Skip to main content

Toronto Star article sparks heated debate, reveals job-search frustration shared by newcomers and non-immigrants alike

By March 30, 2010August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

A news story on the Toronto Star website has sparked some heavy and heated debate. When I read the article this morning, I didn’t think much of it. But as of now (3:30 PM EST) there are over 93 passionate comments, the majority touting anti-immigration sentiment.

torstar comment re too many immigrants 2

It is clear from these comments that the frustration described in the article is shared by multiple groups within Canada, including those who are internationally qualified as well as Canadian-born job-seekers who have recently graduated or worked all their lives.

Some posters identifying themselves as newcomers have been fighting back, offering their perspectives, but their comments have been met with overwhelming disagreement.

“Canada likes to think of itself as open and accepting. However, one can see by many of the comments posted here that is not the truth…It’s also obvious from some of the comments here, that many Canadians don’t know anything about or understand the immigration process — or how much time and money it takes to come here.”

The article, Facts back up job-search frustration felt by newcomers, comes in anticipation of findings from a study conducted by the province’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner, set to be released on Tuesday along with recommendations. It points out that immigrants are finding it “impossible to crack through regulatory barriers” and that “skilled immigrants earn less than half, on average, of what their Canadian-educated counterparts earn.

In a Country that is so proud of its multiculturalism and diversity it is surprising to read some of the comments which are riddled with sarcasm, frustration and anger.

What is troubling to see is that many of the comments contain inaccurate statements about key topics such as immigration policy, government processes and the Canadian economy.

One commenter stated that our unemployment rate is over 10% – this is not true. Another posited that the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration “should be sued” for letting the newcomer mentioned in the article (an experienced civil engineer from Kenya) into the country. Of course, we know that the Ministry is a Provincial-level government department that provides services to immigrants and promotes inclusion while it is the Federal government which oversees immigration.

It was shocking then to see that within a couple of hours over 10 readers have clicked “agree.”

Not everyone expressed frustration.

“Employers don’t care about where you got your education, it’s how you think…It’s not about having a Canadian education or work experience, it’s about integrating into Canadian culture,” said one immigrant who managed to successfully land a career in his field.

Of course, we cannot assume that the comments are an accurate reflection of what Canadians or Torontonians believe. All we can conclude is that many groups are frustrated in the aftermath of a recession that has changed our Country for years to come and that where immigration is concerned, many are misinformed and more education is required.