Mass Immigration Is Christmas Every Day for Grow-Forever Lobby

By John Meyer
Volume 23, Number 3 (Spring 2013)
Issue theme: "The manic quest to grow Canada's population"

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Immigration Watch Canada Bulletin on December 29, 2012:

What a sea change it would be if Jason Kenney or any member of any level of government in Canada, instead of issuing the quote, “We want newcomers to fulfill their potential and not waste their lives doing ‘survival’ jobs,” had actually said, “We want Canadians to fulfill their potential and not waste their lives doing ‘survival’ jobs.”

Most people would have thought there had been a revolution. Or that perhaps some anarchist group had laced government’s drinking water with some illegal substance.

It seems that the only people whom Canadian governments want to help are the ones who make the markets bigger and who force wages lower. This is to say the only ones who get help are the immigration lobby and the immigrants they bring in. The more immigrants, the merrier. For the lobby, Christmas can and does come all year round.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to deal with “labour shortages,” but who defines what that means? Currently, businesses do that. They call on the government to alleviate immediate business needs rather than train workers, equip their existing workforce better, or increase wages. Governments are merely obedient supply management agencies with no strategy to improve Canadian productivity and wage rates.

When GM in Oshawa posted jobs at $25/hour years ago, they got 20,000 applicants.If they had posted the jobs at $10/hr maybe there would have been a worker shortage.

The government should only support business models which are tax positive. This is a crucial point that governments continue to ignore. Cheap labour jobs contribute less in tax revenue than their workers absorb in government program expenditure.Exactly what the “breakeven” point happens to be is open to question, but certainly $14 an hour (for a full 40-hour week) would be an extremely conservative estimate. The government should determine exactly what this number is and use it as the focus for their job creation strategies. Creating more cheap labour jobs is like creating a structural deficit that is becoming more and more entrenched.

The “I need a worker exactly like ‘this’ who will work ‘this hard’ for ‘this pay’—‘right now’” pitch from cheap labour employers, should be resisted and replaced by an initiative to upgrade the Canadian work-force and fully utilize its vast human potential.

Lower unemployment equals higher wages which equals higher productivity which equals balanced budgets with a high functioning social safety net.

Mass immigration equals higher unemployment, lower wages and higher profits for those companies effectively subsidized by cheap labour. Mass immigration and low wages is a commercial objective for some companies, while lower unemployment and higher wages should be a top priority national objective.

The media corporations have approved wholeheartedly of government’s current strategy. But what would their reaction have been to an initiative to boost Canadian wages and depend on productivity improvements for the growth of the economy rather than importing masses of people? It would have been apoplectic, of course.Such a strategy would be the end of the world as they know it. Local markets and circulation-boosting populations would cease to expand. Farmland would cease to be paved. Ad revenue generated from new houses would end. The sky would cease to be pierced by condo towers. There would be no more growth in garages filled with new car ad revenue generators.

How many more houses and cars and newspapers can a stable population of well-educated, well-equipped and well-paid Canadians buy anyway? Precious few.

The immigration cash cow would be put on a diet.The parasitic overhead of debt mongers, cheap labour employers, and land pavers would be devastated. The Mayan apocalypse would be welcome relief!

Invest in Canadians?Make equality, balanced budgets, and a strong social safety net the core metrics of progress? To the current grow-forever lobby, it is outright sedition to talk about quality rather than quantity, investment in Canadians, and driving wages higher.

Although Immigration Minister Kenney is cleaning up the rough edges of the immigration tool, he is not honing it to wield against the problems of Canadians. On the contrary, he is revving it up to import ever higher numbers of revenue generators for the immigration lobby.

About the author

John Meyer is a long-time environmental/population activist with an economics degree.