Strategies for a discontinuous future.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Big Picture

Straight.com Vancouver | Features | Immigrants claim that Canada conned them

Canada continues to shaft qualified professional immigrants. I have analyzed this earlier.

Policy fixes? Stop the gatekeepers, i.e., the provincial professional accreditation associations from erecting barriers to entry against these new competitors to theinr members in the labor market. It's clear that they have a conflict of interest : their existing members want to restrict labour supply and reduce competition, while the Canadian society and the new immigrants themselves need to find jobs that efficently deploys the skills pool. Professional associations prevent this from happening by making it virtually impossible for new immigrants to get certified for doing equivalent jobs in Canada.

Research from University of Toronto shows that the cost to the Canadian society due to inefficient skills absorption is about $15B per year. Of course, the human costs to immigrants such as Dr Bhatti from Pakistan mentioned in the Straight article are just enormous.

It's such a pity that for a society that is so caring, tolerant, diverse and livable otherwise, Canada continues to fail miserably on this issue. Note to Canadian policy makers: if you can't fix this, please stop professional immigration into Canada. It is horrendous and cruel to inflict a life of pain and misery on foreign-qualified professionals whose dreams are shattered and economic well-being ruined.

-- Mahashunyam // 7:50 PM //


Yo Umair,

posting from Waterloo, Canada. Came here 3 years ago from Germany with an Economics Bachelor's from Germany's top faculty and 3-4 years work experience in Munich working for Startups in Internet and Artificial Intelligence.

I'm now working part-time in Retail. Fuck this. And then I see girls with a major in Art History from a Canadian local School getting interviews at Research in Motion. It's sick. Canadians do not have many opportunities to offer in high-paying white-collar jobs; and the few jobs available get pitched to their locals. It's like they're scared of competition and try to prevent it from happening. Which leaves me out in the cold. I'm fucking relocating to the U.S., man. What a waste of time. And this is stuff you don't see in UN statistics (from the outside perspective), because Canada looks good on paper - it hits you when you're here.

Cheers, Chris
// Anonymous // 4:29 AM

Hi Chris,

Actually, it's Mahashunyam : Umair's friend on this blog. I am very sorry to hear about your experience, but unfortunately, it's all too common among professional immigrants in Canada.

I am wondering if you'd have any better luck in the US. If anything, the US H1B and Green Card system is even more evil than Canada. You may want to try living in Alberta : they are a lot more receptive to foreigners. In fact, personally I believe that Calgary is the only city that offers significant economic opportunity to anyone in Canada today.

Good luck!
// Mahashunyam // 6:27 AM

Yo Mahashunyam,

thx for the reply. I sent my post out without thinking too much - might have sounded a little angry ;-) Where do you think top places to be are today: U.S., U.K. (London)? I talked to the Director of Research of Workbrain in Toronto (Ph.D. CS guy) and he said the Toronto market is pretty dismal. He said he's hearing lots of good vibes from London U.K.

For personal reasons I might consider the greater area around New York (D.C., Boston ...) because I have family there - so working there is no problem. I'm not doing Calgary (that's like oil and gas industries). I thought about Vancouver, but then again there are not many jobs there. Although, Vancouver is close to Seattle and just a little north of that whole west-coast thing (media-hightech-internet).

The whole idea about coming to Canada was finishing my Masters Degree while doing meaningful work in my field (web/ business analysis). So I'm going to finish a M.Sc. in Management at UWaterloo on a part-time basis and then already look for employment in the U.S. market. Long-term though I'm looking forward to going back to Europe.

Cheers, Chris
// Chris // 6:05 AM

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