My uncle came to Canada in Dec. 2004 from India. He is planning on going back in April 2005.
My friend came from Pakistan in Feb 2002. He plans to go look for work in the Middle East by the end of 2005.
A friend of a friend came to Canada and in two months went back.
My wife (a dentist) has been trying to get her licence for the last 2 years. To become a dentist an immigrant has to give an “entrance” exam to the 2 year fast-track dental program in the universities here. The entrance exam involves an intense exam, a 5 day long practical and an interview. If you don’t clear either one of the phases, next year you have to start all over again. In frustration, she is looking at universities south of the border. If she clears their (relatively easy) selection process, we will be moving to the US.
Why? Why is this happening? What’s so wrong with the system that an immigrant with a 18 year experience in the banking sector in India (and abroad) is wrapping Hershey chocolates here in Canada?
This aspect has been brought up again and again by the immigrants, commentators and government funded surveys. What happens after that…..Nothing. Until the cycle begins again in a month or two. It’s easy for the general population to read the articles on this problem and then ignore it but for the likes of me who have to see the above mentioned people everyday, living with extreme frustration, the head just spins with questions. The obvious ones are :-
1) Why can’t the immigration authorities be more clear during the selection process on the hardships that an immigrant might face?
2) Why can’t the business sector accept the fact that the immigrant would be a strong asset?
The less obvious ones are :-
1) After being told by friends and family in Canada about the hardships, the immigrants still pour into Canada. Why?
2) After coming over to Canada and seeing the situation with their own eyes, why cannot they go back?
The answers to the first set is best given by the Canadian government. At this point they are holding seminars, holding meetings etc. Will something become of these meetings, only time will tell.
The second set requires deeper understanding of the people involved. Generally speaking, people come to Canada to seek a better life. Better compared to what? If an immigrant is from a country persecuting a group of people then one can understand the statement. But for someone like my uncle who was well settled in India with a house of his own, a steadily rising affluence, why did he come to Canada? In such a situation you have to look at the personal circumstances. There could a number of circumstances under which a person choose to uproot himself from a settled life and move to a totally unknown place.
There is also a general reason why people are moving in droves from India to Canada. India has a lot going for it at this point and people in India are beginning to rise up to the fact that the country might actually have a future. But this is a “high level” thinking. The fact remains that the daily life in India is an extremely frustrating experience. There are problems with electricity, water, corruption, intense competition etc. Living in India is not easy. Period. The things that we take for granted here are not the norm in India. E.g. In Delhi for a toddler to get into a good school, he/she has to take an exam!! Wait that’s not it…the parents will be interviewed!!! Wait..that’s not it. The selection committee will discuss the toddler and the parents will be asked to show their finances!! And then the child is selected. What happens in Canada? You put in the papers to the school and they tell you when and where the child can start. Can you see how much of a relief this is for the parents from India? Since most of the children go to a public or catholic school, the competition to get into the “best” school does not exist in Canada.
This is just one example. There are literally hundred more. But as I mentioned earlier, with the growing affluence of India, the potential immigrants will reverse their decisions and this does not bode well for Canada which depends on immigrants on pratically everything. The other day I saw a headline saying that the number of immigrants buying homes is dropping and that is having an effect on the heated home market. That’s just one example of the impact that an immigrant may have on Canada. With the birth rate in Canada falling (click here) and with the average age steadily climbing (click here), Canada can ill afford to have a backlash in immigration.