Immigration levels are already too high, says former Ambassador
Written by Paul Fromm
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 03:54
Immigration levels are already too high, says former Ambassador

Former federal Liberal cabinet minister Robert Kaplan recently proposed that
Canada increase its population to 100 million through increased immigration
in order that we become more influential on the world stage. While some may
find this visionary in its scope, it totally fails to take into account the
realities of today's Canada.
Many of our larger cities are already groaning under the weight of high
immigration intake that is increasing congestion, house prices and costs to
taxpayers. A recent paper by Herbert Grubel and Patrick Grady estimated that
newcomers cost Canadians between $16 and $23 billion a year because of what
they receive in government benefits over what they pay in taxes.
Added to this is concern over the increasing concentrations of immigrants
who come from cultures and traditions very different from those of most
Canadians. An example of this is the controversy over Muslim prayer sessions
at the Valley Park Middle School in Toronto, where 80 to 90 per cent of the
students are Muslims. Such problems can be expected to occur more frequently
even at current levels of immigration.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is quite right when he questions whether
Canadians are ready to accept higher immigration levels. He recently told
the Vancouver Board of Trade that we do not have the resources or ability to
integrate much larger numbers of immigrants every year and pointed out that
we can't flood our taxpayerfunded services or put pressure on real estate
markets.
While Kenney is the most effective immigration minister we've had in a long
time and is prepared to acknowledge and deal with some of the most difficult
issues, even he would appear to be off-base in his belief that most
Canadians accept current levels of intake.
When Canadians state that they are happy about immigration in general, this
should not be interpreted as meaning they are satisfied with the numbers we
are bringing in, particularly if this affects them (which is the case in
larger cities, where most newcomers settle). An Ekos Research survey
released in November, for example, found that, while 71 per cent of
respondents said they felt immigration was good for Canada, this declined to
48 per cent when asked if they thought it was good for their neighbourhood.
A recent poll by L├ęger Marketing found that 55 per cent of Calgarians
thought their city was already too large and only 39 per cent thought it had
the right number of people. This means 94 per cent didn't want it to become
larger - which will be increasingly difficult to achieve unless we
dramatically reduce immigration since most of the population increase will
be from this source. Only five per cent of the people in Toronto and
Vancouver wanted their numbers to increase. Yet Toronto is projected to grow
by three million people and Vancouver by almost one million in the next two
decades if current immigration levels are maintained.
That there should be a gap between what our leaders think we want and what
the average Canadian wants is not surprising. The Centre for Immigration
Studies in Washington found that among opinion makers in the United States
(members of Congress, leaders of church groups, business executives, union
leaders, journalists, academics, etc.) only 18 per cent thought immigration
should be reduced compared to 55 per cent of the public.
Although various reasons have been advanced for why Canada should continue
with high immigration levels even if this causes problems for many
Canadians, at least some fallacious arguments have been discarded. The
present government, for example, does not attempt to perpetrate the myth
that immigration is a realistic way of dealing with the costs associated
with the aging of our population. A more pervasive fiction, however, is we
must have largescale immigration if we are to meet looming labour shortages
and that Canada cannot prosper without a constant infusion of workers from
abroad.
The fact is, most of our labour shortages can be met domestically if we make
the best use of our existing workforce and educational and training
facilities - rather than rely on quick fixes from outside.
This point was made not only by the Economic Council of Canada 20 years ago,
but has been reiterated and updated more recently by renowned labour
economists such as Alan G. Green of Queen's University and David A. Green of
UBC. David Green recently told a conference in Vancouver that using
immigration to fill labour-force gaps carries pitfalls and that natural
market responses to labour shortages, such as pay hikes, can be obstructed
when immigration increases the supply of workers and thus reduces wages.
Similar conclusions were reached in a major study released this month by one
of Australia's leading academic centres that deal with immigration and
labour market issues. The Monash University study found that immigration was
not the best way of meeting labour shortages in key industries in that
country and that the promotion of the idea that immigration was essential
for this purpose was in part a "scare campaign" being waged by immigration
lobbyists (Australians tend to be more blunt about such matters than
Canadians).
While Canada should remain an immigrant-friendly country and invite
newcomers to come here in reasonable numbers, it is clear that not only
would we be foolish at this point in our history to embark on a massive
increase in population by means of immigration as suggested by Robert
Kaplan, but that maintaining anywhere near current levels brings with it
almost no benefit to most Canadians and, indeed, is very costly.(*Ottawa
Citizen*, August 12, 2011)

*Martin Collacott served as Canadian ambassador in Asia and the Middle East.
He lives in Vancouver.*
 
AFRICA is Giving Nothing to Anyone -- Apart from AIDS
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 05:28
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AFRICA is Giving Nothing to Anyone -- Apart from AIDS

( This report by K. Myers appeared in The Irish Independent)
No. It will not do. Even as we see African states refusing to take
action to restore something resembling civilisation in Zimbabwe, the
Begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us, yet again.
It is nearly 25 years since Ethiopia's (and Bob Geldof's) famous Feed
The World campaign, and in that time Ethiopia's population has grown
from 33.5 million to 78 million today.
So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further
catastrophic
demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is
none.
To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.
One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of
another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the
camera,which yet again, captures the tragedy of . . .
Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and
financially.
Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have
stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.
The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a
priapic,
Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes
him.
There is, no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this
predatory
and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system; but I do not
know
what it is. There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a
column like this.
It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of,
well, the self-righteous, hand wringing, letter writing wrathful
individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every
debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority. It
will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish life, like
John O'Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I admire
enormously. So be it.
But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention
of
our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no
comparison. Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was
down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the
Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules, Ethiopia's
population
has more than doubled.
Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere,
over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent,
Kalashnikov-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently
tumescent layabouts.
Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually
hyperactive,
illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive
because of help from the outside world.
This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense.
Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the president
of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap
water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against AIDS
infection.
Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not
prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia,
Eritrea etcetera.
Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often
the
way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters.
Japan,
China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in
the
20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any
part
of Africa.
They are now -- one way or another -- virtually all giving aid to or
investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its
lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.
Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources, and
causing catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population
of
Ethiopia will be 177 million; the equivalent of France, Germany and
Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly
Protein-free
wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.
So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult
population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally
devastated and economically dependent country?
How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from
starvation
today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty,
hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen
such wide-eyed children, with comparably
jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel
better, which is a prime reason for so much charity.! But that is not
good enough.
For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It
has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.
It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is
inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when,
in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that
disease
is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now
operating.
If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would
otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts.
Oh good: then what? I know, let them all come here (to Ireland) or
America. (not forgetting Australia or Canada!) Yes, that's an
idea.

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AFRICA is Giving Nothing to Anyone -- Apart from AIDS
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 05:20
AFRICA is Giving Nothing to Anyone -- Apart from AIDS

( This report by K. Myers appeared in *The Irish Independent*)

No. It will not do. Even as we see African states refusing to take
action to restore something resembling civilisation in Zimbabwe, the
Begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us, yet again.

It is nearly 25 years since Ethiopia's (and Bob Geldof's) famous Feed
The World campaign, and in that time Ethiopia's population has grown
from 33.5 million to 78 million today.

So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic
demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is none.
To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.

One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of
another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the
camera,which yet again, captures the tragedy of . . .

Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially.
Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have
stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.
The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic,
Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.

There is, no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory
and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system; but I do not know
what it is. There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a
column like this.

It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of,
well, the self-righteous, hand wringing, letter writing wrathful
individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every
debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority. It
will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish life, like
John O'Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I admire
enormously. So be it.

But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of
our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no
comparison. Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was
down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the
Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules, Ethiopia's population
has more than doubled.

Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere,
over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent,
Kalashnikov-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently
tumescent layabouts.

Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive,
illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive
because of help from the outside world.

This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense.

Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the president
of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap
water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against AIDS
infection.

Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not
prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia,
Eritrea etcetera.

Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the
way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters. Japan,
China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the
20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part
of Africa.

They are now -- one way or another -- virtually all giving aid to or
investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its
lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.

Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources, and
causing catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population of
Ethiopia will be 177 million; the equivalent of France, Germany and
Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly Protein-free
wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.

So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult
population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally
devastated and economically dependent country?

How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation
today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty,
hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such
wide-eyed children, with comparably
jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel
better, which is a prime reason for so much charity.! But that is not
good enough.

For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It
has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.

It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is
inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when,
in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease
is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now
operating.

If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would
otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts.

Oh good: then what? I know, let them all come here (to Ireland) or
America. (not forgetting Australia or Canada!) Yes, that's an idea.
 
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