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Equal Economic Opportunity Of Canadian Immigrants

2663 words - 11 pages


Canada boasts about being a multi-cultural mosaic, a land of opportunity, with a vision to build “a stronger Canada – a safe and secure country with a shared bond of citizenship and values; a country that continues to support our humanitarian tradition and draws the best from the world to help build a nation that is economically, socially and culturally prosperous” (Government of Canada, 2011). Yet a look at the income statistics for Canadian immigrants makes one wonder whom is prospering economically. Are Canadian immigrants given equal economic opportunity when they arrive here, or are they subject to economic inequality?

To answer this question, one can first look at ...view middle of the document...

Second, because these immigrants often come from countries with different labour markets, the Canadian government does accept their foreign work experience, or does not understand how their work experience in their home country will transfer into the Canadian marketplace. These two issues devalue immigrants’ workplace value, landing them jobs in low-paying, entry-level positions. Finally, many immigrants are discriminated against by employers. As explained in conflict theory, specifically dual labour market theory, some employers take the view that immigrants should be placed in the secondary market, so as not to overtake the power of the dominant group. Discrimination is also made on linguistic ability. As a result of this economic inequality, immigrants struggle to live above the poverty line, are forced to live in unfavourable neighbourhoods or live in homes with multiple generation of family, and run the risk of being a drain on the Canadian economy, instead of boosting it.
Foreign Education Credentials

One of the largest barriers to economic equality of Canadian immigrants is that the government and professional organizations do not recognize or transfer their foreign credentials, because they are not viewed as equivalent to the education received in Canada (Government of Canada, 2012). Without the appropriate education credentials, immigrants are forced to take entry-level jobs that pay next to minimum wage. Statistics Canada reports that between 1991 and 2006, the proportion of long-term immigrants with a university degree found in jobs such as clerks, truck drivers, salespeople, cashiers and taxi drivers, rose steadily (Statistics Canada, 2009). The 2006 Census report on earnings and incomes of Canadians noted that the income gap between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers has continually widened, with immigrant men earning 63 cents per every dollar received by Canadian-born men, and immigrant women earning 56 cents per every dollar received by Canadian-born women (Statistics Canada, 2009).

With statistics like this, why would anyone want to immigrate to Canada? In a 2005 study of immigrants to Toronto, Ontario, in which new citizens were interviewed about their personal immigration experiences, found that “based on Canada’s [immigration] point system, these ….. immigrants believed their foreign skills would be valued and recognized in Canada, however their post-migration experiences involve high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Participants remark on the discrepancy between the selection/admission process and the employment process in Canada” (Somerville & Walsworth, 2010).

When immigrants come to Canada expecting to get into a career that is related to their education, only to find that their education means nothing, they have two options: one, find a job at any place that will hire you so you can earn a living, and two: upgrade your education. The second option is one that many new...

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