Montreal, October 26, 2002  /  No 112  
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Harry Valentine is a free-marketeer living in Eastern Ontario. He can be reached at
by Harry Valentine
          Canada is essentially a land of immigrants. Several thousand years ago, during a different climatic period in the earth's history, people and animals migrated across a land bridge in what today is the Bering Strait. These people are today known as Canada's First Nations. Centuries later, French and British explorers and traders made Canada their home. During the period that preceded state welfare programs, immigrants coming to Canada came not only to earn a living through being productive, they came to settle and raise families.
Responsible people 
          Earlier generations of immigrants came to Canada with the knowledge that they were not only going to contribute to the nation's economy, but that they were also going to be responsible for their own welfare. Canada's multicultural ethnic diversity grew from this for over six decades. Various ethnic communities formed their own organizations and groups to help their fellow ex-patriots settle into a new life in a new land. Many growing cities saw the emergence of the little Italys, the little Irelands, the little Polands, the Chinatowns. Several rural areas saw the emergence of communities populated by people of Dutch, Ukrainian or German descent. 
          During the pre-welfare and pre-economic regulation era, people from different cultural, national and ethnic origins learned to value and accept each other through the voluntary trade of goods and services. Inter-cultural tolerance and harmony prevailed until the state intervened in the economy through economic regulation. By doing this, the state granted some people the right and privilege to earn a living in designated professions and areas of business endeavour, while denying the same legitimate rights to everyone else by force (abuse) of law. Add some cosmetic changes to such market entry regulation, like identifying entrepreneurs' ethnic heritage, and the economic side of South Africa's apartheid laws emerges. Perhaps it is merely a coincidence that ethnic purity was maintained over a period of many years, in sectors of the economy that were highly regulated both federally and provincially. Economic apartheid can be practised very subtly. 
          During the period prior to housing regulation, immigrants found affordable accommodation and builders built housing for low budget families. In the era following the onset of housing regulation, builders built mainly for the high end of the market and left the low end of the market alone. Immigrants are now among the people needing state welfare to afford rental accomodation, a debacle contrived by two groups of government officials at different levels and working at cross purposes with each other. Canada's regime of economic regulation, at both federal and provincial levels, discriminates against Canadian citizens as well as against immigrants. 
     « Other critics have pointed to the large number of highly educated foreign trained professionals, several holding PhD's including medical doctors, who cannot find employment in Canada. Most earn a living by taking lesser skilled jobs well outside their fields of expertise, like working as taxi drivers. »
          At the present day, news media critics have seen fit to condemn the Canadian Immigration Act, citing the large numbers of recently arrived unskilled immigrants receiving state welfare assistance. Major cutbacks in the state welfare program can easily solve the problem. However, the government may instead be motivated to appease the ethnic and multicultural vote. Other critics have pointed to the large number of highly educated foreign trained professionals, several holding PhD's including medical doctors, who cannot find employment in Canada. Most earn a living by taking lesser skilled jobs well outside their fields of expertise, like working as taxi drivers. This is occurring despite a shortage of 2,000 medical doctors in Ontario, along with a doctor shortage across the rest of Canada and an exodus of Canadian doctors to the USA. State control of health care at the provincial level is largely responsible for this debacle, as well as for the large number of foreign trained doctors living in Canada, but who are forbidden to practice medicine.  
Good political image 
          Provincial licencing agencies and related professional licencing groups essentially restrict entry to a variety of professions, thereby ensuring high earnings potential for licenced practitioners and large political campaign contributions to friendly candidates at election time. The plight of foreign trained professionals in Canada is irrelevant to such groups. Immigration department officials are considering making requests to various professional licencing groups, to open the doors to allow foreign trained immigrants into their ranks. Making such requests makes for a good political image in the eyes of the ethnic community. Such requests may come up for discussion by the licencing groups, but should be expected to go nowhere and achieve little more than maintain the status quo.  
          The state can open new job opportunities for the skilled immigrants by eliminating economic regulation and market entry restrictions in all sectors of the economy, including for all professions. In the emerging global economy, international accreditation and certification will be needed. Such credentials can be facilitated privately, free from state interference, like Microsoft's MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) accreditations. For a candidate to acquire such certification, they will have to pass a series of comprehensive examinations, taken online at a testing centre. A wide range of professional certifications, including the engineering and accounting fields, can be undertaken in the same manner. What is important is that private industry internationally accepts and recognises the certification, as they already recognise the Microsoft accreditations.  
          Part of Canada's immigration problem involving professionals needing to be certified can be solved privately and on an international level. The same solution may even be extended to include a variety of skilled workers. The immigration problems that will remain unsolvable will be the ones that are subject to political and bureaucratic control. Governments usually achieve the opposite, in the long term, of what their policies were intended to achieve in the short term. Canada's immigration problem has been simmering for many years and will simmer for many more. Nobody in politics wants to comment on the ethnic crime problems that exist in Toronto or Vancouver, or the learning difficulties and behavioural problems involving children of certain ethnic origins. It's not politically correct to mention that in a certain Toronto sub-division, an ethnic group that accounts for 5% of the population, accounts for 95% of the crime in the area. This too is part of Canada's immigration problem, but is too sensitive to be discussed in Parliament. 
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