Are the floodgates about to open

Welcome to the latest offering on Immigration Issues. This week I have chosen to revert back to the issue of “foreign workers”. Do we have enough in Canada already or do we need more? Is it a question that can be answered with a resounding “yes”, an emphatic “no”, or a passive “maybe”? To get the answer we wade through the murky waters of politics and up on the beach of reality.

The politicians are calling for more and more control over the people we admit to this our beloved Canada. They are tightening the requirements on the foreign workers but at the same time telling us all that they are merely streamlining the process. Hmmm, let me try to make a comparison. Your favourite lube shop has just added more staff and equipment to reduce the time required for an oil change on your car from 60 minutes to just over 15 minutes. So what is the end result? The net saving in time is what? Well let’s figure it out. They are now advertising that the time required for an oil change has been reduced by 75% and people are flocking to take advantage of the speedy new service, but what is really happening? Yes the time required to perform the actual oil change has been reduced by 75% but the administrative work; the time required to prepare the invoice and perform the sale has remained the same at 35 minutes. That means the actual wait time was reduced by only 10 minutes or 17% and when you factor in the lineup now your wait has actually increased, not because it required more time but because of the additional business the time saving generated.

The government saved time by streamlining the process but now there are more applicants and guess what? There are even more accumulating. This week Alberta posted its lowest unemployment rate in years perhaps its history at just over 1%. The demand for people to fill jobs is at an all-time high and there are no bodies to fill them. Do we have to revisit the Minister’s proposal to cancel the applications prior to February of 2008? One would think it is worthy of consideration. When employers are short staffed, productivity decreases proportionately, growth is stymied and the economy suffers. Is there no way the workers who are already in the queue could be expedited? Why are we not proposing to cancel the newer applications? Have they done no work at all on the older files? If not, why not? Outwardly, it would appear that somebody’s department has been extremely inefficient. What they are proposing is tantamount to this scenario. There is large line up at Future Shop to buy a new game that is being released today for 10% of the original price. The sale is only for today and only while supplies last. People camped out overnight and slept on the sidewalk awaiting this sale, the lineup is huge. The manager decides he will never get all these people inside so he goes outside and says

“Everyone who was here first and slept here overnight must go home, we are only letting those who arrived later to come inside.”

I wonder how that fix would be received! That’s the way I see things this week.

Robert Robertson
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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