Ottawa Tent City The Feds Fault: BENN



It is a rare occasion when I will even consider cutting the city some slack, but in the instance of the tent city, I think we are pointing at the wrong culprit.

Immigration is a federal responsibility. The physical ramifications of immigration land on the municipalities’ doorsteps.

The reality of the matter is that the federal government has been actively misleading (a polite way of saying that they are lying to) potential immigrants for more than a century. Back in the early 1900s, the Canadian government enticed people living in Ukraine to come to Saskatchewan. They were would promised 40 acres of land, for free.

The posters of artists’ conceptions showed smiling faces looking out over acres of mature wheat. What the immigrants received was 40 acres, much of which was woodland. It took years to remove the trees, stumps, rocks etc. before the land was capable of being properly farmed.

Flash forward to the last several decades. Immigration policy directed at attracting people with professions and skills that the country needs to meet the current and expected long-term shortfalls of local supply. Except the organizations that manage professional accreditations don’t recognize the education and experience of many of these immigrants. Medical professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists), engineers, accountants, lawyers, plumbers and electricians. The list is virtually endless.

This is not news to the politicians who are pandering for votes and likes on their social media. Not news to the senior and mid-level bureaucrats who craft the specific immigration criteria. It is only news to the professionals and skilled tradespeople who are applying for a visa, and they only become aware of the lies about endless opportunities when they arrive in Canada. As a result, many of those immigrants find themselves being under-employed. It is not news to the same politicians and bureaucrats that there are insufficient accommodations for the waves of new immigrants.

The result is that people arriving in Canada with hopes and dreams of a better life are bitterly disappointed. The result is that the federal government immigration policies are abject failures. Not just this year. For more than a century.

Yet those same federal politicians and bureaucrats receive precious little blame for their failures. Instead, we blame the municipalities for not having anywhere to house the people who the municipalities did not invite.

To be very clear, this is not a problem created by the current federal government. It has, as I stated above, been continuing for more than a century. By elected governments led by both the Liberals and the Conservatives. This is not an act born out of incompetence. No, it is a willful effort to mislead the innocent and the unknowing. And that is inexcusable.

So, let’s cut the current city administration some slack. The federal government invited thousands of people to the city knowing full well that the city has neither the physical nor financial resources to accommodate them. Again, not due to incompetence. It is a willful decision to mislead.

Again, inexcusable.

Ron Benn, a finance executive, has been a member of the Centrepointe Community Association for the better part of three decades.


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3 Responses

  1. The Voter says:

    You’re absolutely right, Ron, but I don’t think that will really matter to the hundreds of people that are now destined for the new refugee camps in our fair city whose fault it is.

    As you state, Canada’s self-defeating immigration practices are certainly not new. I’ve met hundreds of people over the years who pulled up stakes and brought their families to Canada to give them a better life only to discover that they were lied to by the Immigration Department’s staff in their home country and they aren’t allowed to practice their profession here. The worst part of it is that they were given points in the immigration rating scheme for their education and work experience that supposedly showed that Canada saw them as more desirable prospects to settle here. Ironically, many of the people that Canada refuses could, in fact, find work very easily here.

    I have a friend who says it’s no problem if you can’t find a doctor in Toronto. All you need to do is go out and hail a cab. Chances are the driver will be a foreign-trained professional who can’t get their qualifications recognized here. It would be nice if that story were completely apocryphal but it often isn’t.

    Our country is far from kind to many of the people it allows to immigrate here. The newcomers who are going to be placed in the refugee camps here are just the latest to find out how inhospitable we can be. Yes, the direct and immediate blame belongs with the federal government whose policies lead to this treatment but blame also should be on the shoulders of Canadians for allowing this to happen. We are supposedly better than this and it’s past time we were showing that.

  2. David says:

    It appears to me that our immigration policies and practices are driven by one criterion only: workforce conditions. We’ve known for for 30+ years that Canada’s workforce is declining – due to an aging population and retirements. There’s an additional factor: new demands due to new technologies and emerging capability demands. The sad part of this is that the demand is real but the supply does not meet specific demands adequately. But it does overwhelm us by sheer volume. In short, we have a very heavy flow of immigrants that we are not able to accommodate and who do not – in all cases – meet Canada’s employment needs. We need to, I think, slow down the flow until we can get our act together – and deal with the new Canadians that are here.

  3. Ron Benn says:

    David, I don’t have problem with our immigration policies and practices being driven by workforce conditions. The problem is that the people who draft the policies and practices are not measuring the effectiveness of those policies and practices. Why?

    I don’t for even one moment think that it is because these individuals aren’t bright enough. No, I think it is that the policy and practice drafters, or the people who are pulling their strings, do not want empirical evidence that the policies and practices are ineffective. Because that would be embarrassing for the Minister when challenged during Question Period.

    Money may be the root of all evil, but the lust for political power is not far behind it. Some might think that the latter is just a manifestation of the former.

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