only-- this is 10%. The full pension is $516 so that is a whopping $51.60 not $100.

Again we are only talking about a difference for those who have been discriminated against based on their country of origin. A substantial number of immigrants already enjoy the proposed provision.


Sean in Ottawa
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Another fact check can be found simply by clicking the link in the OP.

The opening post implies that Carp is against the Bill for the reasons the opening post outlines. In fact CARP is concerned by the backlash (such as represented by the opening post itself), supports the goal of getting immigrant seniors out of poverty and using income support programs to do so, and is more concerned with the process and the fact that the Bill as structured will not be successful. Click on the opening post link and see-- CARP's position, it seems, is almost the opposite of what the opening post implies.

I am intrigued by the estimates of $300-$700 million referenced. The math does not hold up and so I'd like to see Dhalla and Carp explain them. they could start by saying over what period this amount applies- if it is over a ten year period then perhaps.


ACSial
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Sean,

The 250,000+ figure is an official-ish (doesn't unclude visa overstays, &c.) number. This 'target' was arrived at by Brian Mulroney, after closed-door meetings with real estate sector lobbyists. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who's benefiting from constant population growth: banks, REITs, real estate speculators, developers and construction companies (more warm bodies mean constant housing starts, rising property values and so forth). About 100,000 of these people settle in the metro Toronto area alone, on former farmland. I cannot fathom why people can't admit that this volume of population growth (2/3rds of the total, according to Stats-Can) is anything but 'green'. Financial and social issues aside, population growth inevitably means more agricultural and natural (undeveloped/unfarmed) land converted to housing, more freshwater consumption, more electricity and gas consumption, more garbage production, more materials (e.g., forestry products) for housing, and other non-environmentally friendly things. Yet all the greenies want to talk about is 'smart growth' and turning lights out for one hour a year. It's obvious that corporate donations and political correctness have scrambled environmentalists' brains.

That neurobiolological researcher is A. cute, B. young, C. smart, and D. from Jamaica--all true. I fail to see what's 'racist', or 'sexist' about pointing out facts. You should have a doctor check that overactive PC reflex...

 

 


George Victor
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SJ: "A little reality check George, in the form of a question.  Does it occur to you at all that something may be amiss, no red flag hints surface for you, in what might otherwise be a valid discussion surrounding the long term viability of government programs, if it were not for the conscious effort to frame the issue as yet another 'threat' that immigration poses to our way of life?

No wonder indeed for your segue into enviromentalism, as it provides a convienient distraction from the shit you've previously had a mind to debate here, as if it had any validity whatsoever to begin with."

 

Having spent four months last summer arranging (finding a very old passport) desperately trying to get my Dutcho-born wife's OAS (she's not "able") I really needed your instructive input from your bushwacking position. You speak of "validity" but in the usual, convoluted position, arse-first.


remind
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:D george.....


ACSial
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"The environment is global. We are not creating new people or importing them from another star system. If anything we are moving people in some cases from over-populated areas to underpopulated ones."

Things like available farmland (less than 5% of Canada is arable) and freshwater resources are local issues. Here, in Southern alberta, freshwater scarcity is now colliding with Calgary's bulging metro area. Okotoks is one municipalty that's made the courageous decision to cap its population. And third-world overpopulation is the result of cultural factors that are the responsibility of people in those countries--it's up to them to practise responsible family planning (since the last famine, Ethiopia's population doubled).

"A post that finds it relevant to refer to a young woman immigrant as cute is in my view sexist."

So, if I said Ann Coulter is 'ugly' (she is), that'd be 'sexist', too?

"A post that makes generalizations about the quality of education of immigrants based on a single personal experience or news article is racist. To conflate implications of immigration from single news articles about individuals is bigoted and ignorant."

The 'generalisations' are becoming a consensus among employers...and also the people who come to Canada, the U.S. and other developed countries for post-secondary educations. And linguistic competency is a major problem. I don't mean the ability to write a paper on English phonotactics, or something, but simply being able to function in the language: things like being able to pronounce words like 'gloves', or distinguish 'seventeen' from 'seventy'. At least one fatal medical error (overdose of chemo drugs) at a Calgary hospital was the result of a linguistic problem. Another frightening example, here in Calgary, was when residents in Chinatown had to be evacuated from an apartment complex adjacent to a massive blaze--they had to use interpreters to tell them to get out.

"To panic people asking them to call their MPs without any facts in the discussion for the purpose of attacking a potential benefit to someone else is reactionary."

As opposed to, say, supporting something as reactionary as limitless growth, and telling people it'll be okay...as long as everyone installs low-flush toilets. (Or calling people's very valid concerns over mass immigration 'racist'.)

"To defend all the above is inexcusable..."

To defend endangering the actuarial stability of a major social programme, so that politicians in certain ridings can pick up a few votes (and financial sector firms can benefit from panic over the solvency of public pensions, by selling more retirement products) is inexcusable. So too is living in denial about the negative environmental effects of population growth in Canada.

 

 

 


Sean in Ottawa
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ACSial wrote:

The 250,000+ figure is an official-ish (doesn't unclude visa overstays, &c.) number. ...

Well you are misquoting the number. That is the entire number of arrivals including refugees, children, economic migrants, investors. The number of family members that actually apply to what you are talking about is 13,000 and declining. Rapidly as the door slams shut in the faces of people who applied and are facing waits that grow longer faster than the time goes by.

It may be one thing for the government to slow the number allowed to come here but it is something else to keep taking people's money and never be upfront about it. If this was a business they would get sued for fraud, false advertising and breach of contract.


remind
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well Acsl... is another person who needs to read the agreement they signed when coming here


Sean in Ottawa
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ACSial wrote:

"The environment is global. We are not creating new people or importing them from another star system. If anything we are moving people in some cases from over-populated areas to underpopulated ones."

Things like available farmland (less than 5% of Canada is arable) and freshwater resources are local issues. Here, in Southern alberta, freshwater scarcity is now colliding with Calgary's bulging metro area. Okotoks is one municipalty that's made the courageous decision to cap its population. And third-world overpopulation is the result of cultural factors that are the responsibility of people in those countries--it's up to them to practise responsible family planning (since the last famine, Ethiopia's population doubled).

"A post that finds it relevant to refer to a young woman immigrant as cute is in my view sexist."

So, if I said Ann Coulter is 'ugly' (she is), that'd be 'sexist', too?

"A post that makes generalizations about the quality of education of immigrants based on a single personal experience or news article is racist. To conflate implications of immigration from single news articles about individuals is bigoted and ignorant."

The 'generalisations' are becoming a consensus among employers...and also the people who come to Canada, the U.S. and other developed countries for post-secondary educations. And linguistic competency is a major problem. I don't mean the ability to write a paper on English phonotactics, or something, but simply being able to function in the language: things like being able to pronounce words like 'gloves', or distinguish 'seventeen' from 'seventy'. At least one fatal medical error (overdose of chemo drugs) at a Calgary hospital was the result of a linguistic problem. Another frightening example, here in Calgary, was when residents in Chinatown had to be evacuated from an apartment complex adjacent to a massive blaze--they had to use interpreters to tell them to get out.

"To panic people asking them to call their MPs without any facts in the discussion for the purpose of attacking a potential benefit to someone else is reactionary."

As opposed to, say, supporting something as reactionary as limitless growth, and telling people it'll be okay...as long as everyone installs low-flush toilets. (Or calling people's very valid concerns over mass immigration 'racist'.)

"To defend all the above is inexcusable..."

To defend endangering the actuarial stability of a major social programme, so that politicians in certain ridings can pick up a few votes (and financial sector firms can benefit from panic over the solvency of public pensions, by selling more retirement products) is inexcusable. So too is living in denial about the negative environmental effects of population growth in Canada.

Don't stop blaming immigrants for poor city planning and urban sprawl, soon you'll have to blame them for the weather.

As for family planning -- you started this with a concern about people from China and India etc. Ever heard of the one child policy? China is facing a rapidly aging population as they caped families at one child each.

If you find Anne Coulter's appearance to be something worth discussing I would say yes that would be sexist-- if you refer to the ugliness in her mind and heart then we would be in agreement.

As for linguistic competence, we have already a country with English and French -- do you want to eliminate that as well? I spend a lot of time with immigrants-- they are not difficult to understand if you want to but I do hear from people that are bigoted who like to say they can't understand them. Canada has never been a country where everyone speaks the same language-- the fact that you are offended by the need to use interpreters to make sure that everyone got out of a burning building I find speaks volumes...

Now you are getting a little closer to what you really wanted to say-- you are concerned with immigration itself-- not the social program that really can't be affected by those numbers. Of course you use words like "mass" in order to pretend that this is a huge migration. I'm all for family planning (unlike the federal government), but the strain on the globe is not mitigated simply by keeping "them" "over there." And no your concerns as stated are not valid and there is no mass immigration going on. We are talking about accepting on a large land mass (even understanding that a lot is uninhabitable) less than 0.00003% of the world's population. Do you not have more important environmental priorities or is the environment just a cloak for a different agenda? The population growth rate of countries around the world ranges from 0.1% to 3%. Canada is at 0.3% (2009 figures) are you panicking over that or not liking to see people who have funny accents and skin colours?

On the issue of population growth you are exaggerating

On the issue of the environment you are grasping at the meaningless when there are so many urgent issues that you don't mention.

I'm not in denial about population growth except I see that as a global challenge and going after the equal rights of migrants to pensions based on their years in Canada is a nasty ineffective way of pretending to address the problem. Talking to your MP about allowing family planning back in to Canada's foreign aid is a better way to go.

I think you should be embarrassed by the arguments you are raising and then shifting-- but I get the impression that red glow does not go above the neck. I understand you are not alone in Calgary.


Slumberjack
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George Victor wrote:
Out come the charges of sexism and racism.  From folks who haven't a foggy notion of the actuarial reasoning, the situation facing  Canada.  How  gallant, how above reproach, how typical of the reasoning born in good times.

George Victor wrote:
 Having spent four months last summer arranging (finding a very old passport) desperately trying to get my Dutcho-born wife's OAS (she's not "able") I really needed your instructive input from your bushwacking position. You speak of "validity" but in the usual, convoluted position, arse-first.

Who is the arse-first bushwacker George..hmmmm?


George Victor
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Sj:

"No wonder indeed for your segue into enviromentalism, as it provides a convienient distraction from the shit you've previously had a mind to debate here, as if it had any validity whatsoever to begin with."

 

Put forward your thoughts on why you are willing to let the kids take care of the big environmental questions now facing us, oh pillar of pulchritude. Tell us why it is not important, or is necessarily a sign of racist leanings (one walks a very narrow passage in your convoluted moral presence).  Only an academic would insist on a firewall between these subjects for discussion.


Slumberjack
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George Victor wrote:
Put forward your thoughts on why you are willing to let the kids take care of the big environmental questions now facing us, oh pillar of pulchritude. Tell us why it is not important, or is necessarily a sign of racist leanings (one walks a very narrow passage in your convoluted moral presence).  Only an academic would insist on a firewall between these subjects for discussion.

It isn't necessarily a sign of those leanings George, to discuss the air conditioned disasters that await us all.  Unfortunately, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with that topic.  More to the point though unless you have another spider hole to explore, in your estimation, how does objections to immigrant bashing equate with convoluted moralizing?  Or should we simply walk by and pretend not to notice?


George Victor
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A primary concern of Fowler's at the Liberal convention was for the major parties' propensity to play to the new immigrant population at the expense of rational Canadian decision-making on foreign policy..and, of course, immigration. But none of this  would have any meaning for someone who long ago gave up on causal inquiry. 

But, of course, the danger of playing to racist tendencies trumps Fowler's concerns.   

And I say, there should be concerns that trump all of these. I certanly am not concerned about your pitiful cries of recism, because I've worked all my life to defeat that monster.  Try it on someone vulnerable to your schmaltz.

 


gadar
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Joined: Nov 1 2006

Thank you Sean for providing the figures and pointing out that it is not end of the world scenario as a lot of people think it is. And you are also right in pointing out that this is not about just old age pensions the motivation is more than that. For a lot of people immigration from the so called third world is a big problem and it is expressed under one pretext or the other. Language skills of visible minority immigrants is always brought up but language skills of immigrants from for example Russia or most of europe are seldom mentioned.

ACSial wrote:

"they bring their parents, aunts and uncles..."

As it stands today immigrants who meet the requirements can sponsor their parents but saying that they can sponsor aunts and uncles and so on is said out of either ignorance or is a lie.

"prevent the formation of Springdale-type ghettos.  And, maybe, we should abandon the idea of 'family reunification', once and for all. Forget all the multicultural 'extended family' crap."

What is a ghetto? Is it an area where people who according to you are from the multicultural extended family crap live? or you have some other definition for it. I dont think you would call woodbridge a ghetto or dundas and college a ghetto.I have heard a lot of people use this word negatively for the areas where visible minorities live. Yet most of these people dont want a person from a visible minority group moving into their 'normal' area hence forcing the so called ghettoisation. Dont you think one would be more comfortable living in a 'ghetto' where the chances of hearing 'go back to where you came from' are relatively less.

"Lots of 'native' North Americans move away from home and rarely see their parents and siblings--why shouldn't that be a condition of becoming a Canadian?"

So forsaking ones family should be a condition for becoming a canadian. Since a lots of 'native' North Americans do it, it must be the right thing. 

You are right on one thing though, these immigrants from China and India are surely responsible for climate change. 

 


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

quote:

"You are right on one thing though, these immigrants from China and India are surely responsible for climate change."

 

As one who laboured for two years (one or two days a week) to advance the reading skills of children in a Grade Two Mississauga classroom, I can only feel sorrow to see a mind given over to such shallow argument. The kids and their parents did vary in the baggage that they brought with them from their respective cultures of origin. The great hope in helping them acquire the ability to read, was that they would later listen to stories out of their parent's past with a patient smile (they are your parents, after all) at the irrationality of such limited worldviews. Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Russian...the variety is endless in a Mississauga classroom ...and increasingly in the bulging satellite cities out beyond the pseudo-greenbelt that folks are leapfrogging. The nicest part was the glowi of appreciation as children took on reading skills that often surpassed their parents. My job was just to immerse the kids in guided reading, adventure stories chosen to suit reading abilities at five different levels, from beginning to approximately Grade 4. (My partner gave phonetic clues to those most in need...and ALL could read at year's end).

Last year, I had dinner at the home of one former student who was about to enter U of T ...with an overall grade average in the 90s.  She will make a brilliant doctor or medical scientist.  Hers is an uncommonly rational worldview, and like her brother, who is now in the second year of a university science/math program, tolerant of dad's tendency to disbelieve all "western" comment on things back in Beijing, where he attended university. Mom is struggling with English, but has been helped by the book I left her, The Man Who Loved China.  Her father was the political officer in a regiment of the People's Army, and she is far more understanding of diversity and the difficulties of bridging differences.

There is much hope that the young will turn things around...but we should not leave them to shoulder the entire burden. And there is only so much space out beyond that greenbelt, where housing continues to crawl out over farmland.  But those who understand math will know all this. It sometimes just requires screwing up one's courage to confront the problem...not leaving it to the kids.


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

Interesting story but I am not sure what the point is-- at the end you refer to sprawl. Chinese of course live more densly than Canadians do so when they come to Canada they are not imposing a desire for sprawl that they imported but following the urban planning here.

I am concerned about the reliance on the car and sprawl but am deeply offended by such an important issue being linked to immigration. The reality is that our current cities are actually less dense than they need to be to provide the kinds of transit options that will be economical and we need more people living in them. At the same time we need to increase the cost of spreading outward. Part of the problem is that cities get a big bite of developer fees that on the one hand are said to deter but not enough and on the other have cities addicted. Hurricane Hazel in her many decades as Mayor of Mississauga bragged about avoiding deficits but did so only through the consumption of farmland for housing. She did this with most of the housing built for the Made in Canada crowd.

Now it is true with a low birthrate that the pressure of a new generation is a half-immigrant one but it remains the policies of city growth and economies of development that are to blame. Immigrants and Canadians alike will turn reluctantly to homes further and further from work as they realize there is nothing new being built closer in because the crumbling old apartments don't cut it. Renewal of buildings closer to the centres of cities are as essential as they are rare. Don't blame the immigrants for this.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
 Immigrants and Canadians alike will turn reluctantly to homes further and further from work as they realize there is nothing new being built closer in because the crumbling old apartments don't cut it. Renewal of buildings closer to the centres of cities are as essential as they are rare. Don't blame the immigrants for this.

Do not think George was blamming anyone...

You bring up an intertesting point though about inner city renewal..or gentrification, as some anti-poverty activists would call it.

The gentrification process and outside the urban area sprawl has been ongoing throughout history. If the process is being halted or stalled in any given area, there are reasons.

Personally, I do not believe in slamming people all into one area of high density, spread the density out and make each community as self sustaining as it can be.

 

 


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

remind wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
 Immigrants and Canadians alike will turn reluctantly to homes further and further from work as they realize there is nothing new being built closer in because the crumbling old apartments don't cut it. Renewal of buildings closer to the centres of cities are as essential as they are rare. Don't blame the immigrants for this.

Do not think George was blamming anyone...

You bring up an intertesting point though about inner city renewal..or gentrification, as some anti-poverty activists would call it.

The gentrification process and outside the urban area sprawl has been ongoing throughout history. If the process is being halted or stalled in any given area, there are reasons.

Personally, I do not believe in slamming people all into one area of high density, spread the density out and make each community as self sustaining as it can be.

 

 

Right on, remind.  It is not a question of blame. And people who try to deal with population growth and the big environmental questions should be cut some slack.  Puerile catchphrase slung about without any consideration for the big picture only set back attempts to deal with the question...which I happen to see as a threat to civilization itself.  In your area it is the die-out of trees, infected by a beetle, as an early warning of things to come.

After three years of trying to ionterest a public institution in taking action on the question, I resigned my seat on the board of the public library last Wednesday.  Continued attempts to at least have board members READ UP on the subject came tio naught. They are happy to remain ignorant of the science - all I accomplished was ensuring that the library shelves contained the literature for the public to read.  And my surveys showed they didn't.  It seems to be a psychological barrier in place, of denial, like death itself. And stronger action is going to be required.  The mayor tells me that should he be re-elected this fall, he intends to set up a committee ....  Gaia save us from committees.  He is a retired teacher, who saw that a new city administration building was built to Gold LEEDS standard (and was moved to initiate a bylaw that will require all new city-owned structures be built to at least a lower LEEDS standard.  But the library board, like all of the other administrative areas, had to find 5 per cent spending reductions for the next couple of years and just CAN'T WAIT to go back to the old profligate budgeting.

As for "inner city renewal"...the wealthy of Toronto now live in the condos that form a wall along Lake Ontario. The wealth is concentrated downtown, and the not-so-wealthy and decidedly not wealthy are forced to deal with the postwar 'burban sprawl, try to get to work by public transit, try to find a grocery store within a couple of kilometres, etc.  Up in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (Waterloo Region) (just out beyond the Toronto "green belt", growth continues, and the realestate industry is engineering a con job that depends on the goodwill of all the liberal folks demanding improved public transit.  This first required getting "planners" to come up with a light-rail proposal, (not rapid, just light) that would operate between shopping plazas situated near the north and south ends of K-W. The spiel goes...we are going to offer the carrot of excellent transportation down the main street of these cities and attract construction dollars, thus increasing density in the downtowns.  (Note that this is all taking place without any attempt to banish the Ontario Municipal Board from its control over questions of urban development.  A visiting  B.C.er, Mike Harcourt, labelled Ontario's OMB an antedeluvian joke, almost always deciding in favour of development. )   And of course, that light-rail system will only serve those who can afford the condos that would go up along the line, filling up with the Boomers (former flower children) who now have it made in the shade.

The Record allows one to write a letter to the editor every three months. A month back, my allotment opportunity was spent on explaining the real needs of working people in this time of joblessness and part-time work opportunity. My daughter is trying to do the right stuff, environmentally, and when assigned to a different workplace, only 14 minutes drive from her home, got rid of an old vehicle and announced she would bus it. Come the first Monday in January, and she spends one hour and forty minutes getting home...her partner, a teacher working on long-term occaisional contract, was fortunately able to scoop their daughter from the baby sitter's before starvation set in.  My letter described the situation as one "affecting an acquaintance of some 30 years", but it really is "coming home" to a great many people that civic administrations must join in a massive effort to really turn things around, both for the environment and for the increasingly liower-wage and part-time workers inhabiting the suburbs. 

So it is really a problem of socio-economic change that has to take place very quickly, and in spite of the powers that be. Something more of a challenge than the glib explanations from planner's phrases.


Sean in Ottawa
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Joined: Jun 3 2003

How can you not say that this is blaming imigrants when this discussion came in a thread aimed at limiting immigration--

In terms of density it is not simple I agree I am not saying put everyone in downtown Toronto but it is not sustainable to have people 2 hours away commuting to down town Toronto. Having a community sustainable means having people live close to where tehy work and having workplaces not centralized as much as they are now.

Essentially in Canad athe problem is that workplaces have very high density and living places very low density.

As I said before this discussion is not one that fits with a reactionary stop the immigrants debate as it involves a lot more public policy than that.

As well the method the opening poster proposed for stopping immigrants was by limiting/punishing them after they are here a position that is especially vile.

I'd be happy to have an amicable discussion about urban planning and density and the environment with George in another thread but I can't accept the context that this is happening in or the purpose of the thread's introduction of that topic.

If you want me to stop with my "stop blaming the immigrant" message then disconnect the immigrant issue from the topic and link to the new thread on the environment and living density which as Remind points out needs to be connected to a discussion about poverty and also lifestyle (3 hour commutes is not healthy for people any more than it is for the environment).


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