Somehow (and I do not know how or why) strangers from Instagram and people from my former life in Abu Dhabi expect me to somehow help them immigrate to Canada. Two things I am urging them (and you) to consider. 1) I am not in then Immigration business 2) moreover. some of these people I have never met so how possibly could I vouch for them working my tail off helping an utter stranger, who owes no allegiance or loyalty to me. I am, through this blog adding aa more information to both groups of people. After coming here and reviewing the scene, I do not think it is such a good idea to immigrate to Canada. This observation and the thinking behind this conclusion was confirmed by a recent article, appearing in the Toronto Star which in not obtainable by most of those people begging for my assistance.
The title of the Toronto Star Opinion piece: Immigrants Face Crisis of the Withering Canadian Dream. The subtitle: A survey found immigrants perceive the Canadian job market as exclusionary and the costs of living and home ownership prohibitive. They aren’t wrong.
The article begins, laying out the realities, not the dreams of immigration to Canada.
“As Canadians, we often talk with pride about how welcoming we are to new immigrants. Unfortunately, that’s not the impression many newcomers have of Canada.
A recent survey tells a concerning story. A striking 72 per cent of immigrants surveyed said, “Canadians don’t understand the challenges immigrants face.” Thirty per cent of young new Canadians, aged 18-34, and nearly a quarter of university-educated newcomers, say they are likely to leave Canada in the next two years.
Why are newcomers feeling alienated? According to the survey’s findings, they perceive the Canadian job market as exclusionary and the costs of living and of home ownership as prohibitive. They aren’t wrong.
Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which represents changes in prices as experienced by Canadian consumers, increased 6.7 per cent since March 2021. Meanwhile, the immigrant wage gap continues to worsen with newcomers earning about 10 per cent less than those born in Canada. That gap was less than four per cent 30 years ago. For skilled, university-educated immigrants, in their prime working years, that gap is closer to 20 per cent.
Imagine you are a nurse who emigrated recently from Nigeria. Your nursing and language skills earned you the points to immigrate to Canada and you arrive ready to work. But your nursing credentials are not recognized here and it’s a long and expensive process to get licenced in Canada. It will cost tens of thousands of dollars and take between two and five years to regain your professional status — despite the acute shortage of nurses in Canada.
Low-skilled, low-pay jobs are the only ones available and because you lack a Canadian credit history, no bank will lend you funds to restart your career. Suddenly, upward mobility seems impossible.
Approximately 12 per cent of immigrants get stuck in chronic poverty and nearly one-third experience shelter poverty, crushed by rising housing costs. It’s easy to understand why many might consider leaving for a country that would make professional integration and social mobility easier.”
I have none of the problems faced by immigrants – I am a citizen, a returning citizen albeit but a citizen. I am adept in the English language and know how things work. But for me, many times and in many places, it has been a nightmare.
The article suggests that it does not have to be this way. t doesn’t have to be this way. Skilled immigrants and refugees who arrive here with big dreams don’t have to become a generation of new Canadians who decide the promise this country offers is false.
We can — and must — reduce the unnecessary hurdles to professional integration that seem so unfair and discriminatory to those who face them. If we don’t, an immigrant brain drain will become a reality we can’t afford. A recent report placed Canada last out of 21 OECD countries in GDP growth; two exacerbating effects will be that our status as a desirable destination for immigrants will fall and newcomers languishing professionally in Canada will be even more likely to leave.”
The article cites a success story of a hardworking woman aided by a group. It ends in this manner. “When new immigrants are valued and using their skills everyone benefits. Business and charitable sector leaders and all levels of government, need to consider what more we can do together to avoid an exodus of talented immigrants. Addressing the immigrant wage gap by eliminating unnecessary wait-times and costs should be at the top of our civic agendas.”
As I was writing from my bed in my wonderful new apartment, the most unbelievable coincidence occurred which have greater credence but a level of hope to this issue of immigration. I was awaiting delivery of furniture and knick knacks from IKEA. Two extremely helpful and polite men, from India arrived, in a timely fashion giving me forty minutes of warning bringing my treasures. I went down and retrieved them and the treasures. There is no buzzer system so one has to collect your guests or delivery people in person. It assures utter safety. We began speaking in the elevator and in my apartment.
Me: I was born in Canada, were you?
They: No we were born in India.
Me: Oh how long have you been here? How were you able to immigrate?
One man been here for three years. The other young man for four months, we conversed. tion.
Me: How were you able to immigrate? It can be most difficult.
He: Oh I am here on a student visit. I am going to university here. I had to apply to school and gain acceptance but after that it was rather easy.
Me: Oh my goodness I know about that. Good for you. You are here as a student, here in Canada legitimately and so, after five years you are eligible for citizenship. You will most probably have a job with skills obtained from a recognized university and be able to contribute to Canadian society. I can see that you are working part time in the meantime to support yourself.
He: Yes you are right! How did you all about this? You are a returning citizen.
Well, here in the story. During my beginning days of my sojourn in the UAE I ‘adopted’ a Pakistani young man, 33 ,hom I called Grandson.This was long before I considered a return to Canada, at the time thought I could achieve a retirement visa and reside in Abu Dhabi, at least for five years, the duration of the renewable visa. Grandson had previously decided that he wanted to immigrate to Canada and I spent much time and energy researching the subject for him. But he really wanted a free ride, and had much misinformation and misconceptions about the process. So after exhaustive research I came up with a solution. He was very intelligent but had no college or university experience. I reported back to
Me: If you do not have a university degree you should apply to go to school – when accepted you go to Canada, can work part time and in five years you can be a citizen and be totally employable.
He: But I do not want to do that! I want to be a truck driver, like an uncle I have. You can sponsor me.
Me: I explored that avenue. Sponsors must be related to one another and although I call you Grandson, you are not my grandson actually. .
I continued in my attempts to assist him, found a highly recommended immigration law firm in Edmonton, telling him I would assist him monetarily and through my contacts. The firm, before they ‘took on a client’ asked them to complete a form. They would examine the credentials of the candidate and if possible accept them as a client – if they could not be of help they would not take the person’s money. But Grandson was too lazy to even fill out the form and began to examine other schemes (I guess) He is still in the UAE, feeling sorry for himself. We lost contact with one another after he found I was not useful to him.
The simple truth is this: Canada does not need truck drivers, nor waiters, nor security guards to enrich its economy, while in turn Canada provides them with benefits. Nor does Canada need caregivers or graduates from from unregistered schools. Another young man who I did meet in Abu Dhabi was a slight variation. e does have credentials but does not want to use his technological abilities – he wants to duplicate his life style in Abu Dhabi here in Canada. He wants to be a waiter and in his spare time film interesting videos he posts on Instagram. But, as I pointed out to him, that is impossible. Even if he was able to come to Canada he would be unhappy. Canada can be hum drum – no Grand Mosque to photograph, no Rixos Resort parties to film and place on Instagram, no shots of Emarati Palace in all of its splendor. I met a woman from Uganda during my stay at the Rixos Resort who also suddenly decided she wanted to come to Canada. She had other plans for herself, a life in Uganda at the conclusion of her Rixos contract. She abandoned all of those dreams, she really wanted me to become her grandmother and have me take care of her. If either of those two people came here they would be most unhappy- it would be cruel to further their unrealistic wishes. I suppose neither of them are happy with me but I can weather the storm. They shall abandon me when I am not of use to them. But do I want people in my life that want to use me for their own purposes? The answer to that is NO.
Do not need these three people to like me, care about me or love me. This form of adoration is time and energy consumptive. They take without giving back and did not seek me out to be with me when I lived in Abu Dhabi. I do not need to import companionship, It is Allah whom I aim to please and that is more than enough. If I please Allah other people are pleased with me and I am surrounded by people who do not want something for nothing. I worked for everything I have. I came from a poor family – educated myself and shall help educate young women through my charity. I do not have to ‘buy’ love from those who call me Grandmother. Besides it is their job to be taking care of their grandmothers – not the other way around!
But I end on a happy note. The photograph is a ledge in my apartment one sees upon entry. It is three mannequins from a Dollar store, two wearing hats from a dollar store, one with a feather boa wearing the Oman hat gifted to me from a man from Oman, met at the Premier Inn. There are cute kids books purchased at Book Passage in Corte Madera and strangely brought with me. They are hand puppet books one Little Turkey, the other Little Piglet.