Dr. Alwin Spence
I have just finished my breakfast and I am still at the table, just thinking. About what? How Canada got itself into this MESS.
What mess? Underpopulation, labour shortage, housing shortage, reduced immigration, a language problem and a race problem.
For many, many years, the Canadian government has been told that Canada, because of its size and resources, is grossly underpopulated. Well fix it, bring in more people. No action, because it is easier said than done. Let’s face it — the pool of anxious migrants are from developing countries, unskilled and are of a different skin colour. Just you notice, the thousands of people who are illegally trying to enter the United States and Canada, what is their skin colour? How come the overwhelming majority of those people are non-white? Yet in spite of Canada’s housing shortage thousands of Ukranians were hurriedly welcomed into this country without having to drag a child and luggage across the border. For me, the Ukranians are welcome. They were running from the Russian invasion. The people at the borders are equally running, maybe not from bombs, but from hunger and hopelessness which, incidentally, also kill.
Underpopulation should naturally lead to an increase in immigration, but any significant addition is hampered by the selection process which seems to favour one group over the next. Unfortunately the preferred group is not available and the other group, though ready
and willing, is not asked to fill the large gap. This leads to a labour shortage. Temporary workers of colour fill the needs of their employers, but are their needs fulfilled? Again I ask, why there is a shortage of housing at the same time as a shortage of labour in an underpopulated country? Reducing the number of foreign students may help the housing problem, but it will surely augment the labour shortage and underpopulation.
The problem of language, which is unique because it is regional, affecting mostly Quebec, impacts Canadian immigration, its labour shortage, housing shortage and the selection and determination of who will come to Quebec.
The bold solution to all these problems is an increase in immigration from developing countries through the vehicles of more students, and an improved training program for others. This training could be done in those countries or in Canada. Trained workers should not be taken from other countries.
When the tuition was increased for foreign students, making it much more than for local students, I can imagine many students from the Caribbean dropped out or did not apply. This was a loss for Canada, since many of them would likely have remained here to participate in the growth and enrichment of their adopted home. Most Caribbean students go to Britain, the United States and Canada to study. From what I’ve observed, Canada is the favourite.
The continued welcome by Quebec English-speaking universities to their lofty halls and the monetary assistance they are offering to out-of-province students is a fine gesture, offsetting the tuition increase. Hopefully this aid will be extended to Caribbean students and other applicants, maintaining the rich culture they bring and the further spinoff of remaining here after graduation.
One should know that there is no labour shortage in the United States. The Black population was always there. But with the vision and hard work of the civil rights movement, Black unskilled workers are being transformed into skilled workers, filling the need of a technical job market. Canada has a long way to go, but this mess must first be cleaned up.
The English Black Community congratulates Concordia and McGill Universities for their initiatives and the position they have taken. HOPE THE QUEBEC GOVERNMENT HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART.