Bill C-428

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ACSial
Bill C-428

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.

 

Sean in Ottawa

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

[quote=Sean in Ottawa]

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

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

[quote=George Victor] 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? [/quote]

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

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

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

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

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 remind's picture

:D george.....

ACSial

"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

[quote=ACSial]

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

[/quote]

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 remind's picture

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

Sean in Ottawa

[quote=ACSial]

"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.

[/quote]

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

[quote=George Victor] 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. [/quote]

[quote=George Victor] 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. [/quote]

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

George Victor

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

[quote=George Victor] 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. [/quote]

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

 

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

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.

[quote=ACSial]

"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. 

 [/quote]

George Victor

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

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 remind's picture

[quote=Sean in Ottawa] 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.[/quote]

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

[quote=remind]

[quote=Sean in Ottawa] 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.[/quote]

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.

 

 

[/quote]

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

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).

George Victor

Sean, this place is full of "blaming", but not so much in the way of attempts to overcome conflicting ideologies. Of course immigrants can't be blamed, but they can be seen as one of the variables in an extremely serious situation that is not being dealt with. I would have appreciated the OP not containing the name of Milton Friedman. I susect the OPs author is Libertarian to a fault...they've been popping up in university staffrooms everywhere as the economic downturn exposes what is lying under the stones. You fired the "racist" cannon, he said the Chinese should (in effect) not expect to be treated any better in Canada than the Tibetans have come to expect in China (a new imperialism) and you wondered at his mentioning Tibet, etc. etc. etc. You provided some wonderful figures to support your point that the new policy would not drain the coffers, and then I put in the environmental "but". There was a lot of agitated chatter from the surrounding woods by this time, but Idon't believe that it is wrong to interpose in what was working up to be yet another "did","didn't" sort of exchange, ask for the figures, and then state that, of course, budget numbers should not be the only consideration in deciding  whether to lower the waiting period from 10 to three years. Of course it's a decision that no politician expecting re-election can oppose. But surely to hell, out here in frreedom land, we can express considerations that our politicians cannot.

So okay, let's shift some thought over to the environment thread - blissfully free of "racism"... for the moment. 

Sean in Ottawa

No they can't be seen as one of the variables as you say.

1) because it is not valid given that they have already been born and exist and the environment is global not local.

2) because this was not about having immigrants here or not but about allowing them to have the same right to pension as anyone else based on years in the country-- how is the proposal which would leave immigrants who are already here poorer going to affect the environment-- is the idea that they will suffer so much they will leave?

No, the environment is simply not relevant to the issue of whether immigrants should get a partial pension for years in this country or not.

It is the height of intellectual dishonesty to try to connect the two and to imply some kind of environmental progressiveness to cover over the racist foundation of the premise that we should treat some people differently than others because we simply don't want to pay the cost of treating them the same.

I am sorry George but I know where the opening post is coming from -- I can see it in his/her other posts and there is a divisive dishonest agenda at work. But I cannot explain why you would fail to see that and support a discussion along those lines. what's next? Should we justify capital punishment and euthanasia because it is good for the environment?

George Victor

That is where hysterical thought can take you mate. Lovelock is being given that treatment in the environmental thread.  Sorry, but I'll know enough to leave you be in your logical purity in future. It could have risen above a moral slanging match, too.  The OP poster could indeed be a racist, but the back and forth hereabouts on such quesitons never gets to look at the underlying implications for society itself...honour is somehow satisfied.  Gets a bit much after the gazillionth slanging match. 

Sean in Ottawa

what the hell is logical purity?

Is that what you accuse others when you abandon logic?

Anyway glad you have given up defending the indefensible. This was never a debate about the environment but rather one about trying to justify using the environment as a rationale for denying tiny partial pensions for immigrants. Pathetic.

Sorry not only can I not agree with your position, I can't even respect it and there is a lot I can respect that I can't agree with.

Sad thing is I likely could agree with much of what you might say on the environment -- just can't begin by going there through a denial of rights to immigrants who are already here.

But thanks for calling me hysterical-- really won me over there.

Slumberjack

[quote=George Victor] The OP poster could indeed be a racist, but the back and forth hereabouts on such quesitons never gets to look at the underlying implications for society itself...honour is somehow satisfied.  Gets a bit much after the gazillionth slanging match. [/quote]

George, its not at all the case that the issues you raise don't deserve the time of day.  There's a defecating elephant though in this particular thread, and its rather difficult to focus on other matters or to salvage any meaningful discussion out of the hum.

George Victor

[quote=Slumberjack]

[quote=George Victor] The OP poster could indeed be a racist, but the back and forth hereabouts on such quesitons never gets to look at the underlying implications for society itself...honour is somehow satisfied.  Gets a bit much after the gazillionth slanging match. [/quote]

George, its not at all the case that the issues you raise don't deserve the time of day.  There's a defecating elephant though in this particular thread, and its rather difficult to focus on other matters or to salvage any meaningful discussion out of the hum.

[/quote]

The "hum", Sj, comes from the endless back and forth of people seeking to show that we are all potential racists and that the least slippage lands one in that dung.  Anyone with any contact with other cultures comes to understand that there is a great deal of baggage that accompanies  them besides their suitcases.  What I attempted to show in a lengthy posting was that youth being acculturated in Canadian society can come to surmount parental prejudices and is the hope for the future. What "meaningful discussion" you find in a white knight attempt to slay the dragon that dares to enter the babble lists, peremptorily, giving no quarter - without even finding out where the poor bastard is coming from (and if they offer to explain as in this case, whacking him anyway) relying on suspicion and intuition, and of course learning nothing in the exchange with the newbie - is a most meaningless way to spend ones' time.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Your not getting through to the youth GV but I guess you've given up on them to save the world for your grandkids.  Too bad.  It's not local, it's global dude.

 

What's to exchange with GV?  Drivel?  I know you're better than that and giving legitimacy to a specious point in an OP laden with pitfalls undermines your position here.

 

Best keep it in environmental justice where I wholeheartedly agree with you.  Don't dare take up an anti-immigration position on environment because you're losing me.

Sean in Ottawa

GV- Not sure if you actually read the thread very well. I was clear that this was not a one off-- I went through all of the opening poster's threads and blog replies-- try that-- unbelievable that this person is still here.

Try these quotes:

"Coulter has said some dumb things (and resembles an anorexic, wizened Sarah Jessica Parker), but she's right about two things: Canada's smothering political correctness and the threat posed by radical (Salafi/Wahhabi) Islam--now the majority Muslim sect in the world."

"Public safety does justify 'discrimination'. Canadian Blood Services redlists homosexuals, young males are risk-rated for auto insurance, and blind people aren't allowed to drive. 'Racial' (really, ethno-religious, gender and age) profiling works and can save lives. If Muslims can't abide by this, they're welcome to find alternate means of travel (i.e., the 'camel' and 'carpet' comments)...or stay put. This reminds me of a prof I had (Indian, very swarthy, heavy accent), who went to Northern Ireland, from Eire: the guards waved him right through, while the white, Christian men with Celtic names got grilled and searched. Things may be different in the future, but right now it's Muslim terrorists that represent the threat."

"Cutting the current immigration level to 10% of its current rate would also pay dividends in environmental terms (halting urban sprawl, loss of farmland and escalating freshwater consumption)."

"The hijab, niqab et al. are merely sartorial expressions of mysogeny--nothing more (why don't men in these cultures wear bags over their heads?)."

"We went down this road, already, with Sikh immigrants. After a huge influx of radical, seditious 'refugees' (India was/still is a parliamentary democracy), Babbar Khalsa set up shop in Canada. Then came the Air India bombing, murders of anti-fundamentalist journalists, near-fatal beating of Ujjal Dosanjh, and all the cultural baggage from the old country (sword-fights over seating arrangements in temples, spousal murders, doda trafficking)."

"Even foreigners seem to notice the Islamification of Alberta: Casey Affleck thought Calgary's demographics made it look like 'Baghdad North'. I've even seen a 'Muslim Stampede Breakfast' poster, admonishing people to "dress modestly". If anything, Muslims are coddled here, and the oil companies' and developers' lobbies have much to do with it."

"However, some social problems are exclusive to certain cultures. The problems of spousal homocides in Indo-Canadian communities are so bad that women from these groups have spoken out on the issue. 'Honour killings' are endemic to Islamic cultures, period--there are no equivalents in Western societies (what the sociologists call 'culture-specific')."

"Simply pointing out the negative attributes of certain cultures is not 'racism'. Nor am I guilty of 'culturism' (a la Mark Steyn). All cultures have good and bad points. However, one has to admit that different cultures have incompatible--and non-negotiable--mores, regarding things like gender relations. This is why muticulturalism is ultimately doomed to failiure."

He also used a word that looks like it might rhyme with fussy but it doesn't (starts with a p) to refer to someone of weak character - just can't find the quote right off.

George this is what you are defending.

George Victor

Sean, I would not defend that if my life depended on it.  I've been trying to do an end run around it, to leave it mired in  anti-islamic ooze and proceed with explanations of why it won't find a following in today's youth - unless we cave to the forces that want to retreat to religiono-based schooling. I trieid - from two different vantage points - to show that other cultures and religions are bound to bring some baggage aboard with them, but they will not survive in an educated cultural mix.

I am guilty of tirinng of watching yet another back and forth develop without exploring the ways in which (in this case) an argument can be put to explain the real dangers of numbers and ignoring the way in which politicians now succumb to ethnic head-counting. After trying twice to explain that there is nothing that smacks of racism in my background, I'm still accused of that by people without a background of any sort, just your typical shallow, armchair philospher armed with the magic word "racist", the mouthing of which  seem to be all that is needed here.  What a wormhole view of a really complex world.

Slumberjack

[quote=George Victor]  After trying twice to explain that there is nothing that smacks of racism in my background, I'm still accused of that by people without a background of any sort, just your typical shallow, armchair philospher armed with the magic word "racist", the mouthing of which  seem to be all that is needed here.  What a wormhole view of a really complex world. [/quote]

I don't know why you're being so defensive.  No one has called you anything George.  In fact, no one has called the originator of this thread anything either.  It was merely pointed out that the OP is beneath contempt for the way in which it attempts to place the blame for future OAS sustainability challenges at the feet of elderly immigrants, primarily the ones who arrive from China and India.  The remainder of this thread largely involved unravelling the puzzle as to why you felt the OP was worth the effort to try and expand it into a discussion of urban sprawl and its environmental impact.  You see George, expanding on something that has zero validity in the first place regardless of the worthiness of the drift, in itself through some strange method of reasoning suffices to lend validity toward the opening notion, regardless of the imaginative contortions of logic required to move beyond the original crock.  It has little to do with shallow philosophy, but it does involve the principle of never wanting to lend a shred of credibility to utter nonsense.

TheIronist

doesn't understand why this thread was started, as a quick turn at google would have shown that C-428 is going nowhere. "Doctor" Dhalla is too far down the Order of Precedence to see the bill debated during this session. It will die a quiet death on the Order Paper at the close of this session.

Moreover, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has stated publicly that the party will not support the bill. C-428 will never see the light of day. No one is talking about it because it exists only as a forgettable bit of historical House business.

 

George Victor

The impact of immigration, principle of growth, at a time when the capacity of Earth to aabsorb growth of any sort is "nonsense" Sj? An attempt to refine the nature of the impact of immigration on Canadian society - going past the puerile slanging matches that have become as predictable as the level of discourse in the IT world generally...do you never yearn for more greater understanding of what we are experiencing.  Do you never yearn to be able to discuss immigration without fear of attack by someone who hasn't the foggiest idea of your background and bona fides?  And as TheIronist shows us, Ignatieff is not about to lose votes out there in Canadaland by allowing public debate. So all sides retreat, even though they know that opinion out there has not been satisfied at all.  We do not discuss how progressives can act politically to reduce  racial factionalism.  Slay the dragon and stamp out even the vestiges of discourse, and feel smug in having done your dury.

Always count on your brave and ponderous intervention on the side of convention Sj.

Sean in Ottawa

That is a pity. I wonder how it could be legal given Charter protection for permanent residents, to provide pension benefits to some and not others who have been here for the same length of time-- just because of their country of origin.

This might be a court fight in the end.

ACSial

Hello, again, Sean et al!

The reason that the exclusion of countries like India, China and 'the Caribbean' [sic] are excluded, as this 'OP' mentioned at the begining, is that they don't have reciprocity agreements with Canada. This is just like the reciprocity agreements between countries like the UK with National Health Services and others (e.g., Spain, Italy), vs. those that don't (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany). To reiterate: this is a matter of agreements between countries, with similar social systems, to provide reciprocal care to their citizens, and has nothing to do with 'nationality'. India and China do not have anything like Canadian, American, Australian, or British public pension systems, all of which are dependant on intergenerational policies for stability. It is also a plain truth that very few Canadian citizens emmigrate to India, China, &c., vs people who immigrate from these countries to Canada. This is not a 'Charter' issue.

I'm not a 'libertarian'. Well, okay, a social (legalised drugs, gay rights, freedom of expression, right of self defense) libertarian... I only tossed that Friedman quote out there to point out that even the libertarian, pro-business types--who are generally in favour of unrestricted immigration--concede that it isn't compatible with a financially-stable welfare state. And dragging the matter of population growth issue this is valid, as environmental issues are as big a problem with mass immigration as actuarial ones. (By 'mass immigration', I mean a level of immigration at rates high enough to generate sustained increases in population.) In Australia, the new Labour government (the one with that Midnight Oil bald guy in it) had to retreat from its 'Big Australia' position, after a massive public backlash over environmental and other concerns. The Labour Party in the UK now admits that Britain's immigration intake is too high to be environmentally and financially sustainable, and has even suggested a population cap. Even the Toronto Star, accused of being 'liberal', thinks it's time to turn immigration down a notch.

Why does suggesting that, maybe, it would be desirable for Canada to reduce (not eliminate) immigration make people like Messrs Sean and co. scream 'racist!'? Why do 'environmentalists' no longer talk about population growth (the did, once, up until the 1970s)? There are things we can do to throttle-down the birthrates in other countries (I'm talking to you, Stephen Harper), but--as a sovereign country with control over our borders--we have the right and means to regulate how fast, if at all, our population grows. Things like available land for food production and freshwater supplies are local issues, impacted by local population levels. Denser urban planning, water meters and the like only slow the inevitable loss of farmland and escalating freshwater consumption. It will take a cap on Canada's total population, especially in drought-prone and agricultural areas, to address this. It will also take a hard line on actuarial concerns, with iminent-retiree immigrants, to save OAS and other programmes from insolvency. And we have to admit that different cultures have very different and non-negotiable mores, especially concerning major issues like gender relations, freedom of expression and the role of religion in society. It's not 'racist' to acknowledge these things...or that some some religious-cultural systems are religiously-bigoted, homophobic and violently mysogenist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Victor

Thanks, ACS.  That was a much-needed followup. I've tried to explain that the cultural and religious "baggage" that folks drag in with them can be overcome by their kids...if they're raised within a mixed and tolerant school system.   Getting over the "racist" charge here takes a helluva lot of argument.  Your examples from labour governments abroad help tremendously. And thanks for explaining your use of Friedman. Whew!

And, gosh, being allowed to enlarge the discussion to include environmental concerns... Words fail when confronted with such an open-ended worldview. Toronto, Mumbai and Mexico City.  Marvelous imagery.

Sean in Ottawa

First the reciprocal arrangement issue is an excuse and not a good one. Once we have given someone a PR card-- or citizenship, they are ours now. What their country of origin is should not be relevant to how they are treated. While we should want Canadians there to receive the same treatment not have them have it should have no bearing on those we have accepted in to the Canadian community and of course that remains a Charter issue. You also say this as if a reciprocal agreement is offered by Canada to all these countries-- well in many cases it cant be because they don't have public pensions or their public pensions are different. Who is to say Canada even wants or is trying to negotiate these arrangments. The reciprocal arrangement would have some relevance (even if not reasonable given the above) if we were paying these people for the time they spent in their country in exchange for other countries paying our people based on the time they spend in Canada. Of course that is not the case this provision pays foreign born for the time they spent in Canada only. As such it is a Charter issue and with respect to those people living in Canada definitely a Charter issue.

As well reducing the benefits for immigrants who are here already being used as an argument to reduce immigration is inhumane at its base as it implies punishment for those here to discourage others. If you want to reduce the flow of immigrants there is a mechanism for that mistreatment and poverty of those here is an insane way to do that and that was part of what led me to point out that this argument is bigoted.

ACSIAL- plese refrain from misrepresenting your links. The Toronto Star has not endorsed that point of view it is an opinion piece by an outside person as part of the debate: Daniel Stoffman. If you want to say the Star thinks or says something that would be an Editorial endorsing a particular point of view.

It is racist to go after one part of an equation -- immigration is not the sole driver of birth rate and it is the least relevant one as immigrants already exist. This is beside the point that we have a low birthrate and almost static population now-- the biggest trend is the movement of people inside Canada to larger cities and that is not a good trend- we can talk about what can be done to make more rural living sustainable. Your argument works like a one-legged chair as it is out of context and missing the bulk of what should be brought up-- hence the argument that you are being selective-- since your target is those born out of Canada the argument that you are racist came in.

This is totally seperate from the pile of dung you have already put on the record here that I quoted above.

George, you are defending that above paragraph and all the dung this poster has put here through your selective eye covering when anythign is brought out. I'l getting annoyed with your uncritical reception of what this person is saying and a logic that simply does nto hold up. When called on it you say you don't defend it -- ok possibly true but you do tolerate it and rely on it-- when the it is racism you need to take a second look at what you are and the purpose of your own arguments. This is why reasonable people distance themselves from this sort of thing-- even if there is some out-of-context point they might happen to like.

But let us be absolutely clear this thread was started complainging about an economic benefit to people who are already here not even about the flow of immigration in general -- that was one of the awkward defences thrown in later.  To follow Acsial and George Victor's logic to its extreme why not treat everyone horribly? Why not punish all families removing all family benefits and denying social support to families-- then, damn it, they would stop having babies? That argument works just as well! But no, since this is a racist argument we'll only target foreign born with punishment after they are here to discourage more from coming.

Yes the opening post is racist, yes the opening poster has made racist posts elsewhere (I quoted some).

I find it amazing that we could be having such a "debate" on what is supposed to be a progressive Board.

George Victor

And if one narrows the field of acceptable opinion enough, while saying that life is just a series of air-tight compartments for purposes of discussion, and that one cannot discuss questions of political economy  holistically, then one is in danger of finding  oneself scrunched down, peering up one's backside.  I think that the CHANGING positions on immigration in the face of creating underfunded behavioural sinks worldwide is a more  responsible concern, and its exposure more important than winkling out supposed racists - who can later explain their position, but are apparently required to prostrate themselves in apology.

And of course the Toronto Star would not put that forward as an editorial position.  But just to see it tendered in the face of such political cowardice...what a breakthrough.

ACSial

Sean,

The 10 year residency requirment is generous enough. And let's not forget that many 'economic migrants' and their parents are moving here to take advantage of the pension and healthcare systems. As 'unfair' as you think this is, it's simply being fair to those who paid into OAS for at least ten years and expect the system to remain solvent. To return to the Friedman quote, public social benefits require 'members-only' policies, with respect to immigration. An example is LA's excellent (free, public) County hospital/polyclinic system, intended for residents and taxpayers, that's groaning its way into the red under an onslaught of illegal alien users.

According to Stats-Can, 2/3rds of population growth is due to immigration. Take two things from this. First of all, the population is growing, without immigration (1/3rd). Secondly, immigration is the main driver of population growth. Due to cultural factors, immigrants from most of the world have much higher birthrates than the Anglo-Aussie-North American world, and this does not change when they move here. Population growth inevitably means more land useage, for housing, infrastructure (roads, schools) and landfill ('recycling' programmes, like Calgary's, simply divert much of the waste into landfills anyhow). Go to, say, Country Hills (Calgary) and you'll see something amazing: high-density firetrap chipboard condos and the detached homes have very little yard. Not much park, or greenspace, either. Most of the population of these new 'burbs are middle-to-upper-middle-class immigrants (Chinese, South Asians, Arabs, Iranians), many of whom came on the Immigrant Entrepreneur (buy-a-citizenship) programme. Many have three, four, five, or more children. And, yes, they mostly drive cars (including gas-guzzling SUVs.) The new schools in these areas already have portables, because they're bursting. A dozen years ago, this was farm and grazing land, intersperced with 'protected' natural areas (the area around Nose Creek, &c.). Areas in the Northeast, like Temple, are earlier versions of this process. The nearly half a million who poured into Calgary thanks to the Trudeapian and Mulroneyist real estate immigration stimulus programme, are also seriously overtaxing the water supply. The Bow ain't getting any wetter...

Peripheral to the actuarial issue are other major issues: intercultural friction and cultural-linguistic isolationism. Without judging their relative merits, it's obvious that different cultures have serious conflicts over issues like gender roles and marriage, as well as religion. There is no room for compromise, here, and you can't expect Muslims, Sikhs and others--many of whom are getting more conservative--to 'come around' to Western-liberal mores (equal rights for women, religious pluralism, gay rights, secularism and free speech). It's also perfectly possible for people to live in Canada all of their lives without functioning in either official language. A lad at a bank I go to has two parents, who came from China thirty years ago: both have jobs, but neither can speak a word of English. For a guy born here, his English is also very poor. (This guy also wants to bring his grandma over, BTW.) I think I mentioned that arson incident, where the FD relied on interpreters to tell the (middle-class, landed-immigrant and citizen) dwellers of an adjacent apartment to evacuate. That's scary. The concentration of immigrants of particular ethnicities in enclaves is a seriously negative, thirty-year trend that nobody seems to want to tackle.

Like other papers, the Toronto Star gets much of its ad revenue from the real estate sectors. It was courageous enough of them to run this article. While rightfully attacking the tarsands, people like yourself are sticking your heads in the sand when it comes to the matter of the ecological load-carrying capacity of our land. 'Green homebuilding' is an oxymoron--new housing and associated infrastructure development is simply one of the most environmentally-destructive industries in Canada. With a static, or falling population--which we don't have--there is no need for new housing developments, or increased water consumption. Reducing (though not eliminating) immigration and curbing the 'native' birthrate has to be on the agenda, along with a freeze on all greenspace development and agricultural land rezoning.

Oh--here's the issue playing out in Australia.

 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

You are still arguing to reduce the population growth by punishing those who are already here.

You might have an argument about a connection if you were arguing reducing the number of immigrants coming here but no-- you are going after teeny tiny pension amounts for people who are already here.

The argument that the pensions will bankrupt the system is false because they don't get a full pension -- they only get it based on the years they have been here and the amounts are minuscule.

As far as population numbers the argument is false as well when we are speaking of seniors -- parents and grandparents -- these people are not making babies and won't live forever- Also the seniors we are speaking of are not themselves going out to big monster homes in the burbs and they are not driving anything never mind SUVs these are older people-- they are mostly going to apartments in the city or living in houses with their kids-- in some cases they may be providing their kids a reason to stay downtown where there is public transportation so they might actually curb the desire for people to go out distances and drive..

So your argument to curb population growth or urban sprawl by punishing the parents of immigrants who came here to be with their kids makes no sense from an environmental perspective, given the amounts of money involved (after 4 years they would get a 1/40 pension) it is a false argument -- but you have an agenda ACSIAL and we have seen it in several threads-- Don't know what is up with George-- I no longer care because the facts have been brought in to this thread and you are off on some contorted bullshit tangent to try to prove a connection where there is none.

I hope this thread is closed soon because it is based on a bullshit anti-immigrant prejudice with the most pathetic connections to the environment and economic sustainability. The arguments don't hold up no matter how you ignore the responses an repeat them over and over.

ACSial

Sean,

The problem with the 'teeny, tiny' OAS is that cutting eligibility to such a short period (three, rather than ten years) creates a huge incentive for people to immigrate to Canada solely for obtaining that benefit, and everything connected to it (some healthcare and other Provincial programmes' eligibility is tied to OAS). And, even if they 'won't live forever', their ageing-related medical costs will hit the medicare system at the tail-end (hip replacements, cardiovascular care), without them having contributed to the back-end (taxes). Don't kid yourself that this won't happen. After the disastrously ill-considered 1985 Singh Decision, use of social benefits--paid for and intended to be used by Canadian citizens--skyrocketed. There's 'fairness' and then there's stupidity, cupidity and policymaking based on the desire to pander to certain voters. Remember that a Conservative MP (Gurmant Grewal) was the first to introduce this type of legislation. The Conservatives, Liberals and NDP will screw over Canadians in general, just to capture a few crucial ridings.

Immigrants who came here years ago aren't being 'punished'. They've already been paying into the system for over ten years, and will get what they've worked hard to deserve. And stop clinging to the 'racist' fiction that only white, Christian 'native' Canadians live in the suburbs, drive SUVs and are middle, or upper-class. Go and visit some of the post 1980s suburbs and see for yourself. And, if I have an 'agenda'--other than calling everyone who points out the negative side effects of Canada's current immigration policy 'racist'--it's expressing concerns that the current immigration intake (>250,000 per year, even during the recession), coupled with liberalised eligibility for social programmes, isn't environmentally, or financially sustainable.

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