Sunday, September 25, 2005

The One Where CG Says Something Nice About Joe Volpe...

While I’ve been none too kind to Joe Volpe in the past, I was very pleased to see this.

With an aging population, low unemployment, and a shortage in human capital, the Canadian government has two options:

1. Mandatory breeding
2. An increase in immigration

While I'm intrigued by the first option, reaching the 1% target is a smart policy decision that has been a long time coming.

8 Comments:

  • If it wasn't a re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-announcement, I'd be happy as well. The Liberals have been saying the right words on immigration for a long time, but have so far managed to not make any of the promised changes.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 9:59 PM  

  • I have been hearing this for the last six years, since I came to Canada. Canada has the worst and most immigrant unfriendly policy in the world. Our system is not condusive to attract the best minds or even to retain them. They always talk about numbers and time for processing(which has not changed), but they dont work on attracting the right people. What Immigration Canada needs is brand managers and maybe even consider quasi privitization. Any patriotic/job conscience Canadian will do a better job than our dumb Immigration officials.

    By Anonymous Vijay Sappani, at 10:38 AM  

  • "What Immigration Canada needs is brand managers and maybe even consider quasi privitization."

    Now that would be a really neat idea. Track the outcomes for immigrants, and assess the immigration officer who admitted them on the track record of those he or she approved. Perhaps give them a share of the taxes paid by that immigrant for a period of time, while deducting welfare payments made to that immigrant or their family. Leave the immigration department to find ways to attract the neurosurgeons and engineers, or to identify the promising entrepreneurs or future hard-working truck drivers. The immigration officers who can't tell a professional from a parasite will languish, as their body of immigrants will not afford them the income to sustain their careers...

    Dean

    By Blogger deaner, at 12:24 PM  

  • it's a good thing too. We'll need all those new people because we hear that the Alberta economy is going to grow by 32% this year... no wait... did I say 32%? Sorry... I meant 32%...

    Thank goodness for Joe Volpe. He may have not balanced the budget and created 10,000,000 new jobs like Maurizio Bevalaqua, but he's going to grow our economy by 32% ... no wait... did I say 32%? Sorry... I meant 32%...

    (organ in the background).

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:49 PM  

  • Since the first option is discriminatory against homosexuals and asexuals, I'm leaning towards the second option.

    By Blogger Clear Grit, at 12:30 AM  

  • Immigration is not the solution to the problems posed by an aging population. There are studies that show that immigration will have at best a marginal effect on population aging. In 2002, Martin Collacott wrote a report on immigration for the Fraser Institute. The full report is available online in pdf format. http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/shared/readmore.asp?sNav=pb&id=418
    Here's an excerpt from Collacott's report, where he discusses Canada's aging population:

    "To be sure, Canadians are indeed getting older as
    people are living longer and women are having
    fewer babies. According to a Statistics Canada
    projection last year, without any net immigration
    and with no change in the current fertility rate,
    our population will continue to grow for another
    dozen years and begin to fall below the current
    level in the late 2020s (Statistics Canada, 2001, p.
    64). In the circumstances, unless we specifically
    want a larger population, we won’t require any
    net immigration for the next quarter of a century.7
    It is also true that we will have to contend with an
    increasing number of retired persons in relation
    to those still working. Current projections are that
    by 2025 the number of retirees for every hundred
    workers will increase from the present 18 to 35.
    There is, however, abundant evidence that only
    immigration at overwhelmingly high levels
    would have any significant effect on population
    aging. A 1989 report on demographics released
    by Health and Welfare Canada and based on 167
    studies concluded, for example, that increased
    immigration would have a little or no impact on
    either the aging of the population (Charting Canada’s
    Future, p. 24) or the dependency ratio
    (Charting Canada’s Future, p. 26). The Economic
    Council study similarly declared two years later
    that the reduction of the tax burden of dependency
    through immigration was quite insignificant
    (Economic and Social Impacts, 1991, p. 51), while in
    1997 Statistics Canada concluded from census
    data that “immigration cannot erase the dilemma
    of growing old, which the entire population must
    face” (Statistics Canada, 1997, p. 96).
    A United Nations report (Replacement Migration)
    issued in March 2000 spelled out just how much
    immigration would be required to keep the age of
    the population and therefore the dependency ratio
    at current levels. While Canada was not one of
    the countries covered in the study, the United
    States (with an age profile relatively close to our
    own but slightly younger) was included and its
    projections were roughly similar to what we
    would have to expect here. In the case of the US,
    the United Nations found that it would have to
    raise its population to 1.1 billion by 2050 to maintain
    current dependency ratios. To achieve this,
    73 percent of the people in the US in 2050 would
    be immigrants or offspring of those who arrived
    since 2000. And it would not stop there since, after
    a generation or two, most immigrants take on
    the same aging and family-size characteristics as
    those of native-born North Americans8 and we
    would have to continue quadrupling our populations
    every 50 years to maintain current dependency
    ratios."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 AM  

  • Ok, sure. But the goal isn't to keep the baby-boomer dependency ratio. The goal is to attenuate the impact on a real-time basis, which *skilled* immigration allows.

    There are four solutions readily available.

    First, certification standards for professionals. The husband of a friend of my wife's is an Australian vet in Calgary. To practice, he has to spend some time (years) in Guelph at the vet school there. Absurd. An Indian chemical engineer recently drove me from the Ottawa airport in his taxi. Etc. etc. The Feds have constitutional jurisdiction, if they want to look for it, to deal with this. Therefore they should.

    Second, the points system. Make it work. The idea is to target and more quickly process skilled applicants. But professions like "webpage designer" don't qualify. The idea is good, but the system is hopelessly clogged.

    Third, a review process. There is no appeal process, and the Liberals promised it in the Red Book. Lots of errors get made in factory-like administrative processing, and those that have the wherewithal to argue their case merit a second look.

    Fourth, language support. The largest stumbling block to integration into Canadian society is language. The feds should heavily subsidize ESL/FSL (as appropriate).

    By Blogger matt, at 1:05 PM  

  • Now that's a post I can relate to. You really got me thinking, I enjoy reading this blog.

    I don't know how others feel, but I'm definitely looking into Canada immigration as an option. The good ól US of A aint what it used to be.

    By Blogger The Immigrant, at 3:22 PM  

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