Saturday, 10 November 2007

Canada's bogus welcome to talented immigrants

We're misleading too many skilled newcomers by luring them here and then denying them work in their field

Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, November 10, 2007

Canada aggressively pursues highly skilled people and persuades them to come here. Then they find that they are not allowed to work in their field, and have to take low paying jobs. In the case of doctors, the South Africans are furious that our greed for their English speaking doctors leaves many South Africans with no health care at all.

I will declare my interest. I am an immigrant. I still have a very strong English accent. Well, since I was nearly 40 when I got here that is not surprising. And I did get work here in my field. Except that it never seemed to last very long, and wherever I worked it was always a case of last in, first out. And I do not think that my current underemployment is due to my origins.

But I know far too many highly qualified individuals who have not been able to make it here - including an Egyptian oro-maxilliary surgeon who I met while working on the census, and an engineer from the former Yugoslavia who works for a taxi company.

It is one thing for us to go to poorer countries and take their brightest and best so that we get the benefit of their very expensive training. It is quite something else again when they end up working at 7-11.

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